we wanted to be better and ended up being happy, the name of a Fenêtre project-curated show that opened at Galerie Joseph Tang on March 27 (exhibition photos, top right), is now making its online migration in collaboration with OFluxo Blog. It is also a paradoxical statement that could drive you into an existential scream if you let it. Aren’t better people happier? Or is that ignorant people? Are they happier because they forgot it all? Are we sadder because we keep remembering?
The title, their press release writes, is an offhand statement in reply to the “promise of futurity in mainstream sci-fi culture in the 1980s and 1990s”. The future, they say, is a thing of the past; in contemporary culture, “presence has substituted promise, favouring a view of the future as an abridged temporal phenomenon”. We no longer have even nostalgia to cling to.
The group show, which features Felicia Atkinson, Dustin Cauchi, Pierre Clément, and Tilman Hornig, ran at Galerie Joseph Tang for one weekend in late March as part of the ongoing Fenêtre Project in collaboration with the Paris gallery, and is launching at its digital home for an online exhibition. The “curatorial / editorial / convening / creative practice”, developed by Mangion and Cauchi, deals with the dialectics of online/offline and the ways in which the two are converging in the contemporary art field.
Examining curation as an active, dynamic practice, they set up a landscape or “micro ecosystem” of signs and signals composed in hand-engraved text on various objects, like routers, silent speakers, laser pointers, and organic matter. “In this landscape,” they write, “the works co-habit the space harmoniously. This landscape however, harbours a system of signification that is not always visible, at times manifesting a disruption that destabilises this found harmony.” **
Exhibition photos, top right.