Our current issue, Subjektiv part II, invites different artists, curators and thinkers to give us their recent critical perspectives on the issues at stake and on the status of the subjective as an artistic strategy in the current political climate. Today's statement from Torbjørn Rødland who opens his show The Touch That Made You at Fondazione Prada this Thursday:
Post-truth, you say. Operating on such a binary, do we root for a return to the hegemony of corporate journalism? When was there ever a Truth that didn’t exclude or hurt a minority?
It is unusually chaotic. There is a feeling of institutions losing dignity; of masses falling apart. But I don’t believe artists have to compete with simplified messages or imitate the crude politics of visibility in order to reconfigure this world. A more enduring fight is the one for increased complexity, which many will forgo in times of chaos.
Complexity acknowledges the limitations of known languages. It carries the burden of historical inheritance but isn’t afraid of abstraction. Complexity involves listening, observing, including voices that disagree with yours, including things that don’t have voices.
To subjectify the world is not necessarily to close off, to shatter, or to occupy. It may involve a harpoon of imagination—a poetic outreach. A poetic image can try to speak for things we have seen or felt but cannot claim to fully know—rocks, dreams, wars, our aging bodies.
We can dissect everything to fragments, mirror and peel layers off of surfaces-as-realities. But in a never-ending struggle to know what insides feel like, poetry will evade us and it will inspire us from the depths of endlessly accumulating feeds.