Carl Kostyál is delighted to present the exhibition Awaiting Immanence, curated by Peter J. Amdam. The show brings together new work made especially for this occasion by six artists: Gardar Eide Einarsson, Matias Faldbakken, Hanna Lidén, Klara Lidén, Adam McEwen, and Fredrik Værslev. The show will take place at Isbrytaren, a vast complex of disused industrial warehouses in the midst of Kungsholmen, Stockholm, and will be the first time this space has been used to stage an exhibition.
At bottom, one must cease to believe in God in order to perceive the beauty of cathedrals.
In life’s relation to the work of art, no regard can bestow a sense of value to the object, because there is no regard, sense, or object; life’s relation to color for example, is the subjectivity of this relation, that is, life itself.
What sends itself into strangeness
Is all the more invisible
The six participating artists in this exhibition are bound together by sets of both obvious and disparate affinities, proximities, materialities, thematics, and networks. Yet Awaiting Immanence tries to avoid the pitfalls of the typical presentation of a ‘scene’, ‘wave’, or ‘generation’. Even as the art event does bring together internationally acclaimed artists with considerable institutional following, the motivation behind Awaiting Immanence lies elsewhere, in the attempt to bring certain problematics, intensities, technologies of sensed abstraction, and diffuse vitalities of showing art, and artworks, into the dubious dark light of being.
These artists’ careers have taken shape during the last ten or so years. While they have developed in highly original and individual ways, they are united in that their bodies of work in different ways have been tangential to pressing theoretical issues of the day. However, the very idea that artistic output is “tangential to theory” is actually put under pressure here, as that would presuppose some kind of division between the work of art and its own immanent energization as non-object, or self-occurring event.
New media has altered how one conceives of consciousness, subjectivation, and perception, making a quest for something like ‘immanent aesthetics’ seem pertinent, especially as the impact of “thinkers of immanence” such as Henry, Deleuze, Badiou, Laruelle et. al. are starting to be sensed and felt. “Absolute immanence is in itself,” writes Deleuze, “it is not in anything, nor can it be attributed to something, it does not depend on an object or belong to a subject.” The impact of such thinking can e.g. be seen in theoretical efforts such as Daniel Birnbaum’s Chronology, François Laruelle’s Photo-Fiction, a Non-Standard Aesthetics, or several new ways of working within the “post-medium condition” after the putative mistakenness of the 90’s “relational art.”
In the case of the six artists participating in this show one could argue that they are by no means exemplary of any such quest per se, but that by treating them as truly artistic thought-material the disperse aggregate could function as a wild vector to sway perception, thought, and even prehension (to use Whitehead’s term) into a seriously strange terrain.
From the dysfunctional, self-dissolving critique of institutions and power of Einarsson, immanent in the sense that his critique knowingly is part of the field that is being critiqued, the gravitational pull and deadpan undecidability of McEwen, the disruptive cognitive architectonics of Klara Lidén, the voided-out subjectivity of Hanna Lidén, the subtractive, sculptural non-poetics of Faldbakken, to the auto-affective immanence of Værslev’s painterly project, all artists instantiate different pulsions, convulsions even, and more or less non-human, or post-human, operations on how art functions and emerges in, and from, the world and its flesh. Rather than trying to make the sum of each individual artist account for or represent some kind of thesis or curatorial claim, Awaiting Immanence sets out to treat each artist/artwork as material to investigate and perform the possibilities and limits for a radically immanent aesthetics and at the same time take into account the inevitable disappointment and collapse of all such projects. If one reads the life-affirming aesthetic presupposition of Michel Henry quoted above one still can’t escape the feeling that somewhere down the line, one comes up against a derailing train of thought when pushing towards the limits of the singular sensing/thinking subject dissolved into generic aliveness. In the wake of this, one would have suspension, differentiation, disinterest, and deferral. Rightfully or wrongfully, activity and inactivity can easily be taken as a feeling or experience of non-fulfillment, or, something plainly awaiting its own potentialization, activation, or, in the last instance: oblivion.
Put differently: Awaiting Immanence, tries, in an heretic or hubristic fashion, to let art itself think in or fulgurate in the world and not to represent it as one often readily places oneself—as ‘spectator’, ‘performer’, ‘curator’—at a point outside of a framed world. In other words: in a position with the pretence of shaping that very world according to one’s own ideas and the arrogance that accompanies that pretence. Counter to the actual force of the artworks at hand, this kind of arrogance would deprive the artistic materiality of its possible ever-expanding reductiveness. This force could be thought as miniscule black holes strangely operating as they are cloning and suctioning through the actual objects or works of art—objects as they disappear or motion as immanent appearance. Canvas, pigment, cloth, sponge, ink, frame, Molotow felt tip, glass, cement, plastic. Plasticity.
They went, motionless, letting presence come.—Which, however, does not come.—Which, however, never already came.—From which, however, comes any future.—In which, however, every present disappears.
Peter J. Amdam (April 2013)