28.01.2017, 11:00 – 12:30>
Simon Guendelman (neuroscientist, doctorate at the Berlin School of Mind & Brain/Humboldt University Berlin)
With the exhibition ‘Vanishing Objects’ it is intended to generate an aesthetic experience of the vanishing quality of things, highlighting the hidden aspects of reality, opening sense on the shadow of things, uncovering the constructed and empty nature of things, and questioning the malleability of our reified worlds.
The artworks by young Chilean artist Muriel Gallardo represent an ongoing discovery of space from bodily experience. She highlights the instability and composite nature of reality by the use of diverse materials and techniques. Combining her training in fine arts and aesthetics, with notions from literature, she particularly refers to the book “In praise of shadows” by Junichiro Tanizaki. Especially for this project, she based her work on the paradigm of enactivism – a theoretical approach to understanding the mind and reality proposed by Francisco Varela.*
Muriel engages in a theoretical collaboration with Simon Guendelman. He articulates his background from psychiatry/psychology (psychoanalysis), cognitive science (embodiment), contemplative philosophy (Buddhism and mindfulness) into a theoretical and experiential elaboration of the notion of emptiness. Finally, in this exhibition art methods are used as vehicles for expressing the very “essence” of the problem of the vanishing quality of objects. Concepts from humanistic and scientific disciplines are displaced into artworks, generating a mixture and a tension between scientific and art languages.
The exhibition is inspired in the notion of emptiness, merging the borders between disciplines like philosophy, aesthetics and psychology converging on art. It generates a reflexive experience of the vanishing quality of objects, exposing the inherent ungraspability of the empty nature of things, highlighting its shadow, accounting for the deep and inexplicable dimension of life.
The presented installations, drawings and sculptures are built from selected materials and techniques giving form to emptiness. They “materialize” in a subtle manner, respecting its ominous and vanishing quality, representing the tangible as well as its illusory unity. An experimental workshop will offer the opportunity to further engage in experiential and reflexive explorations of emptiness, including notions from western and eastern traditions.
In ‘Vanishing Objects’ the aesthetic of the shadow represent the elegance and beauty of emptiness, uncovering the inapprehensible and startling nature of things. The vanishing quality of objects intends to highlight the process of creation, starting from the primordial idea and how it is finally brought into form as a final artwork. In all this process, the intention of apprehension or appropriation of a given concept or idea is interweave with the appropriation of a quality of the space, in this way bringing forth the world or reality of a given artwork on their own.
This interdisciplinary project intends to instantiate a critical perspective regarding the build-up nature of world’s perception. It aims at awaking a reflection in the spectator about the construction of the world, looking for avoiding the extremes of the solipsistic self sufficient world (only mind exists) and a purely materialistic account. In this sense, a middle path paradigm offers a new perspective on the borders between the body and the environment and can understand the mind and its processes as something in between the “internal” body and “external” world.
The project includes different conceptualizations of emptiness which inspired each artwork, inviting the spectator to actively engage with and intersperse his or her own experience and perception with different pieces of the exhibition.
*proposed using the term enactive to designate this view of knowledge, to evoke the view that what is known is brought forth, in contraposition to the more classical views of either cognitivism or connectionism.”
In: The Tree of Knowledge: The Biological Roots of Human Understanding by Francisco Varela,1992, p. 255.
MURIEL GALLARDO (*1980 Santiago, Chile) combines objects, drawings, photographs, texts and videos into complex series of works, which always have a background of philosophical inquiry, interweaving concepts from different disciplines into the creation of artworks.
She holds an M.A. in Fine Arts from the University of Chile, and is currently a master student in the department of Design of Textiles and Surfaces at the Weissensee Academy of Art in Berlin. She has completed residencies programs as Bloc and Glogauair and will start in the Künstlerhaus Bethanien program during 2017. Muriel’s works have been presented in exhibitions in important museums, galleries and institutions in Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, USA, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, and Peru such as Luis Adelantado, Valencia (Spain), Jadite Gallery, NYC (USA), Borges Cultural Center, Buenos Aires (Argentina), Florence Biennial, Florence (Italy), ZK/U, Berlin (Germany).
SIMON GUENDELMAN (Berlin, Chile) is a psychiatrist, psychoanalytic psychotherapist and a doctorate researcher in the Berlin School of Mind & Brain / Humboldt University Berlin. His research focuses on emotions and sociality, and the impact of contemplative practice in mental health and brain-bodily functions. He is a lecturer at the Alice Salomon Academy. Since 2009 he has been teaching workshops on the intersection of Western and Eastern psychology in Chile, USA and Germany, and has collaborated in various interdisciplinary projects between philosophy and art.