Institute of Contemporary Art Newtown



November 2007: K


images: “K” opening/ Alex Gawronski – ‘1st Principle’, 2007/ Shane Haseman – ‘Nature Theatre’, 2007/ Ronnie van Hout – ‘END DOLL’, 2007

This exhibition was dedicated to the spirit of the work of 20th Century Czech/German writer, Franz Kafka. Why Kafka? Could it be because we are living seemingly, in very ‘Kafkaesque’ times – the spectre of the Law everywhere and nowhere at once; that spectre endlessly reiterated via the simulatory monologues of the power figures of a contemporary society endlessly, spectrally mediated; its virtualised structures – of Power and the Law – made increasingly labyrinthine and unknowable? Conversely, could it be that, attending the slippages and vagaries of our constant grapplings with Justice and the Known, the figure K ascends simultaneously as the mark of the trickster – Zorro’s heroic flourish replaced by a sign immeasurably more ambiguous and haunting? The trickster knowing and unknowingly plays the Law at its own game, defines the parameters of an alternative vision of Justice and maps its futures without a map – taking the cultural sphere as its natural territory. What is certain though is that K – and his incarnations – are no mere illustrators of ‘reality’, instead they are interpreters of a world for which there are no corresponding words. Paradoxically, this lack of coincidence has now found a home, a matching institution.


Written by ICAN

August 21, 2017 at 11:58