Between Earthly Beings and the Unknown Cosmic World: The Continent
Artists: Noor Abed, Basel Abbas a Ruanne Abou-Rahme, Shiraz Bayjoo, Cihad Caner, Cansu Cakar, Cian Dayrit, Merve Iseri, Július Koller, Emma McCormick-Goodhart, Ezra Šimek, Amol K. Patil
Curator: Canan Batur
The Július Koller Society, Bratislava
Archival collaboration: Daniel Grúň
Production: Zlata Borůvková
Technical support: Michal Štrompach, Ondřej Spiritza
Graphic design: Stan de Natris
Spatial design: Matej Gavula
Special Thanks: gb agency, Paris and Květoslava Fulierová
Exhibition opening: 8 June 2023 from 6 pm to 9 pm
Duration of the exhibition: from 9 June 2023 to 25 August 2023
Earth drains down the Old Man
River and runs out
in swamps and shallows of the Caribbean.
They do not remember the body of
But stand with feet upon the ground
Run to the mythic sea, the fabulous
Robert Duncan, The Continent
Between Earthly Beings and the Unknown Cosmic World: The Continent explores the engaged and contemplative practice(s) of Julius Koller and the poetics of his imagination for a more politically just and ecologically sound worlds.
Anchoring through his search for Atlantis, seismically shifting from the Mediterranean Sea shifting to Bermuda Triangle, Julius’ search for Atlantis becomes a persistence of resistance in the actualisation of speculative memories of possible timelines. Expanding from what Koller describes as ‘between earthly beings and the unknown cosmic world’, and the archive at the Julius Koller Society, both considered as terras in this exhibition, and through them the exhibition seeks to create new imaginations to seed a wider sense of this search, a larger view of time, and the imagination to manifest inspiring kaleidoscopic visions.
Even with our ideological differences, as the water levels rise, it will first destroy the already existing social relations but later it will give birth to new ones.
An epoch characterised by shifting terrains and receding shorelines, carbonised oceans and melting ice requires that we think differently about what constitutes an archival record: could an archival record be a search of a continent? What imaginaries could be manifested through bringing together the archive at Julius Koller Society, a solid construction, with the fluidity and porousness of Atlantis? What social relations might it give way to?
As a means of radical wayfinding and sensemaking, the exhibition begins as a journey within this search, a longer trajectory to formulate a practical and poetic toolset – one that deepens critical awareness of the reciprocal interplay between archives, cosmohumanism, futurological thinking and alchemy, one gestures toward more regenerative life-relations. It brings forward alternative histories and possibilities embedded in this archive and reflects on some of the key issues surrounding archives – inert and active modes of resistance, transformative potential in expanding collective histories beyond the dominant modes of erasure as well as the embedded seeming silence and repositories of a small selected portion of extremely complex past. How can we give voice to archives?
By strengthening the archive which fills those gaps, by giving a voice, by reading it against the grains and actively listening and voicing the silences, and distinguishing between voluntary and forced silence; by leaving it open to whatever might make its way in; by containing, holding together and breaking apart.
Between the shore and the islands
Make their announcement
In the heart of things.
Here Our West’s the Orient,
Our continent the sea.
Between Earthly Beings and the Unknown Cosmic World confabulates through and offers renewed sensibilities for social and environmental through sensorial, critical and spiritual approaches engaged in contemplative propositions and performative vocabularies. Probing into the ‘imagined geography’, it brings together exercises in sensing with and encourages a relational approach generating both inner transformation and the conditions of possibility for social re-imagination.
Between Earthly Beings and the Unknown Cosmic World embodies a language of movement in situated contexts, strengthening transnational imaginaries, and redistributing ways of knowing within our surroundings. It also expresses how Koller’s practice can serve for reconciling our relationship with ourselves and what surrounds us.
The rest remains
In ashes. There is only
The one continent, the one sea
Moving in rifts, churning, enjambing,
Drifting feature from feature.
Supported from public funding by the Slovak Arts Council. The event is a part of the international project Islands of Kinship: a Collective Manual for Sustainable and Inclusive Art Institutions, co-financed by the European Union.