Zirkus Spiegel

ZIRKUS     SPIEGEL  Berlin- Jan-2015

                                            curated by Gorka de Duo
                                                                                                                                                                                     

The audience of clowns is watching inquiringly from the other side of the wall as we enter the empty room. We are warned from the beginning, to be defined as the observed while our phantasmic spectators shake from their world on the screen, which is deployed as an alternate space -- an impossible reflexion...

Since at least the Middle Ages, we know the important role of all Carnival-related festivities heir to pagan rituals such as the Feast of Fools was to offer not only entertainment but also a place where the unleashed forces of an oppressed society could question its hierarchical structure. Here, the use of mimesis, the aliasing in parody, served to express critical statements that could not be visualised by other means. During these celebrations, the symbolic interruption of established order conferred a time without laws where the peasant could make fun of the king or pope, wearing ridiculous costumes; Where all could become, for a day, the real buffoon.

The figure heir to the renaissance´s harlequin and the medieval court´s jester was impregnated  ever since with specific characteristics and functions which survive today in the collective unconscious, operating as a tool for understanding issues veiled to our own consciousness. Identified with The Fool card in tarot, as studied by Jung, these characteristics conferred to the figure of the jester are neither arbitrary nor causal and have a direct effect on our daily lives: the fool, the jester, is the one who connects the everyday world to the non-verbal realm of imagination, confusing them in its playful nature; Is the one who reverses the causal order of things, representing the ambiguity of a world only perceptible under the light of its distorted reflection… Sadly, nowadays real clowns seem to have lost this link to their ancestors reflecting only the grotesque void of pure spectacle and loosing the critical function.


"Zirkus Spiegel" seeks to disrupt certain causality order inherent to the stages of production through an art show. Here, the time course of the exhibition will also be the time of its making and thus the complete works that integrate it will only be witnessed at the end; Exposing, in the middle, an instance usually hidden to the visitors experience: the construction of the exhibition itself. Placing the experiment (usually pre-work) in the center of the scene and thus altering its traditional relationship with the rest of the process.

Bringing together important members from Berlin´s ´Pataphysics scene and including special international features, Muses Maschine gallery has assembled interdisciplinary artists who have the common feature of being writers or working closely to literature; The broad spectrum of works will be covering photography, painting, mixed media, video-installation, performance, sound art and
computer art at their most diverse combinations and interactions. Addressing issues related to the crisis of representation, the duplication or multiplication of reality and reversing the terms space / time as in a distorted mirror, “Zirkus Spiegel” aims to discover new and exciting (acausal) relationships between work, artist, exhibition space, and viewer.

This pataphysical circus will include, among its curiosities, the infallible Cyber Tarot an electronic oracle of Douglas Rushkoff, the absolute dramatic Haha-Aa dramolette written by Klaus Ferentschik, Franziska Hufnagel´s alien harlequin, Marcus Haucke´s bewitching bibliomagic, Wolfgang Sterneck´s poetic echoing-texts, Malcolm Green´s mistery humor, Laura Mentxaka's invisible world, Pablo Denegri´s spiral sounds, the amazing mirrored angels Jongleurs of Brian Reffin Smith and Gorka de Duo´s kaleidoscopic ghost clowns video-instalation.
                                                       © Franziska Hufnagel. Ohne Titel.
                                                                        Oil in canvas. Berlin 2009

‘I don’t understand you,’ said Alice. ‘It’s dreadfully confusing!’
‘That’s the effect of living backwards,’ the Queen said kindly: ‘it always makes one a little giddy at first --
‘Living backwards!’ Alice repeated in great astonishment. ‘I never heard of such a thing!’
‘— but there’s one great advantage in it, that one’s memory works both ways.’
(Lewis Carrol - Alice through the Looking Glass)

You see, Kitty, it must have been either me or the Red King. He was part of my dream, of course

but then I was part of his dream, too!

                                                                                 (Lewis Carrol - Alice through the Looking Glass)


Text: Pablo Denegri


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