Short Review

Routes to What Is Not There



The work consists in a series of instructions which guide the reader’s movement on invisible paths through any given space. It can be any kind of environment, from an art exhibition to a domestic space, public space or another outdoor location. Through the instructions, the experience of that which is present is shaped by that which is not, while the imagination of things not present is confronted with the awareness of the physical space around. Where does one place oneself in relation to what is not there and how precise can this placement be? How can distances be measured if visibility cannot provide support? Through the movements of the participants, the routes drawn through the text become embodied actions, drawing new trajectories in the room. The work is part of the project ‘Preliminary Remarks on the Study of What Is Not There’, grounded in long-term investigations into the idea of a reality not accessible to observation. This reality is increasingly central to current discussions around realism in the philosophy of science, as a result of the growing presence of unobservable objects in scientific research, challenging the empirical foundations of the natural sciences established at the beginning of modernity. Equally, the idea of a supersensible reality, existing in itself, independently from the way it presents itself to sensibility, is returning to the centre of debates in contemporary philosophy, as part of a new realist turn. The project questions art’s relation to these other fields of knowledge in exploring its own metaphysical grounds. The series of instructions ‘Routes to What Is Not There’ can take the form of a text script or an audio guide. It is complemented by the other works in the project: ‘Preliminary Remarks on the Study of What Is Not There’, a performance which takes the form of a guided tour amongst all the things not present in the space where it is presented, ‘All the Things Which Are Not There’, a site-responsive installation which maps the invisible maps or previous locations in which the performance took place, and ‘Methods for the Study of What Is Not There’, a series of medium format photographs which introduces actions of measuring, classifying, dividing, belonging to the process of scientific methodology, but faced with an absence.
  • Year: 2020
  • Volume: 4 Issue: 1
  • Page/Article: 13
  • DOI: 10.5334/mjfar.85
  • Published on 20 Nov 2020
  • Peer Reviewed