Doublethink

VISA 480 Theory Class Group Exhibitions

Reception: Friday December 4th, 4-7pm
December 2-5, 2009
Hours: Wednesday-Saturday noon-4pm
Gallery located in room 112, Koerner Library, 1958 Main Mall, UBC, Vancouver

The gallery located in room 112, Koerner Library presents the work of students from VISA 480 in a two-part exhibition. The class, split in two, proposes thematics to each other and formulates two group exhibitions. Doublethink is the second exhibition running from Wednesday December 2 – Saturday December 5, 2009.

The power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them… To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then, when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just so long as it is needed, to deny the existence of objective reality and all the while to take account of the reality which one denies – all this is indispensably necessary. Even in using the word doublethink it is necessary to exercise doublethink. For by using the word one admits that one is tampering with reality; by a fresh act of doublethink one erases this knowledge; and so on indefinitely, with the lie always one leap ahead of the truth.
George Orwell. Nineteen Eighty-Four. (Martin Secker & Warburg Ltd, London) 1949. 220.

As the globe undergoes a continuous transformation, where space and time are compressed through various technologies, we are burdened with the necessity of consuming a constructed reality, this much we know. We are delivered rapid-fire news, images, and stories that must first pass through our own sensory sieve.  This has sparked our interest in the orchestrated reality that is composed and performed for us and by us on a daily basis.

While Orwell’s seminal novel may offer a vision of the future that seems at the very least hyperbolic, it also offers some startling insights into the nature of the forces that construct our own reality. With this in mind, Doublethink brings together the work of twelve artists whose that’ range from childhood experience to time travel to choreography to the occult.

As reference to the ways in which Orwellian language leads to a concomitant sanitization of thought, Doublethink proposes to explore the processes by which our thinking – as a society as well as individuals – only seems natural, when in fact it is profoundly not our own. At what point do our mind and our body cease to communicate with one another? How does this affect our ability to perceive the world around us? To what extent are our interactions based on reaction to earnest experience, as opposed to embedded notions of propriety? What is the role of language in all of this? As artists, how might we imagine art as having the ability to expose the forces that shape our world so profoundly, when art, in turn, may be just another product of this invisible agenda? And most importantly, who is driving this thing?

Image: Hands of the Puppeteer, Tina Modotti (1929)