14 July - 20 August 2011
THE FOX brings together the work of four artists—Oskar Hüber (Germany), Yam Lau (Canada), Sophie Nys (Belgium) and Kevin Rodgers (Canada)—under the simple proposition: that thinking is always out of order.
It is only when thinking interrupts our ordinary activities—and is in turn, interrupted by them—that we can say thinking is out of order. In 1961 political theorist Hannah Arendt published Between Past and Future, and in the preface she drew attention to the temporal ‘intervals’ within our daily continuity determined by “things that are no longer, and by things that are not yet.” This opening or ‘gap’ between past and future is full of potentiality; for Arendt, it was a metaphor for the activity of thought itself.
Through engagements with language and its subtraction, parables and sculpture, Hüber, Lau, Nys and Rodgers directly explore this notion of the interval. Additionally, the exhibition indirectly examines the relationship between two controversial figures of twentieth century thought: Hannah Arendt and her former teacher and lover Martin Heidegger. “Nobody knows the nature of traps better than one who sits in a trap his whole life long,” Arendt once said of the philosopher. He, in turn, never wrote a public word on her.
In this exhibition, the artists do not describe nor attempt to explain this ‘intellectually toxic relationship’. Instead, their works set up a relation between a philosopher of withdrawal and a theorist of the public. Questioning the mutual opposition of retreat and engagement—or of formal content and discontent—the artist’s works operate in the interrupted space between. They speak two languages simultaneously: the language of the hermetic and that of the direct.