International 2012 Archives
Unfinished Journeys is inspired by a number of the National Museum's most recent acquisitions, the impressive nine-
One of the core pieces in the exhibition is the second part of Bas Jan Ader's "In Search of the Miraculous". Planned as a three part project almost like a conceptual research into the topos of the romantic journey typical of the 'Bildungsroman', Ader's quest turned into that of the tragic hero, not least due to his disappearance at sea. In this context, the exhibition takes an existentialist approach, which deals with the final refuge of the romantic, the utopian, the idealistic and the miraculous. This may seem anachronistic in our disillusioned or pragmatic post-
Exhibition 16 March -
© ArtCatalyse International / Marika Prévosto 2012. All Rights Reserved
It has been argued that in the 21st century we are all chimeras, hybrids, "illegitimate bastards" who can no longer draw upon an original comprehensive history. We are marked by different languages and incompatible patterns of socialization. Thus the idea of a rooted identity, of an essentialist concept of identity as essence and origin of the subject, has to be substituted with an image of the subject as constituted by the routes it has traveled. So the question "Where are you from?" should be replaced by "Where have you traveled?" or even "Where are you traveling?" Identity is a journey that is unfinished. The title of the exhibition "Unfinished Journeys" can be seen as an extended metaphor for the problem of identity formation. Many artists in the exhibition deal with the questions of identity as explicitly geographical spatial expeditions. Their journeys to real and imagined places show us life as a restless voyage of discovery, both literally and metaphorically. Unfinished Journeys shows us that Heimweh (homesickness) and Fernweh (the longing for distant places) are not in fact two diametrically opposed emotions but two sides of the same problem. Their main common denominator is the notion of longing to find oneself. Robert Smithson's return to his home town Passaic is a voyage of discovery no less restless than the search for a place to belong in Adrian Paci's Klodi, Åsdam's abysmal odyssey around the transforming neighbourhoods near the construction sites for the Olympic Games in London, or Rosa Barba's expedition to a "real-
The artists : Bas Jan Ader, Francis Alÿs, Chantal Akerman, Knut Åsdam, Rosa Barba, Rui Calçada Bastos, Stanley Brouwn, Kristina Bræin, Tacita Dean, Marine Hugonnier, Isaac Julien, Runo Lagomarsino, Helen Mirra, Adrian Paci, Robert Smithson, Fiona Tan.