Painting

. . . The People Pt. 1

Gesso Artspace
Maria Lassnigstraße 33 1100 Wien

Opening 25 November 2022

www.gessoartspace.com / www.instagram.com/gesso.artspace

Julianne Montague Russell, 2022
Ink on paper
14 x 10 inches AP + 3

Intentions may change, but functions remain. Life is invariant, from microbe to plant to animal.

Although it may also be said of other species, the social organization of homo sapiens is unique.

It is the feeling of doing for a reason, with a specific result in mind and often driven by a picture of that held there, which constitutes a level of self-awareness characteristic of human beings.

Humans make artifacts, and pass them along. Within the realm of technics, what is daily becomes calendrical, becomes ancestral, becomes regime. These activities are semantic, and establish context.

It is here where communities of humans permit themselves to conceive of a society they collectively call The People.

It may be a mistake to say the fulfillment of purpose and the accretion of achievement are definitive. One would require the ability to see this, to say it, and to make it so, in the moments of doing and in those which follow that which is done. Yet the unsettling passage of time more often than not strips experience of its relationship to veracity. It turns the world into something it isn’t. Despite the imaginative abilities of those who live upon the earth, this reveals exactly what we, The People, perpetually lack: the skills to resist remaking the world into something else, while effacing that which it already is.

In considering the spaces between social realism and social media, what else is there but creativity and history? And the means by which these concepts are expressed? When dialectics may be subsumed within the structure of works themselves, and while understanding that modernity is indeed an unfinished project, what is revealed are the limits of a materialism which give way to the ideation involved in making said works. The emotional valence of abstraction is made plain. This implies something akin to what may be understood as becoming ‘meta-modern’, where foresight, plan, and execution might seamlessly coincide.

In other words, it is the ideas which are the works.

Of course, this is a paradox— one of the oldest ones, it seems— but it is our tools which allow us to establish this position, and to create a record of knowledge based upon what is grasped, which in turn may stand as the accounting of events inscribed at local levels.

How many places are there to be found for that which might exist in the world? Might the world be apprehended as that which simply is, with all being relative to the desires of ineffable expression at any given moment?

This is but one of the tasks which appears before The People today. In passing, what is said, what is done, and what remains will become their testament to the days lived here.

Mike Zahn
22 November 2022

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