apexart :: Marta Kuzma :: Drafting Deceit

Drafting Deceit
curated by Marta Kuzma

Drafting Deceit modestly approaches the construction of delusion as a deliberate gesture that infers a particular performability located in the purposeful drafting of the illusory. In deciphering and unraveling the delusion, it is art's privilege to reveal, as Nabokov believed, the intent of deception as an instrument for the coercive. In turning back upon its own materiality, it is through art's making, through its staged matrix, that allows for the semblance of the truth.

November 17 - December 22, 2004

291 Church St. New York, NY 10013

Wed, Nov 17, 6-8 pm
opening reception

Thurs, Nov 18, 6:30-8:30 pm
gallery talk: Marta Kuzma, Sven Augustijnen and Johannes Kahrs with screening of Dark Side of the Moon by William Karel

during reception and gallery talk
special screening of work by João Maria Gusmão and Pedro Paiva: The Imparticular Man, On the ParaMagnetism, The Stroll by the Zone and The Impenetrable Stone

Artists: Sven Augustijnen, Michaël Borremans, Johannes Kahrs, Marije Langelaar and Mark Manders, Paul McCarthy and Mike Kelley, Kirsten Pieroth


Marta Kuzma brochure

download pdf of exhibition brochure

download press release

Marije Langelaar and Mark Manders,
Birthday-scene for Jara, 2002

Unlike anything human, art lays claim to being unable to lie, and thus it is compelled to lie.-Theodor Adorno

You put your left hand in, you put your left hand out,
You put your right hand in, and you shake it all about,
You do the hokey pokey and you turn yourself around,
That's what its all about.

From a popular American game of gesture

This. Is Not a Poem.

Perhaps it is unfortunate that within the mystical allegory of poetic space, we, as humans, cannot be replaced by abstractions for which we stand. Faulted by physicality, we are driven to assume a presence not merely out of a desire to chart the coordinates of place but to follow our pure intuition to formulate the amorphous around us — as a lived and vectored category consumed by gestures rendered at times with decisive caution and, at others, with murderous instinct. This habitual inclination to announce ourselves as present, as here and now in the whatever, leads us to draft the blueprint for the hierarchy of organized social structures, super systems, and all the possible political, social, human, and theological tyrannies of history.
In our two hands we find the appendages that seek out to depart from personal inwardness to intervene into a field that is no longer our own. We do so in order to begin to build concepts and epresentations and to seek out abstract and sensuous content. In this exploration of self in relation to place, our shortsightedness is in the assumption that we are symmetrical two sided beings. Subsequently, we gesture into the world in an incongruent way failing to understand the difference between the left and the right, imbalanced and swayed by our inherent bilaterality that places us as much in the world among things as within ourselves.
As a pivot extended spatially into many dimensions, our body launches into a performative and kinesthetic livedout space further innervated by human intuition to take detours and deviations from the habitual. In this framework, the process of thought rests not on the understanding of time as a linear continuum but as a move that is altogether lifted out of a chronology of the narrative into the ambiguity of poetics. Beyond Cartesian subjects, we are molded in relation to experiences informed by alienation and the fear of possible annihilation that extend our logic from merely the definitive. Isn’t this why we have stopped to demand that our belief be supported by proof?
We are delineated by truth and by opinion. In rationalizing the authority over what we perceive as the truth, we adopt delusional strategies in the form of instructions, faulted codes and rituals, legislation and dictates to produce spin-offs of the real . There is nothing in art that does not derive from the world. And yet if art feels a compulsion to lie, it may do so boldly without the need to find an excuse. In the complexities of its staged matrix, art may gradually unravel the irony of tactics and strategies to those of us who are in an intoxicated state of deflection.
Contrary to the human subject, art is not bound to the paranoia of finitude or selfconsciousness although art does behave like a human subject. Partly the organization of materials and partly technology, art additionally holds ambiguous matter that allows it to claim a special authority as art. In its gesture toward freedom, it may share what is common to most functionally driven objects. However, this gesture in art projects a future as an overcoming of the antinomies of the present to locate the site where the place and nature of change may be staged.
The sustainability of a work of art relates also to a conception of historical time that provides for an understanding between a work’s internal organization and its external projection. This gap between the world and the work is what returns the work to reckon with the past, so that the present be freed from the hold of the past to the extent that the past does not determine the present’s self-conception. This striving for, this potential, is what enables art to transcend beyond the here and now and to seek out what Adorno refers to as "the something more" or the "crackling noise" that extends beyond the work's rational construction as art's apparition. Its apparition doesn't entail something phantasmagorical as if to illicit the image of ghostly "something mores" wandering into infinitude throughout Valery's museum and mausoleum. Art's cunning is the sense of irony with which it sabotages anything illusory.
In its animate behavior, Adorno has claimed that art is a “picture puzzle, in that what it hides, as in the work of Edgar Allen Poe, is visible, and by being visible, it is at once hidden.” As a riddle, finding the solution is not necessarily the point of course as none exits. Instead, we are led to pose additional questions that return us to the work time and again. The ability for a work of art to display the infinite in the finite is the way art displays the key to its survival and its performability. As human subjectivity becomes invested in the work as an object, it endows the meaning of the object, redirecting human subjectivity into a non-futile form. This explains the simple trick as to how aesthetic intuition is intellectual intuition made objective.

Oksana Pasaiko -
November 3. 2004
(translated by Marta Kuzma)

Marta Kuzma was most recently Co-curator of Manifesta 5, 2004 (San Sebastian, Spain)

apexart's exhibitions and programs are supported in part by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, the Kettering Family Foundation, the Peter Norton Family Foundation, Altria Group, Inc., and with public funds from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York City Department for Cultural Affairs, and the New York State Council on the Arts, a State agency. This exhibition received support from the Experimental Television Center and the Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany in New York.

This brochure was supported in part by The Elizabeth Firestone Graham Foundation and was designed by ROMA. Heidi image courtesy Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI), New York.