Episode 1

The symbolic efficiency of the frame
Episode 1 Curated by: Joa Ljungberg and Edi Muka

Participating artists:
Franz Ackermann / Jane Alexander / Silva Agostini / Yael Bartana / Kimberly Clark / Gazmend Ejupi / Cao Fei / Yang Fudong / Shilpa Gupta / Jun Nguyen-Hatsushiba / Thomas Hirschhorn / Adam Leech / Ardian Isufi / Tala Madani / Ursula Mayer / Oskar Mörnerud / Erik Olofsen / Adrian Paci / Anila Rubiku / Alexander Vaindorf

We take this notion as a starting point to enter a discussion about the complex nature and shifting appearance of ”the real”. Independently from which angle we look or what methodology we employ – be it scientific, aesthetic or philosophical – what interest us are the gaps and disjunctions that minifest themselfs in this ongoing process of perception. A ”frame” is something we use in order to define, descern or cut off in order to highlight, and the process of enframing is our way to relate to this seemingly shrinking, but still ungraspable, globalised world.

When talking about reality and its appearances in his book ”The Parallax View”, the philosopher Salvoj Zizek mentions the example of a theatre-like structure, built on the South Korean border and opening like a window towards the North Korean part, and he asks: ”Is this not a pure case of the symbolic efficiency of the frame as such? A barren zone is given a fantasmatic status, elevated into a spectacle, soley by being enframed. Nothing substantially changes here – it is just that, viewed through the frame, reality turns into its own appearance.” He continues further on by saying that: ”...it is not enough to display the mechanisms behind the frame, the stage effect within the frame aquires an autonomy of its own.”

How are we then to read our current condition and recent past? Are we to believe in the jolly promise of a forthcoming ”consensual world”, depicted by many as the unavoidable future of a post-political world? Or should we reluctantly try to ”re-frame” the picture put in front of us? How far can cognitive sciences take us in processes of knowing the self, identity formation and other onological problems? Is there a way to look beyond the ”frame”, to reach a more multilayered reading of reality?