Now it can dawn on us: we are our world knowing itself. We can relinquish our separateness. We can come home again—and participate in our world in a richer, more responsible and poignantly beautiful way than before, in our infancy. Because of the journey, we undertook to distance ourselves from our world; it is no longer undifferenced from us. It can appear to us now both as self and as lover. Relating to our world with the full measure of our being, we partake of the qualities of both
Joanna Macy, World as Lover, World as Self, Parallex Press: 2007
Inroduction to World as Lover, World as Self
Inspired by environmental activist, and Buddhist philosopher Joanna Macy, World As Lover World As Self turns to contemporary art to help us to “relinquish our separateness” and take account of the “residue” of the world that we think we know. Our program does through the concept of defamiliarization as a means to “turn the familiar strange” to redefine the self and our subsequent community. Defamiliarization, or aesthetic distance, is a literary and artistic technique coined by Russian Formalists during the outbreak of the 1918 flu pandemic. According to the formalists, the technique uses language in a way that ordinary objects are made to be reconsidered, that what is in front of us might surpass our assumptive narratives. It is a process of transformation through language to change perception. It is urgent. How can bodies, technologies and modes be taken outside of predefined cultural presumptions in order to de-categorise? To shapeshift, to morph, to glimmer, to shimmer. In this program, we estrange, not to create a ‘foreign’ or ‘other’ but to radically rethink community, to engage with the World as Lover, and as Self.
Exhibition chaptersChapter 1: City Pollen by Magali ReusOver the course of the next year we have invited several artists for exhibition chapters that fade in and out of each other. As a format, we see the chapters crossing over as similar to the crossfade in film or in music. The artworks will intermingle, creating entangled relationships and networks of associations. More information on all the artists and contributors will be announced as the program unfolds.