‘Seeing’ says John Berger, ‘comes before the words.’
‘Wrong!’ Says the evangelist. ‘In the beginning was the Word.’
‘Both wrong!’ says the poet Shelley, refuting the very notion of priority. Not the seeing before the Word, not the Word before the seeing, but a simultaneity of perception and creation; the thing outside no sooner apprehended than it has become the thing inside. […]
To the modernist question - Is there anything out there before the artist puts it there? - Shelley offers, for my money, the only rational answer: yes and no.
‘And that’s the story of this exhibition,’ proclaimed the Exhibitions Secretary of the Royal Academy of Arts in a recent interview. […]
An extract from ‘Seeing with the Ear’ by Howard Jacobson, 1993: Claridge Press.
Feel the Discourse! was an exhibition that brought together visual art and contemporary writing in an attempt to perform criticism in a different way to the one we usually encounter in the art gallery. Principally by divesting the author from the task of reviewing the whole exhibition; instead the writers are invited to turn their attention to a single artist.
The artists whose work was displayed and written about are Babi Badalov, Cornelia Baltes, Tom Benson, Fran Meana, Sebastian Rozenberg and Madalina Zaharia. The writers involved are Sarah Jury, Michael Lawton, David Price, Koen Sels, Kerry Tyrrell and Astrid Korporaal.
Feel the Discourse! was a combination of an exhibition of the artworks, a display of the writings and a series of events amongst which was a presentation of the exhibition by Sebastian Rozenberg, a performance composed by Tamara Kuselman based on certain elements of the artworks, and a breakfast discussion with Fine Art students from The Sir John Cass Faculty of Art, Architecture and Design.
The exhibition aims to create a space of consciousness in Guest Projects, inviting the viewers/readers to participate in the meaning-making, as they are aware that the works on display will be written about.
Ultimately, a publication will be produced in collaboration with the book-maker Patricia Vega, leaving a trace of the exhibition and of its writing.
For more information, please contact Cristina Ramos, curator