Vectors of the Possible
From 12 September to 28 November 2010 BAK, basis voor actuele kunst presents the group exhibition Vectors of the Possible, curated by freelance curator and critic Simon Sheikh, with works by Matthew Buckingham, chto delat/What is to be done?, Freee, Sharon Hayes, Runo Lagomarsino & Johan Tirén, Elske Rosenfeld, Hito Steyerl, and Ultra-red. In addition to a number of the participating artists, curator Simon Sheikh is present at the opening, where he discusses various conceptual starting points for the exhibition and responds to questions raised by the project.
The exhibition Vectors of the Possible examines the notion of the horizon in art and politics and explores the ways in which art works can be said to set up certain horizons of possibility and impossibility, how art partakes in specific imaginaries, and how it can produce new ones, thus suggesting other ways of imagining the world. Counter to the post-1989 sense of resignation, curator Simon Sheikh suggests that in the field of art, it is the horizon—as an “empty signifier,” an ideal to strive towards, and a “vector of possibility”—that unites political struggles and gives them a direction. The art works in this exhibition can be seen as vectors, reckoning possibility and impossibility in (un)equal measures, but always detecting and indicating ways of seeing, and of being, in the world. The exhibition Vectors of the Possible thus suggests what can be termed an ontology of the horizon, of its placement and function within political imaginaries.
Vectors of the Possible is a research exhibition within the framework of the project FORMER WEST, an international research, education, publishing, and exhibition undertaking (2008–2013). In its consideration of the notion of the horizon, the exhibition is conceptually linked to both the 2nd FORMER WEST Research Congress in Istanbul (4–6 November 2010) and On Horizons: A Critical Reader in Contemporary Art, the fourth publication in BAK’s Critical Reader Series (forthcoming February 2011).