Coming to Reality
SVIT (Nová síň), Prague 
July 1 – July 19 2014

Curated by Fionn Meade 

Nina Beier, Jiri Kovanda, Eva Kot'átková, Lukas Jasansky and Martin Polak 

Press release PDF 

Exhibition brochure PDF 

Coming to Reality was simulantiously on view at Futura. 

Coming to Reality was presented simultaneously across two venues, Futura and the historic Galerie Nová síň. A renowned gallery in the centre of Prague, Nová síň is known for its perfectly diffused daylight, the abstemiousness of its Functionalist space, and the fact that it is conveniently located near the National Theatre. The gallery's tradition is closely linked with the creative Union of Creative Artists (Jednota umělců výtvarných), whose roots reach back as far as 1898. Exhibitions of Czech art from all areas are exhibited here.

Coming To Reality

Where to find an exit from the transcendent ego, Descartes’ infamous Cogito ergo sum? How to see a turn from consciousness grounded in Kant’s “I”, the One as analytic self-consciousness becoming a systemic rational?

The Dutch philosopher Baruch Spinoza (a vocal critic of Descartes in his own time) was exiled from his own Sephardic community of Amsterdam as a young man for decrying the existence of a providential God. Subsequently, Spinoza used Ladino, the Spanish idiom spoken by Sephardim, only once in his written work, to introduce the archaic phrase “pasearse” which literally means “to walk-oneself.” A loose translation into modern Spanish would be “pasear” or “dar un paseo,” to take a walk, but the archaic form insisted upon by Spinoza is both agent and patient, active and passive, an infinitive that refers the agent to herself as immanently present and therefore cause: “to visit oneself” and “to show oneself visiting.”

Why is this important? Because it is the split of self without duality that Spinoza claims in “pasearse,” a turning outward and inward at the same time, the becoming of self in the infinitive form, a coming to. But how far we are from Amsterdam! Wrapped in our new reality—one composed of images—the blind spot of moving at the same speed now makes us one. Marketable. Marketed. Mined. Me. Kein Eingang.

And still the dead dream of the low-living share. Crossed eyes, look again. Crossed mouths, felt again. Bad copies all of them. It’s the burn of it calls us forward, second nature. Coming to.

                                                                                               – Fionn Meade
Copryright Fionn Meade unless otherwise stated