© Image taken from: https://u10.rs/2024/epistemological-plumbing/

EXHIBITION: Epistemological Plumbing

OPENING: 11/07/2024, 20.00

Dana Andrei & Sorin Popescu, Dragoș Bădiță, Ioan Grosu,

Lucian Indrei, Alexandra Mocan, musz, Matei Toșa

Curated by Jovana Trifuljesko

Dismantling a system isn’t an act of formal epistemology. Instead, we need to look closely at the details that make up the system – only then can we understand the real, or better yet the “truth” behind it. We are not to philosophise about concrete things; we are to philosophise, rather, out of these things. This process of examination and deconstruction inherently exposes our vulnerabilities – both individual and collective – as we confront the limitations of our understanding. Although it stands that some people are afraid to let go of the familiar system, even if it’s flawed – they cling to comfort and security, even if it limits them. As philosopher Theodor Adorno suggests, Men are afraid that in losing this magic they would lose everything, because the only happiness they know, even in thought, is to be able to hold on to something—the perpetuation of unfreedom.[1]

With its almost comically juxtaposed title, “Epistemological Plumbing” allows the high and the low-brow to coexist, affirming certain philosophical frameworks while simultaneously unblocking their application in the sphere of reality. The exhibition invites viewers to explore the intricate systems through which we acquire, process, and share knowledge and experiences, while also acknowledging the vulnerabilities inherent in these systems. Through a diverse array of media – including photography, drawing, installation, painting, and digital art – the selected artworks share a common thread: they expose moments of sensitivity as a tool to not only initiate conversation but to create emancipatory potential. Each piece affirms existing systems and structures while leaving space for hope and new understanding to emerge.

This exhibition showcases artworks from Romanian artists Dana Andrei & Sorin Popescu, Dragoș Bădiță, Ioan Grosu, Lucian Indrei, Alexandra Mocan, musz and Matei Toșa. Their individual practices vary across different media, thematic areas and ways of expressing their spheres of interest, but what connects them inside the U10 Art Space is this notion that we as viewers are exposed to moments of personal, societal, familial and collective vulnerability. 

In essence, “Epistemological Plumbing” presents a collective exploration of human fragility and resilience across various dimensions of experience. Each artist, through their unique approach, contributes to a broader dialogue about the complexities inherent in our quest for understanding and connection. The artworks in this exhibition serve as intuitive counterpoints to our logical systems of understanding, reminding us, as Adorno suggests, of the limitations in our processes of cognition.[2] They act as ‘blind spots’ that prevent reason from becoming a mere reflection of arbitrariness, instead opening up spaces for deeper, more nuanced understanding.

Together, these works express the need for earnestness, authenticity, and genuine human connection. They challenge us to reconsider our ‘epistemological plumbing’ – the ways we filter, process, and share our experiences and knowledge. By exposing the fissures and inconsistencies in our systems of understanding, the exhibition encourages us to find strength in acknowledging our shared human condition. In the spirit of Adorno’s thought, these artworks offer a kind of ‘non-arbitrary memory’ – intuitive, emotional, and deeply personal reflections that seek to heal the arbitrary nature of our logical thought processes. They remind us that true understanding often lies beyond the realm of pure reason, in the nuanced and often uncertain spaces of human experience.

Jovana Trifuljesko

[1] Adorno, Theodor W. Negative Dialectics. 1966. London, Routledge, 2015. page 33

[2] Adorno, Theodor W. Against Epistemology : A Metacritique : Studies in Husserl and the Phenomenological Antinomies. Cambridge, Mass., Mit Press, 1983. page 46

Further information: https://u10.rs/2024/epistemological-plumbing/