ACT VII: Of Facts and Fables

Witte de With is pleased to present two upcoming exhibitions in theMorality program begun in the Fall of 2009: Act VI: Remember Humanity, and Act VII: Of Facts and Fables. They open simultaneously on 12 May. Act VI runs until 29 August and Act VII continues until 26 September 2010.

There is a traditional distinction between the earth as the space of nature, and the world as the space of humanity. Fictions and abstractions belong to the world, as do thought and action. The fable, however, invariably returns to nature in search of motifs that are excluded from the principles and imperatives of morality: animals, plants, inanimate objects. Children are the fable’s ideal audience and are also exempt from the sphere of morality and moral imperatives, even if only temporarily – that is, for as long as they are children or remain ‘child-like.’ In this sense, that which is excepted from morality is susceptible to becoming an example – a negative example – of the seemingly chaotic and ‘anarchic’ state of nature. Animal behavior, for instance, is often mobilized by moralistic discourses in order to prove that the true nature of humanity is one of uninhibited impulses that morality is designed to set right.

Of Facts and Fables brings together a selection of works that mobilize this realm of exception, presenting a critical image of the world and its fictions, operating in a space of representation that relies on fabulous motifs. History, mysticism, fiction, and scientific discourse come together in this exhibition as both outmoded forms of thought, and as potential for new kinds of speculative critique.



Supported By

Maison Descartes and CulturesFrance.