We see, we hear, we read, we exchange, and we get lost.
Curators: Isabel van Bos and Evelyn Simons
I Spy, I spy a little lie arose in response to growing frustrations regarding access to information and the valuation of knowledge. Recent events such as the Brexit referendum, undemocratic constitutional referendums in Poland and Turkey, and the presidential election of Donald Trump (which sparked the widespread usage of the term “fake news”), as well as the chaotic reception of the Catalan independence movement, created political turmoil and left the Western world perplexed and polarised. We ask: is it still possible to protect the truth in our contemporary democratic society? And, for that matter, has it ever been possible?
By re-examining the tools we use to communicate with one another, the works in this exhibition addressed how information and knowledge are shared today. In this era of digitalisation, virtualisation, and hyper information, reality exists on levels which seem to surpass our immediate perception. In extent, cyberspace or what we might call the “virtual world” is characterised by a continuous flux of information, facilitating the transfer of our ideas as well as the production of knowledge. In this context, online communities not only access and create content but also assess and regulate its quality. Are we able to protect ourselves from echo chambers, filter bubbles, covert political propaganda, and fake news within this self evaluating system?
An allusion made to ‘I spy’ (a game in which children are given clues of colour or shape in order to guess objects and thus develop their ability to categorise information) introduced the concept of play to the exhibition. What might have seemed like an innocent title at first glance, I spy, I spy a little lie evoked the idea that mere recognition of a dominant discourse does not grant access to truth, since such information is manipulated according to political policies, racial biases and consumerist agendas. Both individual and collective agency must be encouraged in order to refuse a passive citizenship where we would be reduced to the role of apathetic spectators.
For this project, the notion of play was activated through a scenographic intervention by the Italian collective Parasite 2.0, the graphic design by Roxanne Maillet (ERG Brussels), and further mediated in an educational program by Aurélie d’Incau.
Henry Andersen (KASK Ghent), Felix Breidenbach (Kunstakademie Düsseldorf), Alejandro Cerón (Dutch Art Institute Arnhem), Nicholas Hoffman (Staatliche Hochschule für Bildende Künste Städelschule Frankfurt am Main), Aurélie d’Incau (MAFAD Maastricht), Jesuus, (AKV | St. Joost Den Bosch), Tim Löhde (Kunstakademie Düsseldorf), José Montealegre (Staatliche Hochschule für Bildende Künste Städelschule Frankfurt am Main), Ektor Ntourakos (AKV | St. Joost Den Bosch), Johanna Odersky (Staatliche Hochschule für Bildende Künste Städelschule Frankfurt am Main), OJAI (Gary Farrelly (Sint-Lukas Brussels) & Chris Dreier), Nadia Perlov (Staatliche Hochschule für Bildende Künste Städelschule Frankfurt am Main), Maria Gil Ulldemolins (PXL MAD School of Arts Hasselt), and Remko Van der Auwera (Sint-Lukas Brussels).
Performances during opening
During the opening of the exhibition and on special performance evenings, there were special performances that were part of the exhibition: Colonial Cocktails by Alejandro Cerón, Office for Joint Administrative Intelligence (Gary Farrelly and Chris Dreier) and Word of Daucus, World of Doubt by Nicholas Hoffman
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