with works by:
Athanasios Argianas, Adriana Arroyo, Paul Blanca, Bastiaan Bosma, Jake & Dinos Chapman, Nik Christensen, Shezad Dawood, Maurice van Es, Wayne Horse, Dustin Pevey, Peter Schuyff
As Camus' Mythe of Sisyphus demonstrates, the realization of the loss of meaning in modern life is combined with a strong reactive attitude. Camus shows how the very nature of human beings is to keep searching for meaning, even after the consciousness of its lost. This contrast between the absence of meaning and the need of searching for one, creates a struggle, a contradiction, resulting in absurd irony (Sisyphus, for instance, was meant to be in pain, his condition was a result of a punishment, he wasn’t supposed to find exultance and meaning within his penalty).But the intrinsic irony which shines through Camus’ narrative has a deeper implication than just being a result or an allusion. Reflecting upon the meaning and use of Irony in important absurdistic works, not only the mythe of sysiphus but also kafka’s romans or Socrates apology, for instance, irony comes across not just as an attitude, or a de facto behavior, but also as a middle. The ironic characteristic of Sisyphus ‘victory’ takes the reader to a new level of understanding: if sisyphus is able to find meaning in the act itself, while searching for one, the same could be done by every single human being. The same happens in Socrates work: his philosophical methodology consists in asking ironic questions to different people; only by doing that he can analyse and correct conceptual conceptual questions of the everyday life.
In both cases, so, we see a specific employment of irony: irony is used in absurdistic works as a trigger for understanding. An ironic attitude, or an ironic fact, thus, is not just a simple giving, but it’s a necessary starting point in the search towards meaning. In art, irony covers the same function, but together with understanding it also triggers creativity. It is through the employment of irony that artist’s give form to matter, they ask questions in a formal way, and try to translate them in a concrete way: shaping becomes the creative process of asking.
The last chapter of our Absurde trilogy will represent the concretization of this unique middle of irony. Each and every artist of the show will expose their own attempt to ask, using irony as the begin for their creative journey towards meaning.