A newly coined term–like all others–faces an uncertain future. Will the wording be picked up by the masses and inflict itself in the language to mean something in the future? Or does it have a meaning now? The artists for the Reduction to Satire exhibition were invited to respond to what they think the newly coined term might mean, or how it resonates within their current practices. Borrowed from two distinct disciplines of knowledge production, namely applied mathematics and literature, the methodology of reducing to absurdity–to prove its negation as false–in order to confirm the truth of the assumption juxtaposed with the methodology of employing humor, irony, exaggeration and ridicule in order to make known something that holds truth.
The thematic umbrella of the online exhibition curated in the form of an automatic flipping online magazine finds its reflections in the 29 works selected from 21 artists participating from across the globe*. A geo-historic stratification of the use of absurd and dark humor culminates in the pages of the magazine–a reel of sorts that brings together paintings, drawings, sculpture and video, that showcases abstract and figurative depictions of artistic expression. The magazine, instead of hosting curatorial texts composed for each artist**, publishes 21 Haiku poems that are formed through a ritual that the curator employed for each and every time while holding the artworks in her mind's eye.
Reduction to Satire, is a quest for the depiction of the real; an inquiry into the nature of truths we live in, with and through; a reflection of our times that are scarred with wars, social and political turmoil, induced by fear and anxiety, a sense of separateness and isolation. It is an urge that is charged by instinct to play, to engage with the world that is surrounding us through the eyes of others, different viewpoints and ways of thinking. It is a proposition to lift the weighing blanket of hardships, struggle, trauma–not to deny it, but to form a different relationship to it, so that other ways of being emerge…
Hereby, I thank all the artists who have submitted their works, and all the galleries for their support. Our selection was guided by a cadence of principles, where analytical thinking and non-repeating patterns of recognition were employed.
*Reduction to Satire’s curatorial framework was published in four languages, to increase the dissemination of the open call to artists who do not speak English as their first language. Thanks to the NADA team for the Spanish translation and Tobias Hering for the German translation. Timing and resources played a role in publishing the concept in more than four languages.
**Texts included in the online magazine that informs about the artist and the selected works are resourced from the artists and their representing galleries.