Trebuchet 12: Realities. Featuring Tavares Strachan, Nazir Tanbouli, Sofia Crespo, Mark Tansey, Nathalie Djurberg & Hans Berg, Mitch Griffiths, Tai Shani, Brad Evans, Tony Cragg, Damien Hirst, and Jake & Dinos Chapman. Shipping late November 2022.
“Language infects us: its power derives not from its straightforward ability to communicate or persuade but rather from this infectious nature, this power of bits of language to graft itself onto other bits of language, spreading and reproducing, using human beings as hosts.”—Bernardo Attias (2003)
Reality is a language, and language is a virus.
When someone talks about reality they are saying this is the way they see the real. Separate to opinion, reality is a realm of action, potentials and truths bolstered by facts, but expressed and mediated by language. Art is a language, a tool for structuring and sharing experiences, and when it works it communicates something essential: a convincing and ever mutating reality.
The artists and thinkers featured in this issue are, simultaneously, questioning given realities and proposing ways of moving forward. Trebuchet : Realities asks how these artists construct reality in terms of the logos of a work, how they make it work itself and seem convincing to the viewer. How they make it real. Sometimes the answer is to reflect existing assumptions but ask ‘what if?’ and sometimes artists create something new that resonates in the viewer with such force that it changes how we see the world. As artists, if you want to convince someone of your work’s reality you must change their perception of what, and how they see. If not then it’s not art, it’s decoration.
The realities presented here are viral pathways that summon new potentialities on visceral levels: visual, social, sensual, sexual, racial and linguistic, by saying ‘Hey look at it this way’.
But explanations are only part of the story. When it works, art connects us to something challenging and new, electrified with the feeling of visceral truth, when a reality becomes real.
Read more in Trebuchet 12: Realities
Tavares Strachan, Nazir Tanbouli, Sofia Crespo, Mark Tansey, Nathalie Djurberg & Hans Berg, Mitch Griffiths, Tai Shani, Brad Evans, Tony Cragg, Damien Hirst, and Jake & Dinos Chapman
Cover photo: Mitch Griffiths, The Verified One, 2018. Photo: Tom Carter Photography Ltd., Courtesy of Mitch Griffiths/Halcyon Gallery © Mitch Griffiths 2022
Attias, Bernardo. 2003. who writes? scattered speculations on scholarship in cyberspace. https://scholarworks.calstate.edu/downloads/1j92gb88z