Ranging from almost perfect transparency to complete opacity, crystals have been used in all areas of human activity, from science to magic, from technology to healing. Scientists typically describe crystals as “growing”, even though in their eyes they are not alive. Many living organisms are able to produce crystals. In ancestral cultures, crystals and minerals are regarded as sentient, constituting a perfect example of the fluid and porous boundaries between the animate and inanimate, organic and inorganic. Taking crystals as a point of departure, the exhibition goes beyond their emblematic use. Rather it aims to develop an ecosystem with diverse entanglements of the production, display, and recycling of the artistic, curatorial, and institutional work.
Interested in the imperfect contaminated transparencies of crystals and opacities of the soil, the project’s pre-Covid-19 stage critically intersected with ideas from two books, “Down to Earth” by Bruno Latour and “The Transparency Society” by Byung-Chul Han. However, the pandemic shied and bent many of the initial questions, which moved en masse into public discussions, providing new perspectives and points of view. Working through today’s conditions, Crystal Clear offers the artists the possibility of engaging with these and other current mutations of our environment, seen through the crystalline optics.
The catalog accompanying the exhibition features the curatorial text of Elena Sorokina, Bruno Latour's article invitinge the reader to review the changing habits after the pandemic, an essay by the art historian Spyros Papapetros on the structure and vitality of crystals, and the artist Katy'daya Catitu Tayassu’s article that reads crystals from an animist and inter-sensory perspective, establishing connections between the subjectivity of the artists and the sensitivities of the crystals. Finally, descriptions and images of the works of the artists participating in the exhibition are presented.
Publication Date: 2020
Number of Pages: 183
İnan & İpek Kıraç
8 Seeing the Pandemic in a Crystal Ball
32 What Protective Measures Can You Think of So We Don’t Go Back to the Pre-crisis Production Model?
42 Living Crystals and Mineral Snakes
52 Crystalicity: The Subjectivity and Sensitivity of Crystals
Katy’taya Catitu Tayassu
Sammy Baloji, Minia Biabiany, Katinka Bock, Bianca Bondi, Gaelle Choisne, Kıymet Daştan, Elmas Deniz, Sinem Dişli, Gluklya (Natalia Pershina-Yakimanskaya), Deniz Gül, Ilana Halperin, Gülsün Karamustafa, Yazan Khalili, Paul Maheke, Şener Özmen, İz Öztat, Hale Tenger, Güneş Terkol, Berkay Tuncay, Adrien Vescovi
In collaboration with all the participating artists, Crystal Clear devised methods and tools for sustainable curating, going beyond just thinking about ecology or sustainability, but rather inventing and enacting principles allowing the reduction of the carbon footprint of exhibition making: radical limits on the shipping of objects, local collaborative production of exhibited work, creative recycling strategies, and extremely reduced travel for all the participants.
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