Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Aspect Blindness: Arnold Kemp and Sreshta Rit Premnath (@ Art21)


As with Kemp’s artist’s book, Spirit and Image, Premnath’s Zero Knot presents a series of frames for historical and political realities which a reader/viewer must hold in their attention, where some frames negate or simply block out others. Much like Wittgenstein’s own rigorous linguistic-philosophical investigations, I encounter through Kemp and Premnath a discourse pragmatics in which what can’t be seen (or resolved) is as important as what is known through an enumeration of the facts. In the work of Kemp and Premnath, facts become only as good as their display and our position towards their display, and this prevents a kind of solipsism that art might otherwise induce. Skepticism overshadows solipsism, becoming a force for critical thinking and renewed reflection upon aporetic cultural encounter.

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