My friend/collaborator Sreshta Rit Premnath's solo show opens in Berlin this week, Storeys End, featuring a little essay I wrote for the catalogue. Here in an excerpt:
The exhibition Storeys End seems a culmination of Premnath's engagement with the Viennese philosopher, Ludwig Wittgenstein, who undoubtedly acts as a kind of muse for the artist. Like Wittgenstein, Premnath relishes philosophical, linguistic, and cultural aporia. In Storeys End, named after the address where Wittgenstein composed his posthumous text, On Certainty, and died shortly thereafter, the viewer is presented with a detective plot redolent with post-modernist obsessions.
Minimalism, Pop, and Conceptual Art offer Premnath an art historical language game, like so many of his generation who have returned to the "scene of the crime" of their parent and grandparent generations. But this game cum crime story also takes place between multiple media, which include photography, sculpture (the partial reconstruction of a kite designed by Wittgenstein in 1909), and painting.
Premnath's installation pushes against the limits of a particular universe of meaning, the work of art measuring the limits of a world-the personal and collective capability to understand in situ through a set of linguistic and visual propositions. By entering into the work, the viewer encounters the artifacts of the artist's research practice, which move seamlessly between philosophical speculation and humor. In the narrative tension of these objects, stories actually begin rather than end. Objects mark the mobile traces of our compulsion to make meaning faced with negation, absence, aporia, and gaps within signifying processes.