Fluiten in het Donker – A project by de Appel Curatorial Programme 2010/11

You whistle – and ask, am I alone in here?

A whistle emanates from the gut, proceeding to circulate beyond the body, as an absent presence that is felt rather than seen. Whistling in the dark — a nonchalant gesture set within an anxious environment; to summon your courage in the face of projected danger.

In the Netherlands, we find ourselves placed at a critical juncture. Much has been said on the rise of nationalist sentiments and populism, the economic down-turn, Islamophobia and an entrenched identity crisis. Yet the mental impact of this social upheaval remains concealed beneath a rationalist impulse.

We seem to be moving from a post-9/11 culture of fear toward an ambit of collective paranoia. As the known grows unfamiliar, allegations and accusations masquerade as reason. Anxieties give way to perpetual vigilance. Unlike fear, paranoia becomes a destructive plot that turns against itself. It remains diffused, conflated and replicated – under the skin.

We talk compulsively to hide uneasy silences, we whistle to posture ourselves whilst facing an all-encompassing darkness – an everyday that is a minefield of paradoxes . Fluiten in het Donker sets out to confront these phantoms of uncertainty, to give bodies to the voices in our heads – a Beckettian struggle – to see the inability to see.

Fluiten in het Donker is an exhibition ‘out of sync.’ Rather than creating a narrative trajectory, de Appel Boys School emerges as a total occupation – disturbed and disturbing. The exhibition explores the materiality of paranoia through art works that draw upon vocabularies of aggression and potentiality – playing upon the suspicions of visitors. Internal struggles are made present by way of labyrinths that disorient and proceed to build an inescapable void. Acts of obsession and sabotage become means of resistance in a time of societal impasse.

Absalon, Samuel Beckett, Pierre Bismuth, Maze de Boer, Tania Bruguera, Jasper Coppes, León Ferrari, Sara van der Heide, Jenny Holzer, Geert Jan Jansen, Luciana Lamothe, Monika Sosnowska

Buster Keaton on the set of Samuel Beckett's FILM (1965) Courtesy of Evergreen Review

de Appel Curatorial Programme 2010/11: Marie Frampier, Natasha Ginwala, Jacob Korczynski, Javier Villa, Rieke Vos, Vivian Ziherl

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