Carsten Höller, Christopher Knowles, Gardar Eide Einarsson, Josephine Meckseper, Mariana Castillo Deball, Natascha Sadr Haghighian, Rainer Ganahl, Roman Ondák, Wilfredo Prieto:
Thu 22 March – Sat 19 May, 2007. Barcelona
Curated by Latitudes (Max Andrews & Mariana Cánepa Luna)
Extraordinary Rendition* brings together the work of nine international artists in response to notions of risk, frictionlessness and the abstraction of potentialities. It includes work in video, sculpture, audio, painting and drawing.
Following a pre-modern discourse of danger, the emergence of risk – alongside the invention of insurance – proposed a world governed by immaterial markets that were no longer regulated by order, but by fundamental uncertainty, threat and insecurity. For its contextual backdrop, the exhibition attempts to think of the present as a cultural mythology through manifestations and elaborations of this principle. One could cite the orchestration of illusory energy and finance markets, the manipulation of governance and property, or the clandestine rendition of terror suspects. (Correspondingly, the Enron scandal, corruption uncovered by operation Malaya in Marbella, or CIA stop-offs in Palma de Mallorca, for example.) Furthermore, there are the unpredictable megaweather events or reckless insurgencies that are also symptomatic of an ever more stochastic and violent reality which similarly escapes an ordinary logic of probabilities or worth. Social sensitivity to issues of security are rapidly changing our society. Alongside this global picture, our everyday lives – especially with respect to children – are increasingly subject to a suffocating psychology of risk aversion.
Attempts to render risk – notoriously, the US Department of Homeland Security’s colourcoded threat advisory system – are necessarily unspecific and speculative to an extraordinary degree. In an attempt to explore this territory, the exhibition conceives of a platform that is both purely fictional and yet perfectly real, that is completely banal while exceptional, and is potentially valuable yet utterly worthless. Extraordinary Rendition explores multivalent artistic modes – from the journalistic to the comical, theliteral to the allusive – within a set-up (the commercial art trade) that is, after all, itself a paradigmatic immaterial/dematerialised market.