• A geography without an author: unreliable facts, fantastical fictions

Curran, Fiona, 2017, Journal Article, A geography without an author: unreliable facts, fantastical fictions OAR (Oxford Artistic & Practice Based Research Platform), 1 (2). pp. 58-68. ISSN 2399-5092

Abstract or Description:

In Pierre Huyghe’s 2002 exhibition L'expédition scintillante: A musical at the Kunsthaus Bregenz in Austria the artist staged a scenario for a future expedition. Each floor of the museum presented a moment of this imaginary journey that corresponded with one act of a musical tale. In Act 1 a melting boat made from ice was placed alongside a dramatic series of changing weather conditions that emerged from controlled vents in the ceiling. These meteorological effects were derived from Edgar Allan Poe’s 1838 book The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket. This text provides a series of further clues to the exhibition’s content and to Huyghe’s use of topology and spatial equivalence as artistic methods.
Poe’s Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym has an experimental structure in which the author/character ‘Pym’ introduces the story in the first person claiming, in a letter written as a preface, that it is a factual account of events that took place and that he has persuaded Mr. Poe to write up the truth “under the garb of fiction”. From the outset therefore the narrative is beset by uncertainty over authorship and over its veracity. Poe’s tale consistently calls into question our ability to read reality empirically through the senses or through language, both of which are challenged and break down as reliable sources of knowledge acquisition.

Huyghe talks about building up a fiction in order to “to give yourself the means to verify it” thus opening up a disrupted field of truth and the role of validation. He resists the closure of representation in order to work with notions of re-scripting, redefining, inventing and reinventing ‘reality’. In the process Huyghe challenges existing epistemological frameworks and the conditions under which knowledge is able to emerge and to grow.

Official URL: http://www.oarplatform.com/issue/issue-2/
Subjects: Creative Arts and Design > W100 Fine Art
School or Centre: School of Design
Date Deposited: 19 Dec 2017 11:27
Last Modified: 26 Jan 2021 16:05
URI: https://researchonline.rca.ac.uk/id/eprint/3074
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