AGNIESZKA KURANT: 88.7 MHZ: OBJECTIF EXHIBITIONS, ANTWERP, BELGIUM
Invisible forces abound. Agnieszka Kurant traces them through the legible effects they cause. It’s a particular line, trolling rather murky terrain: specters and speculation, language, paranormal phenomena, immateriality, fact/fiction and other flimsy dichotomies, black markets, black boxes, unknown unknowns, collective intelligence, the entanglement of past, present, and future, plus primacy, theft, copyright, and inter-subjective agency.
Kurant’s on her way to Antwerp with an eye out for conceptual art forgeries and unfinished works, and she’s bringing a levitating meteorite and a radio station too. Objectif Exhibitions will broadcast a series of silences—dramatic pauses extracted from political speeches since the inception of voice recording. Spliced chronologically, the “sound” of these scripted manipulative affectations will be relayed through radio waves from magnetic reel-to-reel tape. Amplified, will their ghostly qualities be as possessing as the absent words these silences punctuated?
Other phantoms will inhabit the broadcast. More than a few hundred fictional books reside within the pages of actual books of fiction, and Kurant is slowly giving them three dimensions and their own ISBN numbers. And, by arranging for several newspaper editors to write the future predicted by a professional clairvoyant, Kurant allows us to read the New York Times in 2020. At least when it’s below 26 degrees—any warmer and the future disappears. Meanwhile, Kurant’s world maps point to islands that never existed. Yet they did exist. Some were willful concoctions—the inventions of clever explorers in need of bolstering future peregrinations. In other cases, these phantom islands were simply apparitions that entered reality by appearing real. Territorial conflict, war, pivotal economic transactions, or fictionalizing the world by inking a cartographical error into its representation—the consequences of these anomalous islands show the material stakes that can arise from seemingly immaterial phenomena.