Gather Town 線上展覽
Exhibition Statement by 陳佳暖 CHEN Chia-Nuan
An “absence” implies the disappearance of a message. Sometimes the disappearance is due to the degeneration of conscious activity, and yet other times the message itself can be trapped by a powerful external force that holds a fierce controlling desire to conceal and erase certain memories. Therefore, the “absence” also symbolizes the wrestling of power. When we sense an absence being covered within the surrounding environment, we will start seeking and digging into the root cause for the absence, which is often far more thought-provoking than the actual surroundings, imprinting a much greater influence on the way we perceive the world.
How should one prove an absence?
In contrast to our experiences of the things in our presence, the absent presence is a lot harder to pinpoint, retain, recall, and present. How can one embody the absent presence without turning it into feigning presence? Through the embodiment of the absent, the missing pieces stir and reveal the absurdity of the things before our very eyes. Here, absence becomes the emphasis. It generates a force for people to ponder, discuss, and ask “Why was it absent?” The question deserves more attention than the absence itself. Moreover, silence as an absence also extends this type of ambiguous blank-leaving into a poetic essence of the artwork. With the rhetorical quality, the artwork is able to go beyond the recurrence and duplication of reality, rendering a right of speech for the absent to unfold its philosophical agency. The embodiment of absence also pushes the narratives and the quests of imagination to reach beyond the visible and the present. The artist proves “the presence of absence” through “traces” left by the absent presence, which reversely proves that the “absence” was once “present.”
On the other hand, this exhibition also intends to reflect the bilateral exchange program for art development and research, which was originally scheduled to take place in Thailand. Due to the pandemic, our absence was inevitable. Although we tried to make things work through the cloud, the screen has completely altered the instantaneous sensory interaction of voices, movements, and eye contacts. When we looked into the screen, it looked as if we could look through the screen and reach out to one another. Nevertheless, the truth is, we tend to lose ourselves in the image grids of a video conference. We no longer look at each other, words are all we have. However, communicating and making virtual exhibitions through the internet has also opened possibilities for the connection and restructuring of the actual and the virtual, the present and the absent.
Response to the Exhibition Statement
by Soifa Saenkhamkon
The absence of tangible objects tentatively resulted through time. The unceasing social and urban development often pushes off the old, leading to the loss of some traces and stories.
The absence of intangible essence on the other hand, we may not even realize when it disappears. It’s rarely provable of the stolen and the lost cause.
At the time we are dealing with socio-political crises and the global epidemic situation, we may not aware if we have already lost our freedom of expression, liberty, or even humaneness.