Group show: Lisa Biedlingmaier, Anton Bruhin, Lissy Funk, Roman Gysin, Liz Magic Laser, Shirana Shahbazi, Manon Wertenbroek, Trevor Yeung
Spread across three locations on the premises of Sihlquai, Have Sanity in a very expanded sense looks at the topic of sanity. The title might be reminiscent of some kind of good wishing for others, as in “Have faith” or „Be Good“ but here rather as a made-up wish “Have Sanity.”
The exhibition comes as a reflection on the many ethical considerations that we’ve been exposed to during the pandemic, such as the politics of choice, neoliberal rhetoric, biopolitics, self-care and mental health, spirituality and death. The positions, both new site-specific works and works dating back as far as 1972, have allowed us to relate to and grapple with many of these current topics. Varied in its approaches the exhibition features video, sculpture, installation and textile-based work which oscillate in different directions be it in their formal or conceptual attitude.
The word sanity from the 16thcentury Latin word sanusimplies being rational and having ’soundness of mind‘ and inherently implies a certain kind of recollection. In the past year this composure was in some ways or another imposed on the individual. We needed to ‘stay calm and collected.’ It was a regulatory induced call for inertia, a humble submissiveness to forces that the individual as part of an organism could not in close flesh and blood collectively act upon.
The pandemic has brought forward a whole set of issues that were latently settling their roots into our post-truth, post-internet, post-capitalist, post-… society. Based on the modern illusory belief that humans try to circumvent death, by means of technical and scientific advancement, humanity as a whole has become ever more powerful, strong and longeval while at the same time leaving individuals alone in facing their fragility. The lockdownshave brought about oxymoronic catch phrases such as “shared solitude” and “new normal” and of course “social distancing.”
Restrictions during coronavirushave engendered a larger conversation about ethics and the building blocks of society and its infrastructure. These are conversations that we have inevitably been having or following recently. Some of these questions are: Will our day-to-day ever be the same? We have seen an increase of multiple kinds of inequality, how will this look post-Covid?