Come and waste your time
A survey of the lyrical outsider in contemporary neo-capitalism through artist moving image and drawing.
Artists: Oisín Byrne, Zinna Bright Mac-Eochaidh, Benji Jeffrey, Florian Meisenberg, Sara Procter, Kerstin Recker
Curated / Coordinated: Marian Stindt
In his 1869 novel, The Idiot, Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky tells the fictional story of Prince Myshkin, a foolishly honest and naïve character placed in the salon society of 1860s St. Petersburg. He struggles to lie, won’t get involved with corruption and refuses to use his power for financial gain, wherefore he is referred to as idiot in the sense of a mentality disadvantaged person. At the same time, he is confronted with a society dominated by social hierarchies and meritocracy. Personal and social tensions, contradictions and suffering a result from these structures. Prince Myshkins inability to operate within this society pushes him to seek refuge in isolation.
Within the same century, Joseph von Eichendorff created a similar, fictional character in From the Life of a Good-For-Nothing (1826), who also disdains philistinism and prefers a financially poor but culturally rich lifestyle over the principles of chastity and pretence.
These rather anachronistic references portray heroes who feel alienated by a performance system and are incapable to operate within social structures which value an individual’s productivity and success over its ethics. Examining literature from the nineteenth century, the lyrical outsider, was a common motif. “Having studied the lives and works of Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, James, H. Hesse, G. I. Gurdjieff, H. G. Wells, and Sartre , Colin Wilson defined the Outsider as the one man [ / woman ] who knows he [ / she] is sick in a civilization that does not know it is sick. The suffering Outsider seeks an essentially religious answer to the crisis of value and the loss of individual worth in a secular society. ”
This makes the idiot a hero.
Just like the novels, the Good-For-Nothing Screening Room doesn’t dwell on the sickness within a neo-capitalistic system, but on ways of bypassing, resisting and satirising it. In Paul Rudnick’s words: “Comedy is often the only feasible antidote to a completely justifiable, but not very entertaining hopelessness. Sometimes a wisecrack is a weapon.”
The space displays artists’ moving image that humorously mirror society and its ethical flaws. Besides humorous aspects the artist’s works offer pointed social critique, satirical reproach to capitalism and surreal visions of the future.
As all works are time-based, the beholder is invited to ‘waste’ precious time, to be unproductive and to engage with film and artists’ moving image for the sake of nothing but pleasure and reflection. This requires slowing down and in the playful spirit of the homo ludens, to rediscover potential in leisure. It is about time to embrace idiocy.
Private View 17th April 6 – 9 pm
Dates & times
|Date||Time||Add to calendar|
|17 May 2018||
6:00pm - 9:00pm
Visitor Information: Exhibition running from 18th-23rd May, 2pm-8pm, closed on Sundays and Mondays
If you are attending an event and need the College to help with any mobility requirements you may have, please contact the event organiser in advance to ensure we can accommodate your needs.