2 AND 2 / 2 I 2
by Nadija Mustapić
Two-channel video installation
(PAL, 2 x HD1080p, color, 2 x loop, 2 x stereo sound, dimensions of object: 170cm x 100cm x 180cm, books, imbedded monitors, headphones)
“2 and 2” references dystopian novels by Orwell, Huxley, Zamyatin and Dostoevsky, which quote a metaphor “2 and 2 are 5” and its’ antipode, the mathematical truth, “2 and 2 are 4“. These expressions manifest conflicts of inner logic and intimate coherence, the discords with oneself and the others. In the context of “2 and 2 are 4“, claiming that “2 and 2 are 5” means making a statement of a personal right to make a mistake, the right to a loss or a gain, contrary to a demand for precision. Transferred to a society, the two metaphors reflect norms. The more authoritarian the society, the less important the truth, the more redundant the argumentation. Individual resistance becomes a more significant way of taking responsibility, as the authority is in opposition to argumented persuasion.
But, what happens when in the society based on a system 2+2=4 we take steps following the rules of 2+2=4, yet they do not lead to a rational outcome or a solution because one is no longer even provided by the society, because behind 2+2=4 lay ‘alternative facts’ served as the absolute truth, because such a society cannot be tolerated, not because it cannot be loved, but because it is impossible to navigate in it, because insisting on the obvious truth proves its inexistence? Is averting from such a system a way of imposing own individual values or contradicting them? Which of the two metaphors then becomes a sanctuary? Both are simultaneously possible and impossible, correct and false. The question of truth, even when posed, is irrelevant. To a contemporary world the truth is less important than to dystopian novels.
The two videos flanking the presented novels on a bookshelf seem to act as ‘brackets’ for the books offered for reading. In videos, a female character boxes against herself and recites two opposing narratives. The strain of her movements showcases the body as excess and revolt.
– November 13th – 25th 2017 – Solo exhibition “2 and 2”, Gallery Prozori, Zagreb, Croatia, curated by: Irena Bekić