Jamian Juliano-Villani, Jan Kempenaers, Dr. Wolfgang Streeck
May 10 — June 2
The Sirens: it seems they did indeed sing, but in an unfulfilling way, one that only gave a sign of where the real sources and real happiness of song opened. Still, by means of their imperfect songs that were only a song still to come, they did lead the sailor toward that space where singing might truly begin. They did not deceive him, in fact: they actually led him to his goal. But what happened once the place was reached? What was this place? One where there was nothing left but to disappear, because music, in this region of source and origin, had itself disappeared more completely than in any other place in the world: sea where, ears blocked, the living sank, and where the Sirens, as proof of their good will, had also, one day, to disappear.
They use much art to communicate their actual impressions to us, and they are artists in that they find an equivalent—of form, image, story, or words—to make us participate in a vision close to their own. Things are unfortunately not so simple. All the ambiguity stems from the ambiguity of time, which enters into play here, and which allows us to say and feel that the fascinating image of the experience is, at a certain moment, present, while this presence does not belong to any present, and even destroys the present to which it seems to introduce itself. It is true, Ulysses actually sailed and, one day, on a certain date, he encountered the enigmatic song. He can thus say: now, this is happening now. But what has happened now? The presence of a song only still to come. And what has he touched in the present? Not the event of the encounter become present, but the opening of this infinite movement that is the encounter itself, an encounter that is always apart from the place and the moment in which it is spoken, for it is this very apartness, this imaginary distance, in which absence is realized and only at the end of which the event begins to take place, a point where the real truth of the encounter occurs, from which, in any case, the language that utters it wants to take birth.
Always still to come, always already past, always already present in a beginning so abrupt that it cuts off your breath, and still unfurling as the return and the eternal new beginning—”Ah,” said Goethe, “in times lived before, you were my sister or my wife”—such is the event for which the narrative is the approach. This event turns the concordances of time upside down, but still asserts time, a particular way for time to be accomplished, time unique to the narrative that is introduced into the lived life of the narrative in a way that transforms it, time of metamorphoses in which, in an imaginary simultaneity and under the form of the space that art seeks to realize, the different temporal ecstasies coincide.
"Encountering the Imaginary" from The Book to Come
About the Artists
Jamian Juliano-Villani (USA°1987) is a painter living and working in Brooklyn, NY. She has shown at Anna Kustera Gallery in New York, Rawson Projects in Brooklyn along with TSA in Philadelphia and R & D Gallery in Chicago. She was the recipient of the Giza Daniels Endesha Award for Outstanding Visual Arts Performance (2010). She received her BFA from Mason Gross at Rutgers University in 2011.
Jan Kempenaers (BE°1968) lives in Antwerp and works in Ghent. He studied photography at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Ghent (BE) and the Jan Van Eyck Academy in Maastricht (NL). He has been affiliated with the School of Arts Ghent since 2006. Since the beginning of the 90s Kempenaers has been photographing urban & natural landscapes and in 2012 he completed a PhD in the visual arts. He is currently working on a new project centered on abstract photography. Some of his recent exhibitions include Les Prairies (Frac Bretagne, Rennes, FR, 2012), In Search of the Picturesque, (Kiosk, Ghent, BE, 2012) The Luxury of Dirt, (Galerie Bob van Orsouw, CH, Zürich, 2011) and Beyond the Picturesque (SMAK, Ghent, BE, 2009). Publications include Spomenik, Picturesque, and Dun Briste, which all are made in collaboration with Roma Publications in Amsterdam.
Dr. Wolfgang Streeck (DE°1946) has been Director at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies in Cologne, Germany since 1995. He studied sociology in Frankfurt and at Columbia and received his doctorate in 1979 and his Habilitation in 1986. From 1988 to 1995 he was Professor of Sociology and Industrial Relations at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Recent English language publications include Re-Forming Capitalism (2009, Oxford University Press), and the articles “Citizens as Customers: Considerations on the New Politics of Consumption” and “Markets and Peoples: Democratic Capitalism and European Integration” (both 2012 in New Left Review). For the academic year 2013-14 he will be the Theodor Heuss Professor at The New School, New York, NY.
Generously supported by