YOU ARE HERE.   In fact could you be anywhere else, other than here?

Charlie Kondras in collaboration with The Karabekian/Nagardo Foundation takes this question head on in the current exhibition at The White Elephant Contemporary Gallery.

The convergence of a particular YOU with a particular HERE collides in a specific moment called NOW.  What could be more simple?  What could be more reassuring?  In recent times entire industries of reassurance have sprung up, promising sure-fire strategies brought to us through meditation and mindfully medicated wellbeing packages - as if to say it is not normal to feel disturbed in this way; its removal is required in order to quickly return the afflicted back to smooth-running functionality.  Yet it is perhaps only in such uncomfortable experiences that we can truly find our common humanity, and even maybe the seeds of our collective salvation.  We can become a home to our own feelings of discomfort, and those of others, or if we can’t, we may risk losing something vital in the process.

After all, our unreasonable disturbances are what crucially sets us apart from the most sophisticated artificially intelligent machine.  What’s the use of a personality-disordered robot with a hangover? Unlike computers, we feel, and we get bothered about things.

An auto-destructing art work is shredded before the world’s disbelieving eyes.  In almost the same instant the apparently trashed object is magically re-incorporated back into ‘art’ with an increased market value.  Who is fooling who?  Below the managed surface a battle is going on.  Is someone trying to alert us to something they are seriously bothered about?  And should we be bothered too?

Most of the time everything seems so normal, so natural, so inevitable.  And yet, underneath and alongside this surface appearance a certain disturbance is never very far away.  What is one do with this predicament?  As a wise man once said ‘face the facts of being what you are, for that is what changes what you are.’*  YOU ARE HERE. 

Oulan Nagardo

Budapest October 2018

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