Folk Fiction brings together nine artists from different geographies who share a fascination with demarcating and poetically deconstructing fundamental aspects of representation. Pulling away from traditional modes of meaning-making, they look at language as a system of oral resonances and historically imbued forms—by fictionalizing and situating, to create new meanings that allow multiple identities to be expressed.
The works on view draw on lores, oral traditions and anecdotal accounts. Considering how these forms of knowledge have been reused and co-opted to build institutional and colonial narratives, the artists explore a double consciousness–simultaneously rediscovering oral traditions and inheritances, and dissembling them in order to examine their implications in the present.
From mythical maps to invented rituals, Folk Fiction looks at the past as imaginatively open-ended. Several of the works on view evoke Saidiya Hartman’s method of “critical fabulation”, which blends fiction and critical historical research to transgress the official narratives and protocols of history. Folk Fiction sees how far fabulation can be pushed, and what capability it has for producing multifaceted representations of the past, present and future.
Accompanied by a public program of gatherings and events, Folk Fiction will build on several narrative threads, inviting visitors to contemplate how stories move through and across bodies, to awaken multiple viewpoints and orientations to the future.
The public program of performances and gatherings will start with “and speak (why?) with mute ash”, a performance by writer and artist Ashkan Sepahvand on Saturday, November 19th at 19:00 pm.