October 29, 2022 - October 29, 2022
The James Webb
telescope is much celebrated. As to whether chaos precedes order is up for
grabs. What we do know, is that we know very little. But while we ooh and ah
about extra-terrestrial frontiers we forget that each one of us is also a
cosmos, planetary, composed of infinity rather than the mere dust we, the
miserable amongst us, claim ourselves to be. It is this sense of boundlessness,
my sense that we are amphibian, as much ocean as we are earth, as much bonded
to this world as well as unknown others, that I turn now to Christine Dixie’s
monumental show – The Astronomer, the Princess and The Order of
Things – a multi-media tour de force which flies in the face of
contemporary art, a machine designed to break down, delimit its agency, fixate
on currency, at the expense of the greater question – what it means to be
human, and our greater place in a boundless cosmos.
Extract from Ashraf Jamal's Opening Speech, September 2022.