March 1 – April 12, 2015
Tanja Grunert Gallery, New York
Tanja Grunert Gallery is pleased to present BEYOND 1.1, a group exhibition curated by Mitra Khorasheh and Bethsabée Attali. Based on the poem The Conference of the Birds, BEYOND 1.1 is the first of a series of 7 exhibitions that focus on the pursuit for spirituality in contemporary culture. BEYOND 1.1 will be on view from March 1 through April 12, 2015. An opening reception will be held on Sunday, March 1st from 6 – 8 pm.
The Conference of the Birds is an epic poem by the Persian Sufi Farid Al-din Attar (1142 - 1221), which tells the story of a group of birds who undertake a spiritual journey in search of the divine truth. The quest takes them through seven valleys, each of which offers them a differing perspective and experience of the spiritual, a new lesson to be learnt.
Inspired by the bird’s journey, each exhibition will offer a differing perspective of the spiritual, a narrative journey through art. BEYOND 1.1 is the first stage in this spiritual quest, which focuses on the contemplative moments in nature; moments which reveal the thin line between science and magic. Nature’s inherent mystical quality cannot be denied. It is within the mysticism of nature, in the glimpses of ephemeral experience, in the fascinations and curiosities, where the spiritual finds its place in various forms. BEYOND 1.1 is the beginning of this conversation; the selection of works question existence through examining the utopic, the sublime, the beauty and the magical found within the natural world.
We are extensively overwhelmed with information, so much that the comprehension and assimilation of such material creates a void in which the spirit, truth, reality, and idea of self are lost. Nothing is static, and as philosophy, science, and technology progress in a consistent state of evolution, so does the notion of the spiritual. One aspect of the spiritual that remains consistent, however, is that spirituality has come to represent an internal experience of individuals; a transcendent dimension in which the individual attempts to place the self within the broader metaphysical context of the universe.
In order to comprehend how the material world is formed and what keeps it in perpetual motion, we look to science and the study of matter, the visible and invisible. We seek understanding through un-coding the mechanics behind life. We look at our own bodies and try to understand how we are made of atoms that floated in the cosmos millions of years ago. Nature is seemingly so humble; its mere mention alludes to simplicity, essence and naturalness. Yet nature has the ability to manifest energy into complex and beautiful organic structures. We ponder at the fact that the fractals and sacred geometry of life are contained within nature, safekeeping all the mysteries of the universe.
When encountering the utopic moments in nature, when we are able to embrace this wonder, we realize that we are alive and accept that maybe we should never clearly understand why…
This dialogue is intended to create a pause – for the viewer to slow down and open ones eyes and look around. As humanity trudges along its evolutionary path, embracing once and for all, all things scientific, spiritual, and artistic, one wonders of where we would have been by now, had this embrace not come at an earlier time. Over the past few decades, many artists have focused their energies and artistic endeavors on investigating and reconstructing the spiritual. At the intersection of art and science, the quest for the spiritual is re-interpreted in contemporary language. In an overarching sense, this renewed interest signals a turning point where innovative interpretations are altering the landscape of the spiritual. Science that once seemed to have threatened the very notion of mankind’s understanding of spirituality, is now giving birth to exponentially evolving technologies, aiding and abetting our spiritual knowledge of the past and propelling us into the future.
“Beauty is a manifestation of secret natural laws, which otherwise would have been hidden from us forever”
– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
A fully illustrated catalogue will accompany the exhibition, featuring textual support and curatorial foreword by the exhibition curators.