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Maria Loboda

What will happen? (2007)

This is the title of the floor piece by Maria Loboda, situated in the right hand gallery on the first floor. The title is a key to the understanding of the work since one of the most powerful relationships with the future we have is divination. Divination is defined by being the science of reading symbols in order to obtain guidance about future actions. Made of light parquet wood that stands out on the background of darker pieces, the rudimentary signs in the floor are taken from the symbol language of the I-Ching, which is one of the oldest existing books of divination (it was finally decoded during the Han dynasty, 206 – 220 BC). The key element needed to read the I-Ching oracle is the understanding of change: those who are able to interpret flux and change will understand human nature and the antagonistic principles that underlie it. This is the principle of Yin and Yang. But even more important is the teaching that in order to be able to access the oracle, every one of us needs to formulate a question. The art of formulating clear, honest, open and respectful questions guarantees an access to answers. As the French philosopher Jaques Rancière (France 1940-) stated in this famous text the The Ignorant Schoolmaster (1991) the matrix of cultural production still resides in our capacity to formulate questions about a certain number of relevant concepts. Questions are like a knowledge experiment, they revitalise the relationship between theory and spoken language.
Maria Loboda’s piece is an enigma, a cryptic form that anticipates the question. You stand in front of it and ask yourself, what does this mean? And in that very moment you are part of the future since you are obliged to build up a relationship with the other side, with the alterity that is represented by the unknown.

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