by Jiajia Zhang, Virginie Yassef, Fatos Üstek, Anna Weber and Hildegard Spielhofer at Bollag Space, Basel.

01-16. June 2012

Special appearance: You and I Uncertainty by Song Ming Ang

The exhibition entitled TOUCHE À TOUT is an outcome of an experimental platform in a way in which four artists and a curator have allowed themselves to delve with the notion of uncertainty while applying it as a methodology. In other words, the group not only investigated the concept and the conditions of uncertainty personally, but also allowed the project to emerge as such.
Melding intuition with conceptual approaches, the exhibition is a group project that hosts individual works in dialogue with one another. Relating to the notion of uncertainty through the means of openness and conditions of trust, the project suggests a positive connotation for the very theme. Concentrating on the notion as a personal matter, the artists explore patterns of rule guided and intuition guided decisions while taking social and emotional constructions into account. Feeling uncertain brings forth an oscillation between concepts, ideas and feelings while it can induce fear and anxiety to the picture. TOUCHE À TOUT rather brings forth the idea of being in the flow of things with contentment and openness while seeking to expand perspectives.


The exhibition brings together works by Jiajia Zhang, Virginie Yassef, Anna Weber and Hildegard Spielhofer; and hosts Song Ming Ang’s You and I Uncertainty special playlist. (During the preparation of the exhibition, the participants have each sent a letter to Song Ming Ang expressing their personal relations to the theme of uncertainty. Artist Song Ming And have prepared a play list for each letter as a response. The pool of songs in the overall playlist are hence a mirroring.)

June 1st, 2012, Basel

For an Immersive Audience,

Everything began on a sweet and cloudy summers day, as everything always begins with a soft and casual feeling. A gathering of five contemplated on conditions of uncertainty since that very transient day. It might have been exactly a year, since we have not counted exactly the days and nights, the hours and minutes. Through this time span there were sets of exercises, instructions for one another that seek further elaborations of objective and subjective uncertainty. As time and experience accumulated, the intentional ground cleared towards the personal endeavours. Would the conditions of uncertainty evoke fear or introduce insecurity or rather bring openness to the circumstances one gets surrounded by? Or, would it be rather an abstraction of being unable to decide, feeling dubious or doubting actions? Or, would being uncertain shake grounds of the self in a way in which the self would no longer be able to cognize? Everything that is to happen is an unknown in a way in which we cannot always predict and be in the know of how things will unfold. This is not about the inability to control, though it might well be related. We live in the present moment while reciting how our past has brought us to that specific place while we speculate on what to expect from what we have experienced. Each moment is a distinct body as well as is part of the sequential becoming of time. And we do not necessarily know what the current events will jeopardise as a future. And this place of the unknown is full of potential. One can try to control and regulate that potential, while another person might choose to pursue as a wanderer. Not knowing brings fear along, such as fearing of the possibility of failed expectations. One can live in a state of fear that necessitates a certain condition of uneasiness with the present moment let alone moments to come. The state of uncertainty refers beyond the condition of unknown in a way in which not knowing is juxtaposed with not knowing what to expect. That very state fails any form of logical construction around what the subject is uncertain about. It is associated with many states like doubtfulness or dubiousness or scepticism, which all refer to not fully embracing the incident as it appears to be. In this line of thought, the notion of uncertainty has a positive potential that allows space for change, for expanding the faculties of perception and so on. One cannot live in sheer uncertainty or in absolute knowing. We shall assume that sun will rise as it has done today, and the bus to our destination will arrive at some point in space-time while we can deal with the cloudy day and a massive delay. On the other hand, knowledge strives us as we strive for it and being uncertain about what we know can allow us handle challenges easily while we do not fix ourselves at a certain stance in gravity-entropy.

Yours Sincerely,

Fatos Ustek

Supported by the cultural department of the City of Basel.