In Praise of Shadows (1933) by the Japanese author, Tanizaki, is a lament of living with modern artificial illumination, of missing deep shadow and the profound experience of being a being in half-light. In bright light everything becomes homogenized, corporate, and possesses a ubiquitous sameness (political passivity). Tanizaki proposes how natural light and deep shadow liven the senses; the dark recesses don’t contain monsters but the benign presence of ancestors. Allowing dark corners allows one to reflect on the mysteries of the world, so the stark eradication of darkness is an eradication of deep (lateral) thought. In this respect natural light and shadow facilitate a ‘wandering mind’. Tanizaki points out that we are often critical in the West of flitting from one thing to another and that logical sequence and linear thought are seen as the only way to acquire true meaning.
Our projects echo Tanizaki’s sentiments. The collaboration works to foster complex and flexible interpretations and experiences. Through our work we traverse rhetorical devices and tropes, materialities, technologies, modes of production and strategic interventions. We struggle to assimilate our work and our perception of the world into a manageable whole, and this is precisley its point. In this sense we tacitly suggest or invoke a realm within which doubt, reticence and inconclusiveness may be privileged over certain forms of knowledge; a critical sentiment which lies at the centre of all of our work.
Our most recent project, “The Stag and Hound” at PSL prioritised a sense of ‘drift’ from one approach or position to the next, manifested in the work through unruly ‘groupings’ and conflations of ideas and objects.The Stag and Hound was a call for an adjustment in a continuous way of being that is able to manifest itself visually, technically, materially, emotionally and ultimately artistically. In this sense a wandering mind possesses its own sense of depth, its own sense of putting things together to make a heterogenic space in the world.