Michel Mazzoni & Hughes Dubuisson Terra Incognita 12.11.2016 to 17.12.2016
The term Terra Incognita was used in historical maps to describe parts of the world that were uncharted territory, blanks of the maps, thus blanks of the human knowledge. Spaces that only existed in the imagination of the people and in the tales that a few explorers might have told. Interestingly, in most of the voids on these maps, dragons and other mythical creatures are depicted. Creatures that were commonly striking fear into the human minds- the unknown as a fearful place. Today most of these blanks seem to be erased. Thanks to modern technology, even the remotest place seems to be explored. After the discoverers and adventurers, today tourists roam every inch of the planet, well documenting their travels in foreign countries and, by spreading them via countless channels, overexpose us to images of places we possibly never visited ourselves. In documentaries all mysteries of this planets‘ flora and fauna are being dissected for us. Been there, done that- even if you didn’t leave your couch. What is easily overlooked is, that even in our age of satellite cartography, large parts of the earth are still unexplored and not even charted. Especially the deep sea is still a large unknown. Seen that almost 71% of the planet are covered with water, how much do we actually know about it. In all parts of the world huge cave systems are expected to be still unexplored. But even parts of the land mass, as regions of the Andes and the Himalayas, the Sahara and the land structures of Antarctica and Greenland to name a few, are still not wholly mapped. And those places that are already mapped, especially the most well known, get re-examined and re-charted using new techniques, combining data charts with sociological research, contextualizing rather than just measuring. The further we advance in our exploration the more blanks are opening up- on all levels and in all disciplines.
Just look at how quickly historical contexts are changing- ten years ago we were citizens of a thriving, probably the most forward thinking society of the world. Europe was the knight in shining armor that was supposed to lead the rest of the world into a bright future. An amalgam of different nations, uniting as one society after having learned out of past mistakes. Opting for green energy, fighting for human rights to be established around the globe. Despite all its shortcomings it at least had a feel as if there was a real exchange going on. One financial crisis, a Brexit, half a Caliphat and an election in America later, where do we stand? Everything appears to lay in tatters, on the verge of disintegration. All maps shredded, compasses and satellites malfunctioning. We are confronted with so many unknown quantities, it feels impossible to determine what will be happening next year, the next months or even the next days.
With the exhibition Terra Incognita we try to illustrate this tectonic shift that took place over the past year or so, by combining works of Michel Mazzoni and Hughes Dubuisson. Through their works we would like you to explore the physiological and psychological aspects of the outlandishness that surrounds us at the moment. Through their works we want to confront you with loneliness and isolation. We want to confront you with fading memories. We want to leave you behind in abandoned structures, in caves and on meteorites circling through our solar system. We want you to become explorers. We want you to become adventurers. We want you to discover and than start to rebuild what has fallen apart. Welcome to Terra Incognita!
Sofie Verbrugghen & Olaf Pradhan, November 2016