The elephant swimming under water embodies the contradiction between colossal heaviness and buoyant lightness, and as such echoes the paradox defining the theme of the exhibition: “Dive and Run”. This paradox was chosen as the starting point for the exhibition because beyond being a metaphor, it is also easy to imagine physically what it would be like to have to run underwater and against the resistance of the material. The image of resisting forces compels us to slow down, to stop and reflect, while the image of the elephant as a swimming colossus conveys a sense of exquisite beauty and poetry.

The act of slowing down in a reality that is accelerating all around us as a result of global communications technology – as part of the development of productive forces – is reminiscent of the cultural theories of Paul Virilio. As early as the 1980s, Virilio noted a striking contrast between the human capacity to perceive and process information and the speed of development of processes in the world, which ultimately – as yet another paradox – is driven by humans themselves. Paul Virilio’s call to slow down may well illusionary, but it can at least be simulated in art as a means to gain a sense of affirmation of our existence and initiate a process of reflection.

“Dive and Run” is meant to be understood as an image and a challenge to really think about the fundamental values, functions, and goals of humanity and society – beyond the approach of everyday politics to the current social and global crisis. “Dive and Run” attempts to open a space in the transitory and philosophical sense and concretely create it within an exhibition context. In this mental sphere, or rather in this condition, things appear possible that in the rhythm of everyday life are not viable. Suddenly new questions arise, new possibilities open up, and habitual thought processes reveal the patina of erosion and antiquation. This is the productive place where we have a chance to explore new opportunities and possibilities. Absolved from the principle of higher, faster, farther, art can show us something different and give us playful indications of unconventional approaches. “Dive and Run” presents examples of this creative and playful form of conscious thought.

Matthias Deumlich