Detours Towards a Philosophy of the Fragment

Christophe Van Eecke

B-Sides & Rarities would seem to be an exhibition with nothing to exhibit. It is about unrealised projects, which means that no final artistic product was ever completed. To create an exhibition with such projects might seem like postmodern silliness or a facile attempt at being clever. It is neither. In drawing our attention to unrealised projects B-Sides & Rarities asks what constitutes a work of art, how such works come about and what makes them in any sense 'complete'. These questions in turn tap into a much older story. It is a story that tells of how we came to regard the unrealised and the fragmentary as works of art in themselves. The story touches upon fundamental issues of the way we see ourselves. It is a story about how we see the world and the things and people in it. This essay takes some detours through that story. They are detours because we shall not tell the story in a straightforward way. It is much more interesting to circle around the story and the issues it poses. That way, we are allowed to branch out at will and discover sidetracks and philosophical B-sides that take us off the beaten path of postmodern philosophy. For it would be easy to tell a story of the unrealised, the conceptual and the fragment by drawing on contemporary theory. We shall not do this. On the contrary, we will start our detours more than two centuries back, in the heart of German Romanticism, where the seeds of our postmodern selves were sown...

Text from B-Sides & Rarities at Lokaal 01, reproduced with permission.
To read the full paper as a PDF please click here

B-Sides and Rarities

From the 20th of September to the 12th of December 2009 Unrealised Projects participated in B-Sides and Rarities, an exhibition curated by Frederik Vergaert at Lokaal 01 in Breda, Netherlands.

B-Sides and Rarities was an exhibition organised around notions and practices of the unrealised with an intention for the project to; 'confront the public with original, unrealised and 'impossible to realise' works of visual artists. These unseen processes usually manifest in the private space of the artist and remain hidden to everyone except to the artist and via friends, curators, museum directors, critics and associates. Lokaal 01 offers the public the opportunity to get to know the other side of the artists' practice and reveal work that is normally hidden from the outside world.'

'Thirty artists have been invited to give to the public a rare glimpse into their more personal, lesser known aspects of their practice. The opportunity to view these works will expose the freedom, creativity, playfulness, inventiveness, questionability and originality that occur when developing art. The artist's investigative journey creates works that leads to new insights, creating things that cannot be shown, sometimes through the megalomaniac ideas or lack of financial resources and unrealisable aspirations. We want to give the audience more insight in the development that precedes the creation of a work of art and make them part of a very valuable organic process.'

As part of B-Sides and Rarities Unrealised Projects took part in a panel discussion with Gargain (Journal) on the 11th of October, presenting our working methodologies to date and the critical platform created in/for the development of Unrealised Projects Volume four.

Unrealised Projects Volume four was exhibited discursively and adaptively within B-Sides and Rarities. This staggered exhibition of works is aligned with the process driven nature in the production of Volume four's participants projects and we intend to exhibit a process based series of future developments.

Photo courtesy of Lokaal 01

View Press Release as a PDF (in Dutch)

September 20 - December 12

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