Shifter 14 was released in conjunction with a group show featuring Lindsay Benedict, Joshua Hart, Abhishek Hazra, Pat Palermo and Kiran Subbaiah curated by Sreshta Rit Premnath. A weekly series of lectures and presentations accompanied this show.
“Lack of clarity in philosophy is tormenting. It is felt as shameful. We feel: we do not know our way about where we should know our way about. And nevertheless it isn’t so. We can get along very well without… knowing our way about here.”
“…In any serious question uncertainty extends to the very roots of the problem.”
-from “Remarks on Colour,” Ludwig Wittgenstein
“On Certainty” includes a group show, a new issue of the magazine Shifter (co-edited by the participating artists), and a series of public dialogues with economists, neurologists, physicists and writers. The participants contemplate the notion of certainty and its sibling, uncertainty: How and why do we constitute a unified self from which to speak and construe meaning in this world? When we say, “I know…” with certainty, what do we mean?
The title of the show, lifted from Ludwig Wittgenstein’s posthumously published book, signals our attempt not only to investigate knowledge and factuality, but furthermore, to interrogate the statement “I saw it with my own eyes.” What is the position of the witness (who represents an event) and the authentic subject (who represents a group) in knowledge production?
The interdisciplinary programming of the lecture series reflects the curatorial desire to use the gallery as an intellectual commons. As Edward Said has said, specialization sometimes “means losing sight of the raw effort of constructing either art or knowledge,” and by opening up an interdisciplinary conversation we hope to investigate the “choices and decisions” that produce these knowledges, and their certainties.
The artists are: Lindsay Benedict, Joshua Hart, Abhishek Hazra, Pat Palermo, Sreshta Rit Premnath and Kiran Subbaiah.