The title of this exhibition featuring the work of Kunlin He, Janna Añonuevo Langholz, Jesus Benavente, Noa Heyne and Suzanna Zak comes from a poem by the poet Rainer Maria Rilke. The full first stanza of the poem reads:
Nights were not made for the crowds, and they sever
You from your neighbor, so you shall never
Seek him, defiantly, at night.
But if you make your dark house light,
To look on strangers in your room,
You must reflect - on whom.
In this short piece, Rilke begins outside in a seemingly isolated experience in the dark. He then moves to an interior, through the lighted windows of a house to an inspection of the self as reflected in the faces of strangers, who may or may not actually be unknown. It is a dizzying and confusing structure that assigns the role of the self as that of the stranger, creating an interior more frightening than the dark outside.
In the context of this show, the poem works as a point of departure to think through the transitional spaces of architectures real and imagined, natural and artificial that are presented by each of the artists. In one way or another, their works all point to an understanding that the physical and psychological structures that surround us are inescapable but fragile, fallible. That they break down over time and we can be comforted by the knowledge that, though our attempts to relate to one another or the environment have failed yet again, the next opportunity to build is around the corner.
Download the full press release at the link on this page.