Lia Rumma Gallery is pleased to announce ‘Existential Time’, a major exhibition by Joseph Kosuth. The artist continues his work considering the thinking of Samuel Beckett following his last exhibition in the gallery in 2010. This presentation, which approaches the problem of time and existence from a variety of references through other writers, brings together installation and individual works across the ground and first floors of the gallery, including an outdoor installation on the gallery terrace. The show centres around a play on Samuel Beckett’s concept and use of existential time while including different source material from various thinkers.
The show includes the project, ‘Quoted Use’ on the second floor, presenting editioned objects and furniture produced in collaboration with Schellmann Art, Munich. This project appropriates usable personal objects and furniture from a selection of influential cultural figures including Jane Austen, Samuel Beckett, Simone de Beauvoir, Charles Darwin, Marcel Duchamp, Albert Einstein, Søren Kierkegaard and Virginia Woolf.
Kosuth’s reflection on time in this exhibition stems from both a personal and philosophical concern with finding meaning within the various contexts life provides. It is thus also an investigation into the process of making meaning in artistic practice. The artist anchors and provides the tempo for the viewer/reader’s fluid experience of the show through the use of the analogue clock. Time is thus referenced both literally and figuratively.
Kosuth removes the necessity of objective shared truth while experiencing the work and highlights the freedom, choice, and responsibility inherent in everyday experience as well as an artistic practice in general. The exhibition as a whole is a reflection on the gap that holds together beginnings and ends. Kosuth’s ‘Existential Time’ endeavours to punctuate the lack, limits, and surplus of meaning surrounding the experience of time and life, while exploring the powerful and finite territory of the present.
Lia Rumma invited Kosuth to exhibit in her very first gallery show ‘The Eighth Investigation (A.A.I.A.I.)’ that inaugurated the gallery in Naples in 1971. The subject of time has remained a leitmotif between them. The current exhibition can also be viewed as a second chapter, as an evolution and departure from Kosuth’s exhibition unveiled at the gallery in 2010 referring to Samuel’s Beckett’s ‘Texts for Nothing’.