Dark Science

Dark Science, curated by Carson Chan, folds together work that probes our various cultural understandings of science. Combining themes, tropes and images from the diverse field that we refer to as science (social science, science-fiction, pseudo-science and popular science), the exhibition confronts the visitor with an experience that is both tightly calculated and flagrantly arbitrary.

The exhibition, opening in conjunction with the 5th Berlin Biennial for Contemporary Art, presents work that intentionally blurs any precise usage of what is meant by science. Blurring, here, is taken to be the retrograde process that mystifies and confuses our faith in empirical knowledge, and in so doing, breaks down scientific systems into alchemy – a system regulated as much by logic as it is by the irrational, a framework open to freely creative undertaking.

The British artist and critic, Liam Gillick, has criticized many contemporary art practices for seeking an understanding that “feeds both the fabrication of the work and its subsequent analysis.” This situation, while establishing a certain disciplinary autonomy for contemporary art, ignores a public that is uninitiated to the theories and rhetoric of these art practices. Dark Science, or alchemy, functions as a lens in the exhibition to refocus artwork as production separate from its own critical limitations.

eva grubinger ryan mclaughlin
Ryan McLaughlin (background), Eva Grubinger (foreground)

via lewandowsky
Via Lewandowsky

michel debroin
Michel deBroin

michel debroin
Michel deBroin

jeremy shaw
Jeremy Shaw (background), Pash Buzari (foreground)

luis berrios negron
Luis Berríos-Negrón

finnbogi petursson
Finnbogi Petursson

carson chan dark science berlin curating