Until 19 September 2021
Wonderland: the title of a painting by Fiona Rae. A painting that reveals to us in one fell swoop a universe of the unimaginable and mad. Alice in Wonderland, that famous book by Lewis Carroll, reminds us that believing the impossible is simply a question of practice.
Armed with an imagination thus unleashed, the exhibition Wonderland sets off into uncharted worlds. The utopia of a successful life replete with bliss collides with dystopian bare landscapes where isolation and loneliness, melancholy, cruelty, and death reign supreme. Beyond just individual paintings, this exhibition as a whole sweeps us into a wonderland in which our present’s past encounters its own future.
In 1767, the great French Enlightenment philosopher Denis Diderot for the first time ascribed to art the power to compensate for a general loss of the world. Diderot viewed such compensation neither critically nor with mistrust. He much rather found it comforting inasmuch as it makes human beings’ alienation from religion, nature, and society easier to bear.
Art can do that. Art can inspire and comfort—despite that famous inside had by Lewis Carroll and delivered by his Cheshire Cat … to wit: “We are all mad here.”