The Sitting: (after) If this is a Man
How can we use the lament as a space of criticality to open methods and conversations regarding reparative, restitutional and peripheral histories? And once we have begun to work from this space how can the lament enable us to remain within and potentially articulate the silence and absence found there?
The Sitting: (after) If this is a Man is a practice-based research project situated in-between the space of [experimental] art practices and writing with a particular focus on radical forms of the exhibition and essay and their dissemination.
Rooted in Primo Levi’s memoir ‘If this is a Man’ and the Jewish mourning ritual of the Shiva, this research project is born out of an ontology of Jewish thought before growing into a theory of the dispossessed. Producing an original embodied methodology known as lamentology, which proposes research and practice as an unfolding, continuous and on-going live event.
The central theory of this practice is structured around Derrida’s notions of hospitality and shibboleth, enfolding Irit Rogoff’s concept of smuggling within this as a diasporic approach to writing and artistic practice. These concepts are brought into relation to Deleuze and Guattari’s notion of minor literature, reframing the minor as operating beyond the field of literature under the terms of the periphery and the unseen.
The Sitting: (after) If this is a Man demonstrates the practice of lamentology by using language as a material, the exhibition, secret codes, dates, conversations and exchanges as mediums, collection as a method, performative gestures and speech.
More about Joshua
Joshua Leon is an artist who writes and researches the lament as a space of criticality, slowly working on repairing the broken windows of 38’. He focuses on developing fluid timescales within his practice, investigating how the materials of sites, dates, and writing produce an excess that demands maintenance, new methods of caring and attending and repairing.
Leon has recently presented work at Futura, Prague in the group show Governmental Fires, curated by Cedric Fauq, as well as producing a podcast for KW’s Pogo Bar, Berlin, Germany curated by Léon Kruijswijk, and presented a solo exhibition at Daily Practice, Rotterdam over 2020-2021. He has also published writing for Editorial Concreta, Spain and in Carelessness a publication by MA Biblioteque, London, UK. In 2021 he will be artist in residence at the Mahler+Lewitt, Spoleto, Italy and PINK, Manchester.