Imani Jacqueline Brown
Truth as Theatrical Fiction
Fascism is a disease traceable by its symptoms: aggressivity, nationalism, consolidation of power, corruption, ahistoricism, racism, etc. Yet these symptoms are merely signals of an underlying condition: the atrophy of the inquisitive faculties of individuals and of society-at-large. Facing a global fascist surge, we must consider: What questions do we ask ourselves, our peers, our families, our eachers, our leaders, and what questions do we stop ourselves from asking?
Truth as Theatrical Fiction is an exploration of those places where our minds are emboldened to wander and where they are prohibited from straying. The central component of this project is a series of kaleidoscope conversations – a mode of dialogue that privileges questions above answers. One question leads to another; the questions weave together into a dynamic conversation that foregrounds the courage to explore the unknown together rather than our tendency to wield the knowledge and truths we hold dear as weapons.
Each Thursday at 4pm, throughout the month of November, Ujazdowski Castle will host a kaleidoscope conversation in the Intervalo-Escola space. During the week, Friday through Tuesday, an audio recorder is available here in the exhibition space to offer a platform for anyone to deliver a 5-minute statement in answer to the following question: “How did ‘we’ (society) come to arrive at this moment?” We would like respondents to answer the question however they deem appropriate, in English if they feel comfortable doing so. The responses given will be analyzed on Wednesday and will determine the seed question for that Sunday’s kaleidoscope conversation. The conversations will be recorded and mapped, revealing surges, convergencies, shifts, and holes in our thought processes. Ideally, for participants, this project will be a meaningful practice in questioning assumptions, setting aside egos, and uniting in our thirst for humble commiseration.
These questions will be documented weekly through an ever-developing poster, which will be printed and made available at the end of November as an archive of our collective thought journey and as a take-away for participants and the general public.