“Humour: the divine flash that reveals the world in its moral ambiguity;…the strange pleasure that comes of the certainty that there is no certainty.”
— Milan Kundera, Testaments Betrayed
The Joke is an exhibition in two parts spanning two locations, Neon Parc, (titled The Joke: Jokes) and Bus Projects (titled The Joke: More Jokes), exploring humour’s relationship to power. More specifically, the subject’s relationship to its power source—how it is revered, critiqued, and subverted.
With its slippery nature, humour dissolves certainties and creates new realties – it encompasses self-doubt, the release of tension, play, and takedown. In this exhibition humour is a strategy used by artists who take on various power sources: institutional, patriarchal, global, sexual, and personal. These artists, in early, mid and late career stages, contest the modern view of the world in a way, which is intrinsically comic yet also acknowledges a painful edge.
The exhibition’s mediums encompass photography, painting, video and sculpture. While some works are jokes in themselves, others comment on humour, or contain its mechanisms.
To expand its dissemination, the exhibition will be accompanied by an online catalogue, which will evolve over the course of the exhibition, and will include an essay and commissioned writing.