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THE END OF HISTORY | Grace Ndiritu
AQFM Vol.1, periodical exhibited in the exhibition RIF-POST RESIDENCES / EXPEDITIONS, at L’appartement22

dimanche 28 décembre 2014

What is it that Francis Fuyukama said in 1992 ? That the advent of Western liberal democracy would the mark the end of new cultures being born ?

So as we look at this seemingly random wall of paintings, I mean photographs, what do they mean to me, the author, and to you, the spectator, at this point in time ?

Has the end of History begun ?

Most importantly, is daydreaming an essential part of spacetime travel ?

I think so.

After all, a photograph can easily slip into becoming a painting and literature can sublimate itself into a work of visual art, can it not ?

I ask this, as I sit here at my table with my laptop in my studio in Tangier, a stone’s throw away from where Burroughs’s had the idea for Naked Lunch in the late 1950s.

I ask this again after watching the mesmerising work of Ahmed Bouanani, whose memoratic images heralded a new age of modernism in literature and film in Morocco in the early 1960s.

I ask it a third time as I experiment with Burroughs’s cut-up technique, squashing the offensive words of his talking asshole, up close to the penetrating, raw vision of Bouanani’s dystopian stay at L’Hopital and I wonder if, in fact, the same book was being written by both of these extraordinary, yet radically different authors ? And if there is only ever one single book being written, by all of us over time ?

Typesetter A walks into the room, looks at the wall, and sees a new mythology being born. She sees the performative lines of Abstract Expressionism caressing the smooth concrete textures of Corbusier’s apartment and his gigantic bed.

Typesetter B breathes a rhythmic line between a collection of late 19th century wooden masks from the Congo Basin ; a faded newspaper clipping dated 18 June 1925 that depicts a victory in the Spanish Campaign in the Moroccan Rif War and a potted Basilicum perched on a sunlit windowsill.

But what does this all mean ? Is it possible for a quest for meaning to be found through a single work of art ?

To re-cast the totality of Time through the formalism of painting into photography, birthing a contemporary universal narrative, a postmodern creation story ?

Is it possible to render all the conceivable dialogues between a single image and another, across space into the moment called Now ?To fuse the connection between past and present, between black and white, between sepia and colour, to end the logical fabric of spacetime itself ?

History would therefore no longer exist. And like all great allegorical tales, this one would become about trying to get back home.

Like Odysseus trying to get back to his motherland of Ithaca, or Hercules traversing the sea between Europe and North Africa,creating a watery rift between two geological cousins.

Perhaps then, when all the observations I have noted here, eventually do travel back from the future to the beginning of Time, as they already have, the world as we know it will finally begin to dissolve…

N.B. This essay is being published here in the first edition of AQFM Periodical ; on the occasion of AQFM Vol.1 MACBA being exhibited at Museu d’ Art Contemporani de Barcelona, 23 January to 18 May 2014.
AQFM Vol.1 (PDF - 9 Mo)
Grace Ndiritu