“Winning by Losing,” which includes the work of Professor Sean Lynch, questions and rethinks the paradigm of progress characteristic of modernity by exploring the dialectical relationship between winning and losing in relation to processes of change over time and that manifests itself in the potential stamps that emerge during their occurrence. The exhibition is on view February 22 through May 26. Professor Lynch will give an artists talk in conjunction with the exhibition on March 12.
On the one hand, it takes up the notion of regressive evolution, that is, the phenomenon by which the evolution of a species is benefited by the loss of a feature acquired in the evolutionary process. On the other, it finds echo in the way in which the sociologist Norbert Elias understood how a series of effective rituals can be petrified, become an end in themselves and naturalized in moments of transition within civilizing processes – modernity, as a permanent state of liminality, would then be an exceptional case study. In both cases, the rudiments of previous forms that were efficient can survive as marks, sometimes ornamental, that often enable the projection of new forms into the future.
“Winning by Losing” seeks, through contemporary artistic practices and some historical documents, to identify gestures and traces that bear witness to the subversion of certain temporal orders or the superposition of historical marks, critically analyzing contemporary rituals or the ideological naturalization of a supposed normality. The project also pays particular attention to instances in which the notions of evolution are disarmed — mainly in non-Western ways of thinking — while considering the colonial stamp as the most embedded and efficacious in the contemporary world and, for that reason, the most susceptible to being disturbed.