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God in Reverse


We must get the measure/beyond-measure of the prophetic vision of the past and of the imagination of Relation - with its treatment of initial conditions, traces of initial conditions its unpredictability, and with the new fabric we must create, no longer the reflection of the essence but the network of relationships - a relation to the other and relations with other cultures. The all-world is inordinate, an excess we must grasp. - Edouard Glissant

In anticipation of the exhibition God In Reverse: When Wisdom Defies Capture (launching in 2021) and in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Richmond Art Gallery is presenting the filmic contributions of the invited artists in an online platform for public viewing. We are inviting you to take advantage of this opportunity and access these works of fifteen contemporary artists from around the world, most of which are available online for the first time. These works will appear, each for a limited time on our platform GODINREVERSE.COM. To watch all the works, please bookmark the link and return every week for a new work.

Curated by Mohammad Salemy, God In Reverse: When Wisdom Defies Capture recalls the biblical myth of the Tower of Babel as narrated and depicted by Pieter Bruegel’s paintings, considering these scenographies within the mythos of artificial intelligence. With the global actualization of AI, the shared experiences between humans and non-humans have become integral as we negotiate with these machines in symbiotic fashion. Human knowledge is thus cast into the tangible and lasting body of machines. The filmic works comprising this exhibition survey various aspects of this metonymic relationship between the algorithmic synthesis of informational flow and the inconspicuous instability of knowledge as it is performed in action, highlighting the border between communication and knowledge.

By focusing on the interrupted flow of human knowledge and its peculiar disunities, the exhibition also sheds light on the reluctance of human knowledge to become captured as a “ghost in the machine,” underscoring its propensity to dwell as a freely floating spectre. The works in the exhibit highlight instances of knowledge, historical and contemporary, fiction and nonfiction, which thus far have been next to impossible to “algorithmicate” within the confines of our existing AI technologies. Consisting mostly of various forms of time-based projections, the exhibition attempts to construct a novel form for reconfiguring the spatial and temporal dimension of moving pictures in their presentation exhibition forms.