To Exist in Contradiction
Alessandro Rolandi

Vernissage: 3. Oktober, um 19 Uhr
Ausstellung: 4 – 27. Oktober 2023 

“One day my friend and artist colleague Ma Yongfeng tagged the sentence “Invest in contradiction” on the wall of a factory where we were sharing artistic experiences with factory workers. For all the westerners managers and employees, this sentence was extremely challenging and difficult to process. For the Chinese staff instead, it evocated something else, not unfamiliar; some kind of sardonic humor, dangerous and fatalist but also witty and funny. It took me a while to process this intellectually, while on the side of experience, existing in contradiction became very natural.
From that day I started reflecting on contradiction, realizing that somehow it is the most direct way in which we all experience the world and even more in today’s post-truth, digital era. After a while I start looking at it as a territory of potentiality.
In time I understood that one fundamental difference between Eastern and Western culture is in how they deal with contradiction.
Whereas in the West contradiction is immediately perceived as a source of danger, and instability, a transitional situation whose duration must be minimized, in the Eastern tradition, it is a core relational quality of all things and situations and it should not be understood just as an intermediate state of problem solving.
Contradiction exists and acts on the world on its own, exercising an influence which extends itself beyond dualistic and binary processes.
We can find references in ancient culture (with its parallel in western presocratic philosophy), the Yi Qing, Taoism and the military strategy of Sun ZU and also in Mao’s well know text “On Contradiction” where modernism and Marxist theory merge with these previously quoted forms of knowledge in a thought-provoking way”.