Statement


We live in a world saturated with narratives. That is to say, we already know how to read meaning into almost everything. Social media only accelerates the process. Every action, every event, every broadcast plays itself out according to some or other comprehensible script; everything said, written, seen, or done must be instantaneously understood, made sense of, debated, brought into the world of discourse. Everything has to be meaningful. Everything has to make sense.

My work tries to imagine an alternative world in which this is not the case, where things are allowed to remain meaningless, nonsensical, absurd. It offers a resistance to the deadening cloak of meaning. It imagines a world of phenomena freed from their scripts, where narratives are stifled, interrupted, fragmented, divested of logic, unencumbered by resolution – decoupled from the train of discursivity.

Focussing on contemporary social and cultural narratives witnessed through the lens of individual experience, the work employs “tactical absurdity” (as I’m calling it in my PhD research) as a means to achieve this decoupling. The aim is not to perform a straightforward critique of those narratives (though that can, and does, occur), but rather to take its audience back to a hypothetical place where meaning has yet to be determined. To begin again, in other words – and be called upon to reconstruct those narratives anew.


Dave Ball, Feb 2017