Anticube is an idea that views the cube as the symbol of humanism and the west. The cube can be seen as a signifier for notions such as idealism, logic, rationalism, progress, homogenisation, globalisation, and most importantly, humanism. Anticube situates the traditional, typically modernist, art gallery as a concept and a space that epitomises the totalitarian worldview that has evolved from humanism. It does so by emphasising the context of an exhibition-as-happening; an abstract construct in a solid architectural space. Art can also be viewed as one of the key humanistic disciplines. Anticube is an attempt to deconstruct the white voided cube of the gallery, specifically in relation to the artworks that give it purpose, and are, in turn, given value through the gallery. The gallery is the centrepiece of the exhibition; a kind of factory for meaning and value. The gallery is a cathedral to humanism. Anticube achieves this message by using and appropriating institutionalised and established styles, drawing inspiration from a variety of interweaving sources, and often opposing disciplines, specifically modernist movements such as Dada, De Stijl, Abstract Expressionism, and Minimalism, juxtaposed with postmodern trends such as Art Brut, Neo-expressionism, and graffiti. Modernism can be viewed as an era where humanism reached its pinnacle, and where the concept of the ‘human’ and ‘mankind’ reached its final narcissistic development.

The cube is the embodiment of functionalism and formalism; the symbol of modernism evident in the works of such modernist artists as Ad Reinhardt, Barnett Newman, Sol Lewitt, Kurt Schwitters (Merzbau), Piet Mondrian, M.C. Escher, Donald Judd, Franz Kline, Cy Twombly, and Josef Albers to name a few, all of whom have influenced the concept of Anticube. Anticube dissects the assent and dissent of humanism, particularly in relation to western societies death drive for power, knowledge, truth, and the abstract, evident in the modernist belief in progress, formalism, and functionalism. In this way, Anticube tweaks modernist perspectives to encompass the entire gallery space. Instead of being limited to the dimensions of the frame or the picture plane, the gallery is incorporated into the artwork, as the artwork, where it can be said to implode on itself. The beginnings of an interplay between inside and outside (inclusive and exclusive) begin here, where the modus operandi of Anticube can be established; that is, as a deconstructive operation that dissects and infects, injects and ingests, regurgitates and emancipates the picture plane by emphasising the hyperbolic issues surrounding such mechanisms of supplementation as ‘beyond’, ‘post’, ‘new’, ‘now’, and ‘then’.

There is nothing new, subversive, or original about Anticube, and it announces this fact. Anticube is aware of its dependency on the modernist anatomy that it is trying to subvert; a schizophrenic resolution at best. Anticube attests to a space that exists in the ashes of human moralism, in the aftermath of utopian entropy, where good and evil are petty and archaic archetypes, and evil is pitted against evil, making dualisms and boundaries obscure and irregular. Anticube’s ethos can be described as “Nilfunct” (nihilism, non-function), where the distinction between prophylaxis and virulence fades away and the indifference towards the other becomes acute. Anticube is both a postmodern criticism and homage to modernism. This schizophrenic embrace is a pastiche of orderliness, of structure and fragmentation, of pattern and randomness, which can only be described as posthuman.

By placing these ideas in the context of the gallery, Anticube stresses the incestuousness of the grid and the promiscuity of the cube, which can be seen as an analogy to the virulence of the global village and information based society. Anticube is also a reaction towards present communicative trends in street art and new media. It is an amalgamation of various disciplines comprising the so called fine arts, graphic and interior design, illustration, graffiti, and new media to name a few. This is a perspective that tries to expose the voyeuristic and panoptical intensity of western ways of seeing that tends to boxed-in and put things in their place; where boundaries are constructed, lines are drawn, and dualisms and hierarchies are created. Anticube expresses the cube as an attitude of bleached out indifference, a moratorium of the present that illustrates the limbo of postmodern living, waiting for the arrival of the posthuman. New technologies are only accelerating the human drive to extinction, and Anticube exploits such extentions.

Anticube is a paradoxical attempt to bring into context the whole ‘idea-of-art’: a discipline that has documented the history, ideology, domination, and narcissism of ‘mankind’ and humanism. Anticube celebrates and mourns the culmination of humanism in modernism. The artworks that are exhibited in Anticube, which comprise of drawings, paintings, and animations, play a pivotal role as constructs in this meta-narrative of humanism that is monumentalised in the form of the gallery (the cube). Anticube breaks-down the architecture of the cube, and it is itself a deconstructed cosmology that is very much under construction. Anticube is inseparable from the cube because of its opposition to it. This is why Anticube can be said to tell a story of dualism, revealing a mythology based, media orientated, technological world of instant access and communication. It reveals the anatomy of communication and the consequences of gaining access to the cube. This alters the notion of universalism in a western sense, exposing it as just another form of imperialism. In a traditional sense, to be human is to wear a mask. Being branded human is the process of the cube. Everything that can be understood as traditionally ‘human’, such as Christian moralism, heterosexual establishments, and patriarchal institutions, are at an end. Many of the conceptual drawings in Anticube attest to this idea, and the geometric abstractions of the paintings literally apply this posthuman perspective to the cube. Anticube suggests the posthuman notion, stemming from postmodern discourses such as feminism and post-colonialism, that the ‘now’ is a situation of ‘nihilation’, and the ‘new’ is a premise for annihilation through the indifference of the ‘human gaze’. In Anticube the only question that matters is whether to choose the path of ‘nihilation’ or annihilation in lieu of the universalism and hegemony of the west, modernism, and humanism.

Following from this perspective Anticube rekindles the already mundane ‘anti-art’ scepticism towards the art market, specifically in relation to industry standards such as the hierarchy between ‘high’ and ‘low’ art, or the dualism between craft and fine art. This further questions the notion of ‘anti’ or the idea of the avant-garde, and how this has all become seemingly ‘traditional’ and institutionalised. In a sense Anticube is an ‘anti-anti’ that laughs at its own pseudo-schizophrenic position within the system that it tries to deconstruct. In this way, the influence of graffiti can be viewed as ‘low art’ (excluded/outside) used in the ‘high art’ (included/inside) environment of the gallery. The dualism between traditional and non-traditional, authentic and inauthentic, established and non-established becomes ubiquitous and ambiguous. This approach also suggests notions of urban and rural, which lead to greater social, economic, geographical, and political dualisms such as; orient and occident, One and Other, rich and poor, et cetera. Such hierarchies can be attributed to the actions of ‘man’ in ‘his’ attempts to conquer ‘his’ epistemology and succeed ‘his’ own ontology; a confused dream of progress, colonialism, and mechanisation blindly moving towards a ‘beyond’ that can never be reached without some form of sacrificial mutilation, auto-amputation, and ultimately suicide.

The odd characters and creatures (mutants) that accompany the grid in Anticube are represented partly to emphasise the story of dualism and partly to depict the posthuman. In some ways the characters, which are also inspired by much African art, inhabit Anticube as Other or alien, but they can also be viewed as ghostly or demonic. All these concepts find common ground in the taboo and deconstruction, which can be understood as a stipulation made by humanism and the west: humanism can never escape it’s ‘post’.

Anticube is thus a reference to issues indifference and difference, hybridisation and mutation, absence and presence, et cetera, in a bleached out and augmented ‘global village’. Anticube is not about action or reaction, it is not about questioning or criticising, it is not about rash pseudo-revolutionary statements and egotistical claims to reinterpretation. Anticube is about being random and ordered, inside and outside, transparent and flickering. It represents the illogical and disordered normalcy of the One, and presents the ‘resentiment’ of the Other. This is an unveiling of the indifference towards difference that the west possesses, and the indifference in difference that the Other experiences when the mask of ‘man’ is handed down to ‘them’ by the One. It is a present suicidal suggestion on the ‘beyond’ and how it will be in the absence of the Other.

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