Installation view

Maps of Possibilities 



Why are grammatically incorrect statements less appealing than correct ones? Why are ambiguous and uncertain speeches less preferable than assertive and eloquent dialogue?

We’re unable to either fully comprehend or represent the human world in its totality. Certitude seems to define both our language structures and scientific understandings. Nineteenth-century linguistic philosophers believed that the problems addressed by philosophy are rooted in the problems of language. Proponents of this school of thought argue that creating correspondence between the world and language must be central to solving the metaphysical inquiries dealt with by philosophy. It’s just a coincidence that the historical parallel to the optimistic project of the 20th century toward achieving linguistic utopia is colonialism and the language of totalitarianism. Totalitarianism aims to cultivate a language structure that dictates what is possible to think. According to Schiller, a cultivated language "thinks and writes for you," eradicating everything human—the errors, the mistakes, and the uncertainty—to render every individual an extension of its language. Totalitarianism justifies itself through clear language and certainty of vision, mobilizing rational individuals into feeling crowds. When an idea believes in itself too strongly, when ideology is too certain, it forces the whole world to resemble its image. Every ideology should incorporate systematic self-doubt as an integral part of itself. Map of Possibility aims to do just that by symbolically putting the medium in flux and making piecemeal alterations in a manner that transforms the subjects with which the medium corresponds.

Accompanying Statment from the exhibition

Installation view
Link to the video.

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©Yohannes Mulat Mekonnen

Münster, Germany.