The Meaning of Everything is a long-term project, which takes its title from a series of books of the same name. These books present a series of notes, questions, diagrams, and drawings, which trace or map the questions Anastas and Gabri share in the course of their work and life. One cannot say with precision what each of the books in the series will be about, nor what form they will take, as the life that will write them has yet to be lived. The current series is the artists attempt to give form to, and make public, the intellectual and affective movements or ‘becomings’, which constitute a life. There is a speculative and prospective dimension to the series as it will, at times, act as a script which can open up to events, actions, performances, videos, texts, gestures, and other unforeseeable incidents.
The exhibition The Meaning Of Everything. One Step Forward Two Steps Back presents several footnotes from a book that was conceived in an earlier volume of the project. These footnotes include the publication within a publication, the autobiography of any one being including every one before as well as one step forward, two steps back (2009-2010), a poster comprised of a translation and compression of the film Pravda by the Dziga Vertov Group onto a single surface.
For the cinematic event Testing nothing in a little room is the way to use the room and nothing is then lost and that is such a correction they are using their own exhibition at Tanya Leighton Gallery as the script for a ‘possible film’. The resulting work emerges out of various lines of inquiry and influences ranging from situationist experiments to the concepts of cinéma vérité as developed during the 1960’s. This is an attempt at a non-repeatable cinema, one open to chance, accidents, and traces of a lived experience.
Ayreen Anastas, born in Bethlehem, Palestine and Rene Gabri, born in Tehran, both live and work in Brooklyn, New York.