A Rose Has Teeth in The Mouth of The Beast is an enigmatic, imaginatively catchy, and, therefore, totally absurd, or let’s say, non-sense quotation from the Part II of Wittgenstein’s «Philosophical Investigations». This phrase comes from the synonymic “pain in someone else’s body”, pointing that, in fact, “ one has no notion in advance where to look for teeth in a rose”. Besides the eternal question mark, raised up much further in relativist doctrine, “what seems totally logical and what — absurd due to the human linguistic apparatus”, the poetics of these phrases and metaphors goes deeper into the dark and decadent context in cultural scene of fin de siècle and first decades of 20th century. Lots of occult movements, which appeared at that time, sought for completely new, synthetic ways to explain, how it happened that the present state of things came to that flickering and unstable existance, on the very edge of a global catastrophe.
German expressionism at that time is one of the best examples of how art explores the world, pertaining the nature of supernatural power. “Mysticism and magic, the dark forces to which Germans have always been more than willing to commit themselves, had flourished in the face of death on the battlefields. The hecatombs of young men fallen in the flower of their youth seemed to nourish the grim nostalgia of the survivors. And the ghosts which had haunted the German Romantics revived, like the shades of Hades after draughts of blood” (Lotte H. Eisner's The Haunted Screen, 1952). And the point of this dark revolution in culture and philosophy is the point of changing the wind. Due to historical narratives, as we can see them from the present perspective, the political wind in the geographical centers of mystical, occult, demonological fascinations changed far to the right. The individualistic, eschatological doctrines which tried to convince it’s potential adept in their advantages of perceiving the world and it’s processes in non-materialistic way, developed in opposition to the socialistic and Marxist theories, disputing their from the most essential points. One of these was so-called “interior vision”. According to Kasimir Edschmid, the important cognitive tools of expressionists are visions. “The chain of facts: factories, houses, illness, prostitutes, screams, hunger” does not really exist - there is only interior vision those sights provoke. The aim of the artist is “to grasp what is behind them”.
Coming closer to the times we do live in, to the gaze we use to analyze the different systems operating the world, we can claim that modus operandi of the political mood turning to the right all around is again facing us to the interior vision of the artists. When the reality is giving the artistic community the new task to think further than the materialistic movements and post-Marxist analysis, when the regime of the slow-motion apocalypse moves the spectators and actors to the other states of life, and, at last, when the Icelandic government legalizes elves, then the artists and theorists think again of the «New Escapologies» (C. Esche), of the interior vision, of the conspirology and supernatural processes, and, of course, imagine apocalypse and the ways of dealing with post-apocalypse new world order.
Andrey Parshikov (curator)
Doctor Wolfgang Hauptman
Florian Aschka and Larissa Kopp