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London’s ICA Celebrates the Art of Confusion

January 12, 2010

Two installations at the ICA exhibit, “Das sögenannte böse,” 2007 (background), and “Chapeau!,” 1989 (foreground), both by Patrick Van Caeckenbergh.Courtesy of Institute of Contemporary Arts; photograph by Steve WhiteTwo installations at the ICA exhibit, “Das Sögenannte Böse,” 2007 (background), and “Chapeau!,” 1989 (foreground), both by Patrick Van Caeckenbergh.

London’s Institute of Contemporary Art is going esoteric this month with an exhibition called “For the blind man in the dark room looking for the black cat that isn’t there,” a collection of works from more than 20 artists that focuses on the lack of knowledge, unlearning and “productive confusion” as ways to understand the world.

Named after a quote by Charles Darwin (possibly misattributed) that allegedly downplayed the speculative language of mathematics, the exhibition at ICA (The Mall, SW1Y 5AH; 20-7930-0493; www.ica.org.uk; tube: Piccadilly Circus, Bakerloo and Piccadilly lines) honors artists, who — like mathematicians — understand the world in speculative terms, according to Anthony Huberman, the ICA’s chief curator. The mantra of the exhibit, on display through Jan. 31, is to embrace the notion that “I know that I know nothing,” Mr. Huberman said.

Read more at: London Show Celebrates the Art of Confusion

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