Six months ago myself and Andrew wrote a proposal for the Studio Warehouse gallery in which we set forth our intention to work collaboratively in an exploration of Immanuel Kant's essay "What is enlightenment". It was a lofty project, and a beautiful proposal, where we would explore "why we make crap things with highbrow ideas." Not us personally, but everybody and us.
The exchange of texts and reading the numerous essays spun off from Kant's original quickly dissolved into regular meetings in pubs the length and breadth of Sauchiehall street. Our discussions regarding what we should actually dospread over an absurd number of possibilities, resulting in the opinion that we should do everything. Literally everything. Then we proceeded to cut down our opinions at each weekly meet, discarding anything that would be too time consuming in the weeks remaining. Finally, we distilled these works to make 'a coherent show'.
And here we are. More crap works with highbrow ideas (about highbrow ideas) and no closer to explaining why we do this. As Del Amitri sang "the needle returns to the start of the song and we all sing along as before.” It would be too impertinent to suggest that by merely attempting this process we have resolved anything so lofty as our intentions and ambition desired, but I put it to you that maybe, just maybe, that's okay. This is not to excuse ourselves - you read me too literally. We like this shit. And thus maybe we should not seek to explain ourselves just too much, and instead "have courage to use your [our] own reason". Or, as Kant paraphrased in the first paragraph of “What is enlightenment?”, Sapere aude.
Kant. What a cunt.
Text: Sandy Smith, 2007