Better World (with Vlada Ralko), Udo Würtenberger Gallery, Berlin (2023). Exposition, opening
Curated by Bernhard Vogt


Better World

How to talk about war where there is no war?

Can the rhetoric of war victims be trusted?

Both questions relate to language and the possibility of dialogue. But language is not just verbal gymnastics. Human language, the political nature of which distinguishes man from other living beings, in a certain way gives man immortality. Through language, the personal has the opportunity to continue in humanity. In Hebrew, the same word can mean both word and deed. That is, we can say that a person lives when he dares to judge and makes a choice, therefore, as long as his speech continues, which is also an act. However, the right choice often does not fit into the grid of simple rules and customs.

We habitually protest against death and war, they terrify us because of their inevitability. But declaring that you are against war is the same as denying death. Sometimes it is in war that people defend not only their right to exist but also those moral standards on the basis of which the ability to make decisions and act in critical situations is cultivated. This can be called a human instinct, which does not always coincide with the instinct of self-preservation.

The horrors of war and fear of death can dehumanize. Elie Wiesel, who described in detail his experience in a concentration camp, said that inhuman conditions alone do not change a person, that is, the violence experienced does not automatically become a science for a person. It turns out that a person needs to make his own efforts, to fight (sometimes, exposing himself to mortal danger) to keep himself in a human state.

The artist's work is perhaps the only language not exhausted by the multiplicity of interpretations. The artist's work is essentially a provocation, a  questioning that disrupts the usual systems. The example of the war in the center of Europe unleashed by the aggression of russia, clearly shows that the political relations to which we are accustomed in peaceful life do not work. Now the time of war, as a time of response to the aggressor's challenge, is a period of human intensity, a chance to avoid the state of the living dead. Because the essence of human nature is that, despite the knowledge of death, man is inspired by life, building a better world, where, ­according to Heraclitus, «everything exists through struggle and through necessity» (Vlada Ralko)