The Kunstmuseum Basel | Gegenwart presents Post-Truth, a solo exhibition by Dorian Sari (b. Izmir, Turkey, 1989; lives and works in Basel), the winner of this year’s Manor Art Prize.
Post-Truth features new videos and sculptures by Dorian Sari in two galleries at the Kunstmuseum Basel | Gegenwart and in the brook that flows through the museum. The exhibition’s title quotes an adjective that was declared word of the year in 2016 by the Oxford Dictionary. Post-truth was defined as an adjective “relating to circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than emotional appeals.” The term is widely used in the political and societal context to describe the processes generating popular sentiments that paved the way for, say, the Brexit vote or the election of Donald Trump.
As Dorian Sari sees it, the concept of post-truth encapsulates a broad range of central concerns in today’s debates. The artist inquires into the development that has led to the debasement of scientifically established facts and analyses. Their authority has given way to a sense of collective and individual uncertainty that has taken hold despite, or precisely because of, the universal accessibility and sheer volume of information available today. The norm of truthfulness as an ethical standard is in crisis. People are often looking not so much for truths that will allow them to arrive at reasoned conclusions than for confirmation of existing interests and convictions driven by heterogeneous political and economic motives.
Dorian Sari’s exhibition examines empirical as well as artistic facets of post-truth. Portraying a state of affairs that prompts emotions of bewilderment and radical dissociation and calls our personal systems of trust in question, it illustrates how that state serves to negotiate social change or fuel polarization. A video installation and several sculptural pieces reflect Sari’s preoccupation with these pressing contemporary issues, which are also explored in depth in an artist’s publication containing writings by the artist, to be released in conjunction with the exhibition.
Dorian Sari studied in Geneva, Naples, and Paris and completed his MA at the Institute of Art of the FHNW Academy of Art and Design, Basel, in 2019.
First given out 1982, the Manor Art Prize promotes young visual artists in Switzerland. It is considered one of the most important awards for emerging contemporary artists in Switzerland.