Neuroaesthetics just made another poke at contemporary art when an interesting show recently opened at the Hayward Gallery in London under the title Walking In My Mind. The exhibition gathers ten artists from USA, Europe and Japan that all have made works that can be “read as translations of the human mind into physical form.”, using the words by one of the two curators Stephanie Rosenthal (the other being Mami Kataoka). In her catalogue essay for the show Rosenthal tries to outline a non-engaged theory of mind and art institution. She does best in her attempt to relate works such as Thomas Hirschhorn‘s work Cavemanman. The work is described as a way of trying to structure the viewer’s mind as in a cave with cavities ”where you put something inside, with garbage, with unspeakable things.”. Sure Hirschhorn knows that he he working with metaphors, but I have a hard time seeing his cave metaphor pared with Hegel’s theory of absolute mind how this is more than a naive attempt at talking about the brain through an established artistic practice. Sorry Hirschhorn!
Much more intriguing is psychologist Susan Blackmore’s text ”Mysteries of the Mind”. In it she makes interesting (although no ground-breaking) points on the mind-body problem, as seen through the artifacts in a contemporary art exhibition. Other artists in the exhibition include Pipilotti Rist, Mark Manders and Yoshitomo Nara.
If you are going anywhere this artsy summer, should be via London.