‘For it is Written’ was originally presented from 13-16 September 2018 at the LiTE-HAUS Galerie in Berlin as part of joint exhibition under the title ‘By Which We Unravel: Identity and Nationhood’, together with Mumbai sculptor Menakshi Nihilani. The exhibition followed a summer residency with the Centre for Sub-structured Loss, the Toronto-based foundation undertaking applied grief and bereavement research. This opportunity enabled Jonathan Davis to pose questions about the direction of contemporary political discourse and its possible relationship to recent German, and wider European history.
From the onset of the so-called ‘populist revolt’ of 2016-17, Davis suspected that the UK Government’s stated aim to leave the European Union, otherwise known as ‘Brexit,’ was in some ways the manifestation of a coup d’état.
Given the apparent similarities between the front pages of two newspapers (one published in 2016, the other in 1933), Davis also considered ways in which public opinion can be manipulated; Is there an equivalence of distortion, of euphemism or of intention to deceive between two very different periods of European history?
‘For it is Written’ presents the interim findings of an investigation. This has so far gathered evidence suggesting that public opinion can more often be influenced by telling stories than attempts to elucidate truth by the examination of empirically derived evidence. Psychological and neuro-scientific research has demonstrated that this is more likely if a person’s thinking style is of a type associated with conservative, or even authoritarian political attitudes.
Reflecting these possibilities, the work was separated into separate galleries:-
room a | evidence gallery
room b | story-telling gallery