“In the shoes vibrates the silent call of the earth, its quiet gift of the ripening grain and its unexplained self‐ refusal in the fallow desolation of the wintry field.” (Martin Heidegger)

The silent call of earth is a site‐specific project which explores the notion of earth in contemporary culture. Inspired by Heidegger’s critique of positive science, the exhibition foregrounds earth in its opaque singularity. Despite the effort of various discourses to delineate its phenomenon, earth repels technological measurement and transcends scientific definitions.

The strife between Earth and world forms “the happening of truth” in the work of art which is neither an aesthetic object nor a bearer of meaning. Heidegger undermines the traditional understanding of truth as a correspondence between knowledge and matter, and argues that the essence of truth is unconcealment (althelia) the emergence of being from their self‐ enclosure into the open.

In order to reveal the being of an entity, its relations with other entities has to be exposed. Only by revealing this dynamic network of relations, which Heidegger calls world, the being of the entity can be revealed.

But the world that environs us is embedded in the enigma of its own existence. Every understanding of the world presupposes the abyss of its foundation. If the work of art is to fulfil its vocation, it also has to reveal the unintelligible side of our existence.

Heidegger’s conception of the work of art and its emphasis on both the intelligible (world) and the unintelligible (earth) can be seen as a middle path between the two tendencies that dominated the art of the previous century: the aesthetic and the conceptual. If modernist formalism emphasises the thingly character of the work and saw its sheer presence as the triumph of its purification, conceptualism subordinates the work to the expression of ideas.

As opposed to these contradicting tendencies, this project strives to unfold the relation of contemporary culture with earth and simultaneously foregrounds earth’s mystery. It translates the murmur of earth into Heidegger’s question which forever remains unanswered: “Why are there beings at all, and why not rather nothing?”


Threshold Art Gallery

C221, Sarvodaya Enclave, 110017

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