Curators’ Series #12. The Season of Cartesian Weeping.

Am Nuden Da
East London Cable
-f-r-i-e-n-d-s– with Mark Aerial Waller
Parrhesiades with Johanna Hedva
Lecture by Johanna Hedva: 8 November – 7pm-9.30pm
Am Nuden Da Book Launch: 4 December – from 7pm
DRAF, 111 Great Titchfield Street, W1W 6RY

Curated by Hana Noorali and Lynton Talbot

The Season of Cartesian Weeping, is a group exhibition that invites five artist collectives to reveal their respective methodologies, producing the platforms and conditions necessary for more discursive forms of practice. It is an exhibition that examines the tools and protocols of self-organisation that these collectives depend on, rather than the object based outcomes they produce.

In Anne Boyer’s 2018 essay, The Season of Cartesian Weeping, the author describes perpetual tears as a side effect of the medication she used during her battle with cancer. Despite her sadness, disease has bullied her into a Cartesian dualism (Descartes’ theory of a mind-body split) that separates cause from effect and denies her any sorrow. But rather than fight her body to grant space for her grief, Anne Boyer simply adds tears of emotion to the mechanical tears that constantly flow. Once shed, she asks, “can the tears of sadness be extracted from the general waters anyway?” This sly refusal, revives her agency and reimagines the mind and body in unison; a new disposition as discrepant to the authority of the disease.

In the manner of Anne Boyer’s refusal, this exhibition prompts a reconsideration of how we understand our bodies and their agency at a time when techno-capitalism increasingly builds in division between people and outsources our communication via codified systems of likes and shares. This exhibition also recognises the paradoxical status institutions and territories for art hold; as simultaneously open spaces to play out political dissent whilst also sustaining and upholding many of the problematics that art intends to critique. These five organisations attempt a form of self-instituting that utilises the body (its speech, its movement, its action) and demands more discrepant forms of knowledge production in order to evade the relentless market capture of ideas, language and sociality that defines our current political climate.

Under the borrowed title The Season of Cartesian Weeping, Hana Noorali and Lynton Talbot invite Am Nuden Da launch Let’s Not Dispute The Useless. …, a book that makes available to the public for the first time, a series of solo ‘exhibitions’ with five artists; Gerry Bibby, Juliette Blightman, Kerstin Brätsch, Oliver Laric and Ghislaine Leung.

East London Cable, who explore the potential of the TV studio to operate as a locus for community-building and knowledge exchange, in a contemporary media climate that is dominated by global corporations presenting homogeneity under the guise of choice.

-f-r-i-e-n-d-s- presents a reorganising of the physical architectures of The Wayward Canon, which is itself an artist-led platform for event-based interventions in cinematic practices founded in 2001 by Mark Aerial Waller. Through both denials and concessions to authorship, -f-r-i-e-n-d-s- simultaneously resists easy categorisation and confers new status on the materials presented.

OFFSHORE offers its structure and its language as a graphic articulation of its architectures. If OFFSHORE’s knowledge is kept in the bodies of its participants, the textual framework presented here can be read as its score. Considering itself a ‘school for embodied knowledge’, it asks; how might we live, work and perform without falling into the traps of exploitation found within the neoliberal machinery of exchange?

Parrhesiades, who have invited Johanna Hedva to produce a project across its four sites called Reading is Yielding. Its materials are the voice, private libraries, self-destructing messages, video, gifs, astrology charts, taxonomies of mysticism, and secret knowledges. In a private residence in London SE5, in the gallery of DRAF, online at and later in a parrhesiades publication, the project communes with different kinds of reading.

Here, then, five organisations have been asked to ruminate on their own working practices. Whether it is in the consideration of poetry as a methodology, fiction as a form of resistant politics, the offer of multiplicity over homogenisation or by instigating ways to privilege the discursive over the aesthetic, Hana Noorali and Lynton Talbot aim to highlight the role language itself plays, and in what way it too can be discrepant to the dominant infrastructures that frame our experience and codify our behaviour in the world.

The curators would like to extend their thanks to Anne Boyer for engaging with their project and kindly loaning them the title for the exhibition.

On the 8th November, Johanna Hedva will deliver a lecture: They’re Really Close to My Body: A Hagiography of Nine Inch Nails and Their Resident Mystic Robin Finck.”

Hedva writes, “This lecture is from my book-in-progress, The Mess, which deals with the weird truth of how music was my first encounter with both masculinity and mysticism, and what a fucking mess that was. Encountering the mystical fury of Nine Inch Nails at age 10 was an encounter with everything I wanted the world to be: chaotic, feverish, ungovernable. After being a devoted fan for 25 years (yes, they are my favorite band), I still want the world to be like this.”

On the 4th December, DRAF will host the book launch of Am Nuden Da, Let’s Not Dispute The Useless. … published by NERO, Rome, 2019.
Between 2013-2014 Am Nuden Da invited five artists to participate in a series of “solo exhibitions” that forewent some of the typical structures of exhibition making, such as a gallery space, audience and visual documentation. The resulting events, that took place between the UK, France, Italy and Germany were later written into a series of texts in collaboration with the participating artists; Gerry Bibby, Juliette Blightman, Kerstin Brätsch, Oliver Laric and Ghislaine Leung. As their contribution to the exhibition, the resulting book Let’s Not Dispute The Useless. … will be launched at the gallery, making the project available to the public for the first time.

Accessibility information:
111 Great Titchfield Street is accessible by wheelchair but unfortunately there is no disabled bathroom. The space has non-gender-specific toilet. Regrettably we do not have any parking on Great Titchfield Street, however car and taxi drop-offs are possible.
Johanna Hedva’s video work will include open captions and visual descriptions.
If you have an access requirement which we haven’t listed here, please do get in touch in advance of your visit. We will make our best endeavours to assist you. Please contact us in advance of your visit for more information at

The Curators’ Series supports independent curators by commissioning research-based exhibitions. The series presents diverse fields of knowledge, methodologies and practices. Each year, DRAF invites an individual, duo or organisation to curate an original exhibition.