Winding a trail from Lewis Carroll’s hookah-smoking Caterpillar to Jacques Tati’s Playtime via the Situationists, ‘The Ha Ha Crystal’ is an exploration of the slippery narrative surface between the viewer and the viewed, seen through the prism of the comic speech bubble. Using a brand of narratological phenomenology to highlight the speech bubble’s unique properties, the familiar icon becomes a floating cipher for exploring the unbreakable tenacity of narrative and its problems of authorship and authority.
The talk attempts to give a skewed set of possible answers to Robert Smithson’s question: “[R. Buckminster] Fuller was told by certain scientists that the fourth dimension was ‘ha-ha’, in other words, that it is laughter… Laughter is in a sense a kind of entropic ‘verbalisation.’ How could artists translate this verbal entropy, that is ‘ha-ha’, into solid models?”
Chris Fite-Wassilak is a writer, curator and critic based in London.
Public lecture (in English) organised by Michael Hiltbrunner, Forum KK, and Colin Guillemet, in collaboration with Kunsthalle Zürich. Generously supported by the Swiss Society for Cultural Studies (SGKW).
Monday, August 29, 7 pm
Kunsthalle Zürich at Museum Bärengasse