On Lenin: Atlases, Herbariums, and Rituals

28.4 - 13.5.2012


This exhibition is conceptualization of Lenin's theory.

The point of departure is philosopher’s call:

The fact remains that neither politics nor the Party have as their vocation what Mallarme called the 'atlases, herbariums, and rituals'

(Badiou, Theory of the Subject, p. 116)



How to respond to this call, how to invoke the naming without relapsing to the famous tautology and repetition that haunts whole memory of political art? Aim of this exhibition is to construct a political naming around 'Lenin', or around

subjective determination of century

(Badiou, One Divides Itself into Two, p.9).



This is determination of break, of contingency, of openness to unexpected, without elapsing to any ghost stories. Name of this determination is Lenin. Primarily this exhibition is an attempt to refute all 'hair-raising' stories based on this name - Lenin: there are no historians, no academicians, no journalist, no Robert Service nor Sheila Fitzpatrick, nor the ghost of Stalin in this exhibition to divert us from this determination. Only poets, artists and philosophers are mentioned.


We can and must discuss amongst ourselves (meaning those for whom capitalism and its practical forms are horrors, and for whom egalitarian emancipation is the only maxim that has any universal value) the use we make, or do not make, of these figures. The discussion may be lively,and sometimes antagonistic, but it is amongst ourselves, and the rules of the discussion imply an absolute refusal to collaborate with the adversary's ranting.

(Badiou, Communist Hypothesis, p. 264)



What are the 'atlases, herbariums, and rituals' of this exhibition? They are elements that construct Lenin's name. Nothing so spectacular about it: art, poetry, philosophy and politics do not exclude the mathematics. And mathematics does not exclude unexpected and contradictions. Finally the aim of this exhibition is to construct a method based on the name of Lenin, method that once more reminds us that there is no art and politics without force, coercion and contradictions. In order to make things easy for beginners here are the elements of Lenin-index:

k i s s e s  w i t h o u t  l o v e

b r o k e n  m i r r o r

k w a k a l l a

o f - n e s s

f e b r u a r y 2 7 - j u l y 4

m a t e r i a l i s m  i s  n o t  d e a d  d o g

b e e t h o v e n

e v e n  i n  m a t h e m a t i c s

Sezgin Boynik is theoretician currently living in Helsinki. This is his first solo exhibition.