Curated by Dieter Roelstraete, the exhibition (26 May–25 November 2018) explores the correlation between conditions of exile, escape and retreat and physical or mental places which favour reflection, thought and intellectual production.
“Machines à penser” focuses on three major philosophers of the 20th century: Theodor W. Adorno (1903-1969), Martin Heidegger (1889-1976) and Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951). The latter two shared a life-long need for intellectual isolation: Heidegger spent long periods of his life in a secluded hut in the village of Todtnauberg in the Black Forest in Germany, whilst Wittgenstein retreated on several occasions to a small mountain cabin situated in a fjord in Skjolden, Norway. Adorno, on the other hand, was forced into exile from his native Germany during by the Nazi regime, first to Oxford and then to Los Angeles, where he wrote Minima Moralia, a collection of aphorisms that also reflects on the fate of forced emigration. These reflections inspired the installation conceived by the Scottish artist and poet Ian Hamilton Finlay in 1987 titled Adorno’s Hut, a centerpiece of the exhibition alongside architectural reconstructions of the actual huts of Heidegger and Wittgenstein.
Image: Ian Hamilton Finlay, Adorno's Hut, 1987
Image courtesy Fondazione Prada, Milan/Venice