“Friend” is the loosest of terms we have for how we relate to each other. Michel Foucault calls friendship “a desire, an uneasiness, a desire-in-uneasiness.” Not always democratic or inclusive, friendship starts with negation: we collectively wish everyone else would go away. Friendship can be impolite, and as it unfolds, it can be opaque and asymmetrical, tortuous. It is tensile, capable of bearing heart-wrenching passion, ambivalence, or even the absence of feeling. It is sometimes what’s left when nothing else is possible.
Being a good friend signals an inclination to form anomalous, unproductive bonds that exceed strategic self-interest. It’s not, however, an apolitical relationship or stable state. Rather, it is a vector of accountability and identification outside oneself—a framework for interrogating how we move in the world. It offers a possibility for a new poetics of the Other.
Smashing into my heart looks at friendship as a condition, a model, and a metaphor for art. The artworks presented engage with regimes of care, structures of support, horizontal relationships. They are steeped in affection, desire, longing, jealousy, comfort, love. The tone is sentimental—irony has left the building.
Curated by Myriam Ben Salah.