11 November 2011 - 10 December 2011
Opening Reception 11 November 2011 8pm
The F.E.K. Archives: This is Making Me Nervous
Reading by Alex Wolfson: Wednesday 16 November, 7PM
Fernanda Eva Karon (1885-1938?) was an Argentinian philosopher and writer. A friend and contemporary of Heidegger and Arendt, Karon’s work concentrated primarily on phenomenological questioning. Her doctoral thesis, awarded by the Sorbonne, was on the “terror of history”, specifically addressing Schelling’s The Ages of Man, and Hegel’s Philosophy of History. Karon’s long- term collaborator (and lover) was the celebrated Portuguese artist Felipe Calderòn (1895-1982), famed now predominantly for his abstract expressionist phase, but during his lifetime more widely known for his collaborations with other artists, writers, and intellectuals, most frequently F.E. Karon. In 1927, Karon was appointed the chair of philosophy at the University of Buenos Aires. As the years went by and Karon’s prestige grew, she began to experience an internal crisis. She grew progressively disassociated from herself and her surroundings. By the mid 1930’s her friends and colleagues were seriously concerned for Karon’s state of mind. In the winter of 1937, Karon decided to spend the winter alone in an isolated cabin in the mountains to complete a mysterious work that even those closest to her knew very little about. When winter was over, and the path to the cabin had thawed, Calderòn went to the cabin. Karon was gone, along with her mysterious, unknown text. All that remained was a note that read: “I am going to the trees to be like Clorinda and rest among the leaves. Look for me there, sprouted anew.” Calderòn claimed he saw in the woods surrounding the cabin a new tree, it’s leaves turned towards the heavens. Deep in grief, Calderòn spent years deciding on an appropriate memorial to his collaborator and lover. In 1973, he opened in Buenos Aires the F.E.K. Archives, dedicated to the life and works of Fernanda Eva Karon. Not a traditional archive, Calderòn created each room as a site-specific installation, that would compliment and interact with the content that was exhibited within it. In 2002, in response to the Argentinian financial crises and waning interest in Karon and Calderòn, the F.E.K Archives was closed down by its custodians. A room from the archive dedicated to the last years of Karon’s life will be recreated and exhibited by Alex Wolfson at Mercer Union.
Alex Wolfson is a playwright and director. His plays are often performed in art galleries, including If I’m Me Today, Must I Tomorrow at Gallery TPW (August, 2008). His recent work, The Sexual Aberrations: Part One, was presented at the Rhubarb Festival in February 2009 and Windows was presented at the Summer Works Theatre Festival.