As a fool you shall always fail–either by staying a fool or becoming a hero–but it is in this failure that you will succeed.
– Bjørn Venø
All heroes are charlatans. [Simply] reflections of order and harmony, concepts that create stability and restrain development. You will be nothing more than what you already are.
– Alan Edelstein, 'Everybody is Sitting on the Curb'
The concept of ‘hero’ poses a strong philosophical dilemma. Heroes personify a quintessence, the ideal way of living one’s life. However, these measures cannot help but fall into line with the status quo, and often the people we accept as contemporary heroes eventually fall out of history’s favour. In response to this problem, Bjørn Venø re-examines what it means to be a fool, taking as its meaning both the ancient and medieval sensibility that such characters had access to the divine. Further, he delineates between types of fool: natural ones, who cannot control their role and does not posses the language to express their special perspective; and licensed ones, trained to have control and expression.
Venø created The Licensed Fool Workshop to address the gap between natural and licensed fools, developing a regimen that aims to give participants the tools to enable better problem solving and creative idea development. The gallery will display photographs and video from a previous incarnation of the workshop, while hosting three sessions of its own: the first prior to the public opening, and again on 25 of May and 1 June.
Bjørn Venø (b 1979, Norway) received his MA in Photography from the Royal College of Art in 2012. Recent exhibitions include The Rudin Prize, Norton Museum, West Palm Beach US (2012), The Collective at Nettie Horn, London (2011), with solo projects at Fotogalleriet, Malmö SE (2009) and Nettie Horn, London (2009).
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