Slavs and Tatars


Beyonsense acts as a psychedelic reading room, a sanctuary, a calm, black-lit space amid the otherwise white-washed rough-and-tumble of the museum crowds, in which to consider the antimodern, the traditional, and the contemplative. Visitors can read our various publications, including our most recent, called Khhhhhhh, on the pesky-to-pronounce phoneme "kh," or they can just take a nap or relax. Beyonsense, a brilliant English translation of the Russian zaum, literally means "beyond or across reason," a set of futurist linguistic experiments to unlock the sacred role of language versus its everyday, profane use. The centerpiece is a little known Dan Flavin installation for a Sufi mosque in SoHo, on Mercer Street, commissioned by Dia in the early 1980s, that we've re-created for the occasion, as well as our Reverse Joy, a fountain of red water whose trickling sound soothes while the sight of it unsettles. Reverse Joy is a perfect example of what we call amphiboly: metaphysical splits of the mind, not the legs. Bringing things together that don't seem at first glance to fit has become somewhat of our MO. In this case, we combine the festive, na├»ve vibrancy of a colored fountain with its more cynical, violent connotations of blood. Whether in Jerusalem—where we presented it recently in a public park—or in the hallowed halls of MoMA, kids seem to love it, and true to our maximalist ethos, grandmas and grandpas do too. Children, however, are our preferred demographic