The exhibition title There Is No Place Before Arrival is based on Nicolai’s work Don’t Spend Time Searching the Colorful Layered Flood of Leaking Information, or: There is no place before arrival. It consists of a large stone slab made of Precambrian quartz sandstone that dates back to a time before the first appearance of living things on earth. There Is No Place Before Arrival suggests that when thoughts, words, pictures and gestures are conveyed, they don’t arrive in some pre-existing place as such, but create it upon arrival. At the same time, the title is a poetic paraphrase of the dialectic of desire – “hoped-for duration and permanent delay in motion,” as the artist says, commenting on the title of his Vienna exhibition.
Olaf Nicolai not only discloses his method in There Is No Place Before Arrival. In fact, he will connect performative elements, works that will transform during the course of the exhibition, and motifs from pop culture – all of which will interweave to form a dense web of references alluding to iconic moments in politics and intellectual history. At the same time, the exhibition will stage a set of changing.