• Joachim Koester, I myself am only a receiving apparatus, 2010, still from a black-and-white film in 16 mm, 3 minutes 33 seconds.

    Joachim Koester

    MIT List Visual Arts Center
    20 Ames Street E15
    May 10–July 8

    Curated by João Ribas

    Hypnagogia, mystical languages, and anarchist free towns—this is the stuff transgression is made of, but in Joachim Koester’s hands such arcane interests aren’t accompanied by visionary claims or turned into symphonic Gesamtkunstwerke. Instead, the artist’s nonspectacular explorations of esoterica address what has become imperceptible to culture. Koester turns these blind spots into images of what he calls “invisible indexes”: While some facts of social reality are affirmed and reinscribed by structures of power, others trickle down through history, formulating archives of past events and practices that have been moralized out of existence, deemed irrational, or forgotten. “To navigate, in a genuine way, in the unknown . . . ,” Koester’s first major US museum show, will prove his allegiance to these minor histories as exhibited in seven video and film installations and six photographic projects, made between 1996 and today.