Joachim Koester, a Danish artist featured in the latest show at MIT’s List Visual Arts Center, is interested in the unknown. Not just “known unknowns,” in Donald Rumsfeld’s unfairly maligned formulation, but those blastedly elusive “unknown unknowns,” too. (The problem for Rumsfeld was not that his idea didn’t make sense. It was that it was articulated by a man refusing to accept that he was being overwhelmed by unknown unknowns.)
But to get back to known knowns: Koester was born in Copenhagen in 1976. His show at the List, “To Navigate, in a Genuine Way, in the Unknown . . . ,” is not, unfortunately, an easy exhibition to get one’s head around. It amounts to a partial and private meditation on the history of human attempts to plumb life’s mysteries, the more oblique, cultish, and esoteric the better.