EYES WIDE SHUT / ABSTRACT FEELINGS
In The Postmodern Condition: A Report on Knowledge (1979), Jean-François Lyotard is of the opinion that contemporary society rejects grand, universal structures such as religion, genius, etc. in favor of local narratives and personal myths. This is the world that looks upon itself as an anti-system while voraciously appropriating and borrowing from various cultures and ideologies, which it then decants in a plural process of fragmentation.
The exhibition project "Eyes Wide Shut" has as background the movie with the same title directed by Stanley Kubrick in 1999. Kubrick’s movie is an adaptation of the novel by the Austrian writer Arthur Schnitzler, “Traumnovelle” (“Dream Story”) from 1926.
"Eyes Wide Shut" is about what is hidden in the human minds, about what can only be perceived mentally. The mental play, the sensations developed following a psychological interrogation, the refuted and repressed desires create a state of mystery, uncertainty, which forces the limits of the real. Alexandru Rădvan (RO), Aurel Vlad (RO) and Vera Kochubey (RU/DE) represent three artistic directions in which the human psyche is deeply interrogated.
Alexandru Rădvan’s art is not easy to look at or to comprehend; nor is it a comfortable form of art, one that eye and soul rejoice at. On the contrary, it forces the onlooker to think, to wonder and to try to figure out answers to her or his own. "Cancer" is a work in point, perhaps the most important piece of Romanian post-1989 art. Painted in 2007, it brings into discussion both the manner of representation and the onlookers’ capacity to understand, his level of engagement and endurance. The artist wanted to comprise in one single piece of work trauma, vanity, grotesque, bestiality and sufferance, thereby inviting a thorough renewal of sensitive knowledge.
Baruch Spinoza defined the body as an expression of the divine essence itself, yet in the creation of Aurel Vlad, the body is invested on one hand with the mystery of the divine and on the other hand with the human experience. His characters are often subjects to physical and psychological pressure, revealing struggle and inner turmoil. "Icarus" series revealed feelings such as fear, terror, anxiety, desire for freedom and ascension, followed by an imminent fall, nostalgia and compassion. Georges Bataille considered that in sacrifice, the victim is chosen in such a way that his/her perfection makes brutal death perceptible. Icarus is domed because he dared to fly.
Vera Kochubey’s work wants to impose a new kind of spirituality. Spirituality outside religious and cultural perceptions is a spirituality of one's own self. A self that becomes an element of connection through art with the Universe, through self-knowledge. Her black and white canvases are invaded by interrogative texts or statements about the concepts of transgender, feminism, gay and lesbian orientation or asexual or sexually ambiguous stylized characters. One of the most representative artwork is "Icon" from 2017, where the spirituality of one’s self is represented after the old byzantine icons construction field with texts and symbols from the Tarots cards. Also, the figurative representation is ambiguous half human, half animal, that leads to the idea of the light and dark side that resides in us.
"Eyes Wide Shut" is an exhibition about mystery, ambiguity, desire, fear, self-determination. It is about our desires to transcend the limits with the power of our minds.
The exhibition “Abstract Feelings” presents three artistic approaches which construct and deconstruct the mental identity through abstract art. Masch (Manfred Schulzke, DE), Zsolt Berszán (RO) and Pal B. Stock (HU/DE) investigate the most hidden fantasies, ruins or pulsations.
Roland Barthes wrote in the 1970’s about Julia Kristeva that through her research “she changes the order of things” combining the new theories and approaches with tradition. Kristeva’s writings reveal an interdisciplinary thinking that explores extensively the human mind. In 2004 when she won the Holberg Prize, she said “the key to my nomadism, and my questioning of established forms of knowledge is none other than psychoanalysis itself, understood as a journey in which the psychic identity in self is reconstituted” .
MASCH's work describes a discursive rebellion of continuous civilization in a state of decay. His paintings arise from the overlapping of canvases becoming true membranes fringed by time and history. These superimposed membranes speak of a time of destruction and decay, of a disintegrated, lost world. Cut, glued, clipped, these canvases form expanded layers of pastel or violent colors. It is the representation of the slightest details emphasizing hardly mentionable elements that are outside the symbolic sequence of civilization and that disturbs social rules, trying to defy a traumatic experience.
Berszán’s black silicone structures arise through a process of etching and division of the metal. Thus, anthropomorphic shapes appear on the surface of the metal plates creating non-object states and imperceptible movements. The dynamic separation and the transitional objects are presented as parts of frozen bodies; parts of decaying corpses, both being are neither subject nor object. Berszán’s creation is located at the fine border between the representation of identity and its dissolution thusly aiming to represent the non-symbolized.
For Pal B. Stock the idea of a feeling represents the absence of the object, namely of an object proposed as a precondition for the development of mental activity. His works express the joy of life, the infinite life pulsations, fragility. Vivid colors’, animated by lights and shadows, continuously change the visual perception of the viewers. The beeswax-resin surface used in his works can be seen as a human tissue field with certain feelings expressed through infinite colors. The glass talks about the fragility and the fluidity of life.
“Abstract Feelings” is a group show that speaks about the imperfection of our life and at the same time about the reconciliation with our inner most hidden thoughts.
Curator: Diana Dochia, PhD
In the framework of the exhibition will take place a visual experiential performance by Vera Kochubey, combining group ritual, live painting and Tarot… alchemical process of turning matter into Gold!