Dual Exhibition: Strays on Leashes
Place: Shangyuan Museum of contemporary art, Exhibition hall, Beijing, China
Portal to a world behind the art works
strays on leashes
Exhibition review by Irina Ideas
At first there was light, then, there was a word and it gradually turned into a line which suddenly became a story. A story of the universes that we constantly experience but rarely are able to identify, it is not just one unified universe but many, these universes somehow sneak on us, disappear and reappear in the constant breathing in and breathing out of life. Susana and Natalia managed to capture the moments in time of just these almost invisible universes combining the stories, moments of disconnected and yet essential elements that construct the reality of now. Why are these moments almost invisible one might ask, is it the initial awkwardness that makes them invisible to our consciousness that expects only the expected, the reality constructed according to the wishes of the experiencer?
Colossal lions seemingly belonging to the otherworldly realm greet us, taking away the spirits that walk the trail we make. Gradually the concept of trail disappears as the gravity is twisting and turning all the objects that we are all too comfortable to place in a box of expectations and we go forward into the world of possibilities and impossibilities, bridging the gap somehow.
Susana and Natalia are challenging the concept of our all too comfortable reality, bringing together the ghosts of the past, guarding our present and future, but at the same time letting in the invisible powers to play around with our anthologies, books, powers of storytelling. A book can tell a thousand words with just a few lines, and that is exactly what was told, the line between a sculpture, a painting, a word got blurred and we are left before a mirror a word represents, to face our demons even though we guard every moment of our reality with our individual lions from the times past.
The body of work presented in here is actually exploring this construct in the greater depth, with the touch of Eastern mythology and belief systems that span several centuries to the Calvino’s elegant imaginatorium, these seemingly invisible and yet crucial elements make us experience and we only become aware of them briefly and rarely. We sometimes choose to ignore them because our consciousness seeks comfort, they are like ghosts that pass by the guardian lions (our consciousness) and play with the world of stories. Stories are the most primordial drops of imagination and sometimes it feels as if we have exhausted them all, the combinatorics of so many thoughts, so many centuries of transformation echoing the times they were made in, but, not today! Stories today lead us to the times from the past and present as they incorporate our lives, a lion from the past, a guardian playing in the subconscious mind as we play with it, trying to find something beyond. This beyond is a question mark unique to each of us and the pieces make us wonder about the universe one step further into the world, at the same time one step closer to ourselves as we discover, wonder, us wanderers… into the infinite.
Susana Wessling is a half Portuguese half German visual artist currently living in Lithuania. Over the last seven years she has lived in five different countries and done residencies in four more. She draws from the experience of living in different places and moving often and her practice is based on collecting misfits, mishaps and mismatches that come to be in the liminal spaces created by this mobility.
2019 EM EM Festival, Traku Vokės Manor, Vilnius, Lithuania
2019 Vagabond Club Residency, Singapore
2018 Ateljé Stundars Residency, Vaasa, Finland
2018 The reason why I don’t sit on roofs anymore, Ideas Block , Vilnius, Lithuania
2017 Bonkers Contemporary, Biscuit Factory, Edinburgh, UK
2017 SeMA Nanji 11, residency, Seoul Museum of Art, Seoul, Republic of Korea
2017 Sculpture, The Spectrum of Dream, International Sculpture Festa, KOSA Gallery, Seoul, Republic of Korea
2016 Custom Made, Leith Custom House, Edinburgh, UK
2016 Best of Degree show, Sixfoot Gallery, Glasgow, UK
2015 Interim – Talbot Rice Gallery, Edinburgh. UK
Natalia Kalicki is a Canadian-Polish painter and anthropologist based in Leipzig, Germany. She has exhibited work in 5 countries, has attended 3 residencies, and was the coordinator of Pilotenkueche Art Residency in Leipzig Germany for 18 months. Her work includes participating in monthly MODS talks, curation, organising festivals, and facilitating partner outreach between institutions and collectives. She is currently studying the intersections of cultural production, mobility, urban development and art residency models at the University of Leipzig in the Anthropology Institute. This summer she is based at Shangyuan Museum AIR in Beijing. Next autumn she looks forward to an internship at the Artist Residency program at U-Jazdowski Castle in Warsaw, Poland.
2019, Museum On The Couch: Creative and Reflexive Explorations of the Ethnographic Collections. Grassi Museum. Leipzig, Germany
2019 Located – Dislocated. Krudebude. Leipzig, Germany
2019 …but these sunsets are better. Ars Avanti Gallery. Leipzig, Germany
2018 Access Granted: A Global €on$pirac¥. LindeNOW Festival. Leipzig, Germany
2017 Tour De Franz. Open Studios, FF15. Leipzig, Germany
2017 Diversity Collection. LindeNOW Festival. Leipzig, Germany
2017 EAT THIS. Salon Similde. Leipzig, Germany
2016 Goodbye Horses. Pilotenkueche, Spinnerei. Leipzig, Germany
2016 Listhus A-I-R. Ólafsfjörður, Iceland.
2016 PILOTENKUECHE Leipzig, Germany.
Exploring the work of artist Hilma af Klint, with all the mystical, occult, metaphysical that she has been tapping into, indirectly going deep into the art that would have later be defined as abstract art. She innovated without even being aware of it and was was the world, unaware.
Exploring the world of Petar Lubarda, seeing through all the way to building block that the stone is
This is a story, a personal impression rather, of a great artist Petar Lubarda with his roots in Montenegro, with trunk in former Yugoslavia’s Belgrade and Paris and branches, leaves, fruits and flowers in the World. He reaches deep into the history and yet gives us something completely new, a way to look through the prism of the stone that becomes a bone that becomes a structure that becomes an architecture. An architecture of the cosmic journey that we all take on this planet becoming one with the stone that made us and at the same time we become appalled from time to time when we notice the glimpses of the core. We live in the world so dominated by the ruthless ruler called beauty that often times we live in the superficial layer that the underlying truth frightens us. We have learnt to ignore the depth to such a degree that we follow the footpath of positive psychology, from one landmark to another, to avoid abyss at any price, the abyss of the unknown that the subconscious mind knows.
Louise Bourgeois is crossing the boundaries of any of the definitions and exploring and emphasizing on the prevailing forces of the subconsciousness of the 20th century
Louise Bourgeois graced this planet with her presence spanning almost a century, during which she created a wide range of artistic pieces in different languages of materials and expression. She is one of the artists of 20th century who always came back to the psychology, self observation, getting back to the core, finding essence in the childhood memories and events.