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La Strada © Branka Cvjeticanin

Invisible Parcours
Cécile Azoulay | Branka Cvjeticanin

Curated by Katerina Valdivia Bruch

The exhibition Invisible Parcours explores ways of understanding the notions of landscape and space. Spaces become important once inhabited or experienced. They are part of our consciousness and our ways of understanding. But what about those spaces which are imaginated and do not exist in reality, the ones which are just part of our imagination?

We can associate issues about identity, memory, community and emotions with recognizable landscapes and imaginary spaces. For instance, human imagination is not necessarily limited by the laws of physics or the limitations of contemporary urban theory, as there are other ways of seeing and feeling spaces. As we know, imagination makes us believe in other possibilities of dealing with spaces and ways to express its dimensions. How we can think about the use of space and landscape, how they are formed and how they function are questions that may arise from this exhibition.

Cécile Azoulay recreates in Staffa Island an existing landscape, a volcanic rock formation in Scotland, and mixes the real island with a fictional statement, in which a green ray appears in the moment of sunset and is visible only for those people who belong together. This work, based on Jules Verne´s novel The Green Ray, combines fictional elements from literature with real spatial environments. In Places, the artist also uses literature as a starting point and creates a book with about 1500 imaginary places and cities. In A Romance of Many Dimensions -  based on the novel of Edwin A. Abbott which tells the story of a two dimensional world referred to as Flatland – the artist emphasizes the limits and dimensions of spaces and explores space in its possible geometric forms. 

In the video Antartica, real spaces slightly change their meaning by the apperance of an never ending flying airplane on top of an old scientific base on Antarctica in the early forties. Similarly to this, the work Eagle? refers to the fact of the arrival of the man on the moon, but just shadows remember us human occupancy.

With Semper Augustus, the artist evokes the first economic bubble in history (Netherlands, mid 17thcentury) by placing 242 tulips to represent the historial evolution of the stock market statistics generated by flowers, actually sick (white colour stripes), rare and therefore more expensive. The sickness of the flower made speculation possible. The web www.semperaugustus.net presents an animation of the Semper Augustus tulip giving the DAX stock market health in real time on a daily basis.

Branka Cvjeticanin explores in Myopia the natural landscape created by flowers and  displays it as an artificial setup. Her work is based on observation about objects and matters of contemporary society, such as illusion and reality, history and personal memory. A natural landscape can seduce us with its beauty. We believe that is real, but if you observe more clearly, this illusion of reality disappears once we get closer and see that this are fake flowers, which are actually part of graveyards. This intimate space usually filled with real flowers, candles and photographs is readapted with fake everlasting flowers on porcelain clay.

In Branka's words: That very new “illness” of our perception I’ve called it “perceptive myopia” which can be “diagnosed” when our brain becomes too lazy to overcome a first impression and therefore becomes sensitive for specially tuned triggers which are seducing us by beauty and kitsch.

La Strada, an impressive work about the setup of a museum in a highway, deals with issues about the status of contemporary arts and its preservation in closed spaces. It represents a highway museum with no walls, but land and fields, open for those who cross it. By making it accessible through a highway, La Strada critisizes arts institutions and democratizes art for a bigger audience. Highway as path, as point of departure and arrival means also space for communication and discussion. We are pleased to show at IAC-Berlin just one part of a two year long project. Branka Cvjeticanin synthesizes the whole process in a photo/video installation, which summarizes the negotiations with institutions and bureaucratic structures in order to create the museum of the future. This highway museum is still open to future possibilities of actual realization.

Opening: May 28th, 2008
Exhibition: May 29th – June 28th, 2008

Galerie IAC-Berlin

curatorial text EN ]

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