Look, don't look
LOOK, DON'T LOOK
Joint show with Saša Bezjak
23.6.2016 - 16.7.2016
KiBela, Maribor, Slovenia
Curated by Nina Jeza
- - - - - - - - - - -
Sasha v. Shakti (Saša Bezjak, 1971 and Arven Šakti Kralj Szomi, 1974) could probably not be a more opposing artistic duo. Sasha works in painting and sculpture; Shakti’s work follows a photographic aesthetic that spills into stand-alone photographic pieces, time-based and installational media. Sasha’s process is very organic, her mark-making and assembly are impulsive, her work is raw and unabashed; Shakti’s process is considered, concealed and intimate, and multilayered in meaning. Sasha’s colourful depictions display the rawness of human nature and sexuality, Shakti’s monochrome images, particularly of children, venture into a delicate domain and debate on how children are used and represented. Nevertheless, the work of the two artists, who have both completed Master Degrees at the Ljubljana Academy of Fine Arts and Design, has an inherent correspondence and intercommunication, perhaps precisely due to these outlined differences.
The project Look, don’t look is the duo’s first joint presentation, produced specifically for the KiBela gallery space. Drawing from their existing work, the artists have used the gallery space to produce an installation where monochrome black and white images of landscape and children (photographs) are confronted by vivid representations of explicitly depicted and intimate body parts cocooned within the heart of the gallery space (drawings). The installation acts as an immersive physical confrontation and communication between the images that invite to either look or not look.
Apart from establishing a confrontation, the work also seeks to address the construct of viewing (art – or any other visual medium in the proliferation of images today) – particularly the delicate subject matters that are contradictorily manipulated in the contemporary world and society of today. Both, the blatant displays of sexuality and the images of children fall into these doubtful categories. To further juxtapose the contradiction, the work of the two artists becomes “the viewer” and “the viewed” – leaving the actual viewer to the exhibition to decide which stand to take – hence the title: Look, don’t look.
Sasha and Shakti have been collaborating artistically since meeting at a three-day international art symposium in the summer of 2015. Many productive conversations, ideas and corresponding feelings have prompted them to embark on a joint project, the fruit of which is this dialogue actualised in the KiBela exhibition space.