Neither here nor there
NEITHER HERE NOR THERE
16.6.2018 - 31.10.2018
Gallery-Museum Lendava, Lendava
Curated by dr. Lajos Bence
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Arven Šakti Kralj Szomi is one of those shining art photographers on the Slovenian art scene. She explores the possibilities of photography as they were explored at the very beginnings of the medium, 150 years ago, initially through documentary photography and then through its development into an independent branch of art. Šakti opens and expands the boundaries of photography as a kind of perception of ars poetica by means of a minimalist ticket.
The exhibition at hand also reflects all this: the floating-hovering portraits have not been created in the luxury of a studio, but just as many times up till now, on the made-up floors or walls of her room, which is common to the other series created by the artist in the past, when she for instance just made minimalist use of the camera on her, now "smart", but once "not-so-smart", phone.
The venue of the exhibition is the dungeon of Lendava Castle, which has lived through numerous forms of metamorphic contents, from serving as a jail to a studio, a place of amusement to a place of storage, whose unplastered walls emphasise the surreal and hyperrealistic nature of the captured characters.
But who are they? Perhaps angels with no wings, figures from dreams or the images of the deceased, dancing around us even when we sleep or rest? No, it can not really be the latter since the thirteen photographs capture the fragments of moments, a kind of perpetuum mobile of children, in love with eternal movement, caught in actual size, wishing to sail away from the primary medium – the photograph, so the title of the series seems to offer itself to us of its own accord: Hovering between the Heavens and the Earth.
Between what, really? Since this is also of utmost importance to Arven, who explicitly enjoys the intermediate states of searching for fullness, the eventual planes of emptiness, the captured moment of the anticipated miracle, the sense of magic, nature and landscape. Arven devotes much attention to the dialogue between the images themselves and we could even say that the interchanging photograph and wall appear as a stillness in her pictorial discourse. If we draw a parallel with this series of photographs to her series from the past, in which she portrayed the levitating "legs" of women, we find that both raise a wave of emotions and associations in the attentive observer despite their immobility and entrapment within their frames.
For this is precisely what happens, despite the fact that in the inability of our inner sensation, the abyss between the spiritual and the perceived universe deepens, like in music, when we try to replace sound with silence, a pause. At such a moment, silence becomes the ultimate transmitter of sound, so let us gather our strength, let us surrender to the imagination. It is entirely worth it!
dr. Lajos Bence