20 May 2014 > 06 June 2014 Kindly invited to the opening of the exhibition (Un)Tested, by the artist Eva Lucija Kozak. The opening will take place at the Alkatraz Gallery on Tuesday 20th May, at 8pm.
A qualified painter Eva Lucija Kozak has, at the Alkatraz Gallery, connected her paintings, collages, and objects into an installation filling up the entire exhibition space. The structure of the installation restricts the access to the artworks for they can only be viewed by a certain, defined number of visitors at the time, and only from the points of view determined by the author.
With her works Eva Lucija Kozak engages in the urban world that surrounds us, and our perception of it. Photo-collages and acrylic paintings of big formats contain the images of consumeristic contemporaneity, sketching the situations stemming from it. A lively colouring of human figures, animals, and objects, composed of newspaper photographs, the Internet, and advertising materials, enhanced with strong colour contrasts, outlines the illusion of a personal fulfilment and glamour of the everyday of a consumeristic society. From time to time we find the works furnished with additional signs, whose content quite evidently caricatures the seemingly perfect subject. The picture field packed with figures, objects, symbols, and vivid colours is the artist’s – physical, and of the content - horror vacui, brilliantly summing up life orientations in a capitalist consumeristic society of the present time. Eye catching and thoughtfully harmonized colour compositions speak of over-satiation of supply, and the possibilities being offered to us, while the content speaks of the absurdity of the occurred situation. In the artist’s paintings we find children on leashes, socialization of foetuses, fruits shaped as bean-bags, children whose fantasy world has been artificially narrowed, inflatable children-dummies, personal relationship manual for a couple of shop window mannequins, a real world interwoven with elements of the virtual, and related images. They all represent the over-satiation of illusory possibilities of choices and the schizophrenia of the contemporary society as their consequence.
The artist acknowledges that the belief that everything is possible has become so persistent that people fear the contrary, so they refrain from final decisions, apparently keeping their options open. All decisions are therefore postponed into an indefinite future. According to the artist, various life styles, setting up a family, kids, the career, personal partner relationships, money and education have become equal to shop window objects on display, where their price means exclusion of other options. The figures in the author’s artworks are equally so, shiny, mere objects in a shop window, alienated from themselves and others. They are no subjects of their own will, but only passive users-objects of anything that passes by.
The creative production of Eva Lucija Kozak is like a commentary to the recognition of social phenomena, overstated and concisely summed up in each of her artworks. Due to its heterogeneous and dispersed nature it remains open for interpretations, demanding from a viewer to absorb oneself into it and decode all the meanings of the visual, full of symbols, signs, clues, stories from the history of painting and science, popular culture, and mythologies. Should there exist a possibility for the viewers – if only superficially – to touch the content of the works, it’s their meaningful titles that remain a lead, directing and emphasizing the author’s statement; an urgent reflection on the contemporary time, ruled by alienation, commodification of human relations, commercialization, absurdity and deeply rooted feelings of insufficiency, incapability, brittleness, and the idea that money can buy everything.
Content-wise the topic of her works often refers to children, as their world tangibly illustrates social relations; and it is along with their education that the development of either bad or good solutions in the field of social relations and behaviour begins. Birth itself - in this case – represents a turning point that the artist questions by exploring the notions of substitute motherhood, a possibility of alternative production of babies, baby rental, genetic engineering and cloning, also touching the transition of biological and gender roles between the sexes at pregnancy and upbringing. With her works, Eva Lucija Kozak showers the viewer with images and information in the way she/he is used to in their everyday life. However, this is the point where the similarity ends, as the elements of her images are collaged into a complex narration of an entirely different content. The author wishes to demonstrate how the possibilities, not so long ago considered unbelievable and realizable only within the frame of SF, have become reality in our contemporaneity. She stresses that only the future will show whether some of the things now made possible by the science, technology and art, have influenced the welfare of the society positively or not.
When the author interweaves into her works an installation that fills up the entire exhibition space, she adds yet another dimension to the presentation. Beside the fact that ‘readings’ are not universal, as the works are interpretatively open and content-wise intricate, she determines the viewing distance from her artworks to the viewers. The setting is not so much about the effect of inaccessibility that should rise the interest, but more about placing the viewers at a certain space wherefrom they can observe the works from the distance, and merge the fragmentation in her works – upon reflection – into one image. Thus Eva Lucija Kozak offers us an opportunity to perceive the colour and object fragmentation of her works, depicting the contemporary dispersion of the subject as an integrity separated from us, and alienate from it; if only for a moment, and reflect on it in peace.