19 May 2021 > 19 June 2021 Kindly invited to the mini online exhibition "Unfamiliar Area" by Nina Baznik.
This year, we are starting with a new programme unit titled Unfamiliar Area, which was inspired by Nina Baznik's project. During the heyday of corona crisis last year, she prepared a set of drawings, illustrations, and a comic. In them, she visually explores continuously functioning mechanisms of the human brain, which (can) affect (an individual's) behaviour and emotions, that science has only begun to learn about. However, she focused on the understanding of the (psychological) pain that can arise from the undiscovered world of the subconscious.
The title image of her project shall assume the role of the unit logo. The image reminds us about an unfamiliar area in which we found ourselves during the pandemic that evokes the feelings of discomfort, being lost, isolation, despair, and fear. In the centre of the black and white illustration, in the middle of an undefined empty space, is a creature that looks like a sympathetic apparition, a ghost. The position of the eyes reflects confusion and uncertainty, the lines along the head an overload. In the middle of the body, concentric isolines draw a deep bright opening. At various depths, it contains spherical thorny objects. Although they resemble a stylized corona virus, they can also illustrate concentrated distresses of the creature. A human hand, reaching into the illustration from outside, trying to catch one of the objects, gives the impression that the movement will lead to pain. Deeper down, we can see also a smaller figure of a depicted ghost, rotating towards the centre of the opening as if towards a drain, dangerously close to another prickly object.
With its numerous elements, the image is open to different interpretations. Still, a common emotional denominator of the scene is certainly anxiety, a sense of danger, and an atmosphere reminiscent of a nightmare. The image can be understood as a symbolic depiction of a rapidly changing reality, which otherwise reveals the fact that we still remain in uncertainty, as we do not know what the future holds after corona crisis. We experience similar discomfort in contact with mechanisms that affect our well-being on a daily basis, without really being aware of how they work.
In addition, we can draw parallels with the feelings encountered by young artists, who are only beginning their journey in the world of art, in search of confirmation and recognition. This path might be frightening and stressful, even more so in the current time when the possibilities of presentation, relaxed socialising and networking are limited.
Thus, the unit is intended for the presentation of artists who are just beginning to search for their position in the art world. Their mini exhibitions shall take place on a monthly basis, online only. One work with a curatorial description and curriculum vitae shall be presented. They shall receive a small fee for the exhibition. Nina Baznik, the author of the umbrella image of the unit, shall start the project as a curator and selector. Her image is an insightful illustration of confusion and despair of the current situation, although it can be read also more broadly. You can expect a variety of approaches and responses to contemporariness, but certainly works of art evoking discomfort, with a frightening undertone.
Ana Grobler, Sebastian Krawczyk.