The Trails of Dematerialised Bodies (Poti dematerializiranih teles)
Are trails of dematerialised bodies at all possibilities? How to see, touch, taste or smell their trails if the bodies are absent? Do non-bodies leave trails? Is this not the world of metaphysics? These and similar questions are addressed by the exhibition which presents actual, material and bodily objects and sounds when we see in the display case two pairs of worn, rather similar women shoes, and hear the sound of a woman's walking every so often interrupted by a woman's speech. What we see and hear invites other questions: Who are the women only present as traces left in the shoeprints or the echo of a shoe striking the floor? What are they like? What do they want, think, feel? Where have they gone…walked? run? What have they seen and experienced?
Aprilija Lužar and Lela B. Njatin exhibit the portraits of women expressed through personal, sensorial, emotional and intimate stories. They construct these stories through minimal use of elements – a pair of shoes in wooden frames under the glass of a display, recordings of a woman walking and her encounters with other women in the feminist community. Lela B. Njatin makes a portrait of her mother and herself. They both wear similar comfortable shoes because they symbolically and actually made a long sojourn together - the artist's shoes are less worn and a bit more fashionable. When not exhibited she still wears them. The portraits discuss a complex relationship between a mother and a daughter. Aprilija Lužar, on the other hand, makes a portrait of a woman who could be an artist…or any of us. Her walking is trapped in a snare, it rigidly resonates against the floor, echoes unstoppable. A woman was hurt and shouldered to the margin of her society.
Both works are facets of contemporary art building on the tradition of the European historical avant-garde and the global neo avant-garde and conceptual art practices in the second half of the 20th century. As a matter of fact, portraits and self-portraits are somewhat anti-portraits moving from the characteristics of classic portrait art. The art forms of ready-made and concrete music immerse the human's individuality in a culturally constructed “production.”
The artists belong to two different zones within the world of art. Aprilija Lužar works in the field of activist feminist fine art and contemporary art expressions, whilst Lela B. Njatin doesn't see her work –which nonetheless disintegrates a woman and her positioning in art and society – as a feminist practice. The similarities between these works despite their different creative positioning imbue this exhibit with a surprising piquancy.
Culturally constructed “production” transforms personal biographies into broader cultural meanings and the actual bodies disappear in this process of transformation. The exhibit turns into its opposite: what is corporeal becomes immaterial, discussing transformations and relationships. That’s why there are only shoes and the sounds of walking, with no body. The trails of dematerialised bodies are the processes of excavating from the real/material world more profound essences of art and human existence. (Lilijana Stepančič)
Exhibition will be open until October 15th each day between 7 pm - 10 pm.
Curated by: Lilijana Stepančič
Lela B. Njatin (Slovenia)
The Promise of Truth. The Portrait of a Mother
The Path of All Living. Self-Portrait
Aprilija Lužar (Slovenia)
Traveller 1001 x 1 Red Shoe A
Organisation: City of Women, Zavod za kulturo 21; In collaboration with: Alkatraz Gallery.