Tekst van Vanesa Evgenieva Miteva over de tentoonstelling It’s a blast. You’re welcome (22-1 / 20-2-2022) met ter plekke gemaakte werken van Yang-ha, Lucie Sahner, Alexandra Subota.
Text by Vanesa Evgenieva Miteva about the exhibition It’s a blast. You’re welcome (22-1 / 20-2-2022) with site specific works by Yang-ha, Lucie Sahner, Alexandra Subota.
The human condition is a constant. It is a constant search to make sense of the intangible unknown; to give meaning where it is plausible to consider there isn’t any meaning at all. Embrace absurdity, choose a god or plot your own death..you know..whatever helps you cope.
It is all your choice which is also fucking absurd. I don’t want to choose. That is absolute freedom. I don’t want absolute freedom. Absolute freedom makes me anxious. We are so fucking anxious all the time. Because of all these constant choices. All these constant questions.
What job do you want to invest all your life into?
Something I really enjoy doing, regardless of prestige and money.
Fuck the money. I might die at any given moment. I should live life to the fullest.
I think I want to travel the world for a living.
But we are in the middle of a global pandemic.
Although now it is only endemic.
Damn, the situation between Ukraine and Russia is really escalating.
I feel so far away from the danger yet so close.
Yea whatever, my rent is increasing and the price of cigarettes too.
Maybe I should invest in crypto and then I will be able to travel the world and explore all those different cultures.
But I think I need a booster shot for that.
What about OnlyFans though, I think that might work…
But wait, what happened with the protests in Kazakhstan in the end?
And in the midst of all of this, I am burdened with the fundamental task of finding who I am.
Certainly, the individual yet collective human condition is a phenomenon that is dependent on the external environment which society resides in, and thereby we consequently define in the process. Contemporary events play a large part in defining our existential dread, however the residue of the past irretrievably leaves a sticky mark on our individual subconscious which seems to intrinsically get passed from generation to generation.
With that being said, I propose to you, the reader, to look at the exhibition “It’s a blast, you are welcome!”, as a catalogue that offers you three visually astounding samples of what one’s human condition can look like in texture, colour, size, shape, sound, memories, sceneries and concepts. You can browse the catalogue. I guess you can also buy your favourite piece of human condition? Right?! Actually don’t quote me on that, please! Just ask Marie Jeanne.
But yea, anyways, first on the catalogue we have Alexandra Subota who mocks the banality of our lives through the profoundly ironic juxtaposition of over-the-top extravaganza neon colours or artificial fluff with the obviously stiff and restraining quotidian. You can have as much pleasure and fun in the Existential Vacation Town, as these are attributes that are seemingly lacking in industrial society. You can come under the shiny golden branches of the palm, and as you slurp an oyster out of its shell, you can almost hear the sound of the ocean echoing in the distant memory of childhood carelessness. Without surprise, however, this vacation world is almost as distant and artificial as our man-made urban castles. Even our romanticised piece of heaven, the pinnacle of our wet dreams is a genetically modified organism. We have disconnected from nature since our initial moment of conception in the womb. Nature is an unattainable ideal in our lives, a reverie made of pink foam and golden tinsel. It almost feels like we have completely isolated ourselves to the point where even the food we eat is an imitation of nature. Looking for proof..Well that chicken drumstick laying under the palm tree is so damn massive, don’t you think?
Then as you descend the staircase, you see Mother Mary crying and everything is cute. Yet another juxtaposition between the ideal we have built for society and the individual cynicism that derives from it. On the walls you see windows with flowery cute curtains, and beneath them you get a glimpse of the real world. It’s a field of lilies. But the flat surface of the drawing does not pertain to this illusion. It purposely seeks to establish a sinister environment that inflates the robbing character of purity. Yang-Ha plays with the human condition by dissecting the debate around womanhood in nowadays society through the prism of the Christian ideal by reflecting on the two women in her life – her mom and her grandma. The ideal, being Mother Mary – a selfless woman – not an individual; sacrificial, submissive and altruistic. She is isolated in the basement; angels keep her company and constantly remind her of the purity and virtue she embodies; the purity and virtue she has to perpetuate in compensation to her long gone individuality. And where does the modern woman stand in this equation? Perhaps, we all want to be Mary but we can’t. Perhaps we all wanted our mothers to have been Mary at some point but they couldn’t. Purity and true virtue are ideals of the past that are unsuitable for our modern industrial inhabitance. The modern woman has OnlyFans as a job and thinks sex work is a political act.
Finally, ascending the stairs and moving into the back area, Lucie Sahner, the last presenter of her own piece of human condition, guides the viewer to the irretrievable passage of time, expressed in the transformation our bodies go through during a whole lifespan. This transformative process is conceptually contained within the artistic choice of using latex as the central material. Latex is a substance that has an organic origin. It is extracted from the bark of trees, as then it is processed into various products that accommodate different functions in society. And as the latex comes from an organic source, so we come from the source itself, because we are also irretrievably connected to it, as we sustain our bodies from nature. What’s more, it has been already established that human bodies and the rest of nature are the same matter on a metaphysical level, yet we still like distinguishing between “a self and an other”. It is always the ‘I’ and then everything else, as if the universe emerges from us and exists solely to serve our being. We transform our material matter in every given moment; we turn from flesh to soil; and then we become latex and we use the latex in the process of turning from flesh to soil.
Text by: Vanesa Evgenieva Miteva/ Exhibition: Its’a blast, you’re welcome 2022 @ SIGN, Groningen/ Artists: Lucie Sahner, Yang-Ha, Alexandra Subota