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Exhibition and Site-specific Installation by Kristina Lenard «Beyond Borders»
November 15 – December 8, 2011
Lauba and Zagreb Architects Society in collaboration!
We present you the Think Space Program by the Zagreb Architects Society, on which the Society has been working for a year now. The project includes four conceptual international competitions for young visual artists and architects on the burning topic of borders: urban, geopolitical, ecological and moral ones, and in Lauba we will: organize an exhibition of the selected works from the competition (November 18 – 23, 2011), organize a non-conference (November 18 – 20, 2011), and then produce a site-specific installation by Kristina Lenard (November 15 – January 15, 2012).
Think Space seeks to encourage a dialogue between the world-famous and renowned authors and numerous experts and students of architecture, design, landscape architecture, humanities and arts from around the world through a form of competition and with an annual theme. This year’s four competitions explore the theme of Borders and try to produce the catalogue of conditions of contemporary life in social, political and cultural spheres and a catalogue of architectural solutions for them. An international jury came up with competition tasks for applicants: Urban Borders: Shohei Shigematsu; Geopolitical Borders: Teddy Cruz; Ecological Borders: François Roche and Moral Borders: Hrvoje Njirić. Click here for additional information about the Think Space: Borders Program.
The highlight and grand finale of the Think Space Program, the non-conference “Beyond Borders”, will provide an opportunity for the participants and winners of the four international competitions to come to Zagreb and meet in person with the world-famous architects, members of the jury, and exchange ideas and present concepts of their works. In addition to presentation of the works, at the non-conference ‘Beyond Borders’ there will also be an award ceremony for the winners of the four competitions from the annual cycle, and the exhibition of awarded projects. Applications for the non-conference will soon be open, follow the news on program website.
Non-conference and exhibition Beyond Borders within THINK SPACE program:
Organizer: Zagreb Architects Society in partnership with Lauba House
Production: Zagreb Architects Society and Lauba House
Guest curator of annual Think Space program: Eva Franch I Gilabert
Jury of each contest: Shohei Shigematsu (Urban borders), Teddy Cruz (Geopolitical borders), François Roche (Ecological borders), Hrvoje Njirić (Moral borders)
Selectors of the works for exhibition: Ana Dana Beroš, Vanja Žanko
Arhitectural set-up: Ana Dana Beroš, Ivan Zloušić
Art set-up: Vanja Žanko, Vanja Jarni
Workshop leader of Laubica: Davorka Perić
Visual identity: Rafaela Dražić
Within the Think Space Project Kristina Lenard will, for the first time, make a site-specific installation in Lauba; a work that the audience will be able to see in its original form on the spot and not in the form specific for the artist – as a photograph in a lightbox. In her previous work, Lenard made installations in the studio, then she photographed them and exhibited in the form of a photograph inside a lightbox. Installations serve only and exclusively as objects for photographing.
Starting with the exhibition Photosynthesis in Galženica Gallery in 2007, Kristina Lenard has intensively dedicated herself to examining the relation between photographic image and its real reference. In that process the methodology used for creating photographic images most often operates exclusively within one of the two mentioned areas. At first, it is not completely clear where the intervention that made them unusual took place – in the medium itself or already in front of the camera. The second important determinant of her work is the strict sense of order and formal, thematic and genre purity. With her skillful construction and framing of the scene she puts in the foreground, in front of the viewer, precisely those elements which make the conventions of the genre in the narrowest sense, be it a portrait, still life or, in case of the current exhibition, a landscape. Basically, it is a signal for the viewer to perceive the prepared image within precisely determined parameters of the genre, composition, symmetry and the like. Drama occurs on both levels – in the tension between photograph and the thing it should reproduce and the tension between provoked uncompromising of our perception and the precise conventions that shaped it.
Although Kristina Lenard’s work does not directly belong to the traditional current of media experimentalists and it does not follow their rigidity or philosophical nature, it is directed towards inexhaustible exploration of the photographic medium as a technological extension that helps us see the world with different eyes. Although the interpretation of her work always, inevitably, tends towards deconstruction of the “objective” status of the photographic image, that aspect is only a small piece of the puzzle. Photographic trick and deception are almost as old as the photographic image itself. But if one takes into consideration its predecessors, such as camera obscura and here reactualized black mirror, then they are even older than photography itself. The use of variant of black mirror, a simple instrument also known as Claude glass, is therefore a completely logical choice for a work conceived as an extension of the previously mentioned concept, realized in the medium of photography, into a three-dimensional, real space. Small, darkened convex mirror was named after a French painter Claude Lorrain, namely because of the popularity of his landscapes in the 18th century England. That object is closely related to the concept of picturesque, important for the Romantic view on the relationship between nature and man, life and art, and significantly situated between two other terms – beautiful and sublime. Except among artists and enthusiasts for whom it facilitated the filtering of the required tonal and aesthetic qualities, the black mirror became widely popular among travellers and “consumers” of the landscape. They would, typically turning their back to the landscape, frame and appropriate the scenes in a way similar to what a common tourist does nowadays. A lot of the specific sensibility which characterized the hunters of the “picturesque” has remained, moreover, it seems that in the modern era of the image it metastasized to all the aspects of life, more systematically mediated through images.
Unlike Kristina Lenard’s previous works, the installation in Lauba simultaneously offers a view of the framed scene in the black mirror as an analogy to the photographic image and its reference in real life. Here are carefully arranged home plants and moss that should simulate a real landscape with their reflection. Initial, perhaps less brave version of the work, limited the frame in concept, in a way that the viewer had no opportunity to see the constructed arrangement, only its reflection. In the process of realization of the work, which is still going on as I write, is the key practical question here – how to establish a visually clear hierarchy between the two? The question is, however, more complex than that, and it is not only a practical one, because which would actually be “the first” and which “the second” of two seemingly juxtaposed scenes? Kristina Lenard’s current work is about the constant transgression: transgression of the genre from still life to landscape and back, transgression of proportions from real to fictional and back, and even transgression of hierarchy itself between tangible reality and its image.
Kristina Lenard graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb. She has participated in artist residency programs in Krakow (Poland, the Academy of Fine Arts) and in Göteborg (Sweden, Valand Art Academy of Fine Arts). She has had over twenty solo and group exhibitions in Croatia, Slovenia, Japan, Austria, Germany and Sweden.She won two scholarships (Kulturkontakt from Austria and Mino Scholarship from Japan), as well as the Audience Award at the 9th Triennial of Croatian Sculpture (Zagreb, 2006).
Author: Kristina Lenard
Curators: MIran Barulek, Vanja Žanko
Text author: Marko Golub
Photo documentation: Damir Žižić, Kristina Lenard, Miran Barulek
Translation: Zana Šaškin
Proofreading: Susan Jakopec (English), Jelena Graovac (Croatian)
Special thanks: Jure Strunje, Igor Sladoljev, Nikola Kukić, Marta Lozo, Sandro Lenard Bek, Vedran Relja, Ivan Fijolić, Karla Pudar