Contrast: The Storm Hangs Over The Arrogance of The Narcissus

Another art work of the extended exhibition space in Kunsthalle Bratislava — Kunsthalle EXT — is the object by the Brazilian artist Francisco Klinger Carvalho, that is a part of the exhibition NA HRANE / AT THE LIMIT / AM LIMIT. The abbreviation "EXT" stands for the exterior, extension or exit, and it covers objects and installations, as well as other works of art intended for public space at Treskoňova ulica.
Curator: Martin Juef; Curatorial cooperation: Zorka Lednárová

Photo: archive KHB / Martin Marenčin



Francisco Klinger Carvalho

(*1966, Óbidos, Pará, Brasilia / Brazil)


Contrast: The Storm Hangs Over The Arrogance of The Narcissus, 2017, iron, mirror, 190 x 175 x 169 cm, courtesy of the artist


The guiding idea of this conceptually orientated work by the Brazilian artist Francisco Klinger Carvalho, Contrast: The Storm Hangs Over The Arrogance of The Narcissus, is the culturally conditioned understanding of territorial borders, as well as the European tendency to national identification and geographical isolation. In western culture borders mean prohibition and separation: by definition, they represent a certain impenetrability.  Already in the title of his object designed for public space the artist makes reference to European tradition, employing the mythological motif of Narcissus. Via this familiar story, Carvalho highlights the self-centredness, egocentricity and arrogance of the West. We can also find a direct reference to this ancient Greek myth in the physical work, in the form of a mirror. The artist’s conviction is based on his own experience with the immigration policy of European states, which gives preference exclusively to their economic and cultural interests. With its metal grids, the construction thus acquires a powerful political message. Ultimately, the grids themselves give material form to the uncertain relations between protection and isolation, care and repression, in the context of western politics.