Kunsthalle LAB, in cooperation with White Night, the international festival of contemporary art, presents an interactive exhibition by the Polish-German artist Karina Smigla-Bobinski, ADA, which has previously been shown to viewers in Brazil, USA, Great Britain, South Korea and Russia. The opening of the exhibition, curated by the director of the White Night festival, Zuzana Pacáková, will be held on Thursday, September 27, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. The exhibition will run until October 30, 2018.
ADA is an aesthetically complex, interactive, helium-filled ball, whose surface is composed of some dozens of spikes of charcoal. It demands participation from viewers, draws them into its game, wants them to connect with the process of creation. When the levitating object is launched into motion, an unpredictable “event” of drawing begins along the walls, ceiling and floor of the gallery.
Its genesis was inspired by the activity of Charles Babbage and Ada Lovelace, who made the prototype computer in the 19th century. Babbage provided a pioneering calculating machine, Lovelace in turn produced the first software. Ada insisted that the analytic machine was capable of manipulating symbols according to instructions and thus could generate not only mathematical processes but do anything whatever, e.g. compose music, write poems or paint pictures, just as an artist would. It was Ada Lovelace’s theory which loosely suggested the initial concept of Karina Smigla-Bobinski’s flying sketching ball.
ADA, however, is self-sufficient, and despite the visitor’s effort to control it, manages to produce traces which are entirely autonomous. By its movement in space it creates a composition of lines and points with a different intensity, form and expression, which none of those present, the artist included, are able to decipher. And yet despite everything, ADA’s resulting work is unquestionably human, because the only available method of decoding the drawing is association.
Karina Smigla-Bobinski is convinced of the necessity of practical experience with art. She herself says that “as in my previous works, it is important for me that each visitor has the option, depending on his/her will and ability, of deciding how deeply to go into the artistic experience.” In this way the artist responds to the traditional manner of viewing art in the gallery setting, often restricted simply to the opportunity to look.
Can we regard the object itself or the drawings created on the walls as an artwork? And ultimately, how are we to interpret it? These are questions which ADA and its author leave open, entrusting them to the visitors’ hands.
Karina Smigla-Bobinski (*1967, Szczecin, Poland) lives and works as an independent artist in Munich and Berlin. She studied art and visual communication at the Academies of Fine Arts in Krakow and Munich. As an intermedia artist, she focuses on work with analog and digital media. She works and collaborates on projects in a range that includes kinetic sculptures, interactive installations, artistic interventions, multimedia, etc. Bobinski’s art has been exhibited in more than forty five countries on five continents, encompassing diverse festivals, galleries and museums.
Zuzana Pacáková (*1986, Košice, Slovakia) is a curator, dramaturge and project manager. She studied conception and management of cultural projects at Sorbonne Nouvelle Paris 3 and curatorial studies of contemporary art at Sorbonne Panthéon Paris. She has brought the international White Night/Nuit Blanche festival to Slovakia and works as its artistic director in the cities of Košice and Bratislava.
KARINA SMIGLA-BOBINSKI: ADA
Curator: Zuzana Pacáková
Launch: Thursday, September 27, 2018, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Duration: September 28 – October 30, 2018
Venue: Kunsthalle LAB