Kunsthalle LAB presents a solo exhibition by Zorka Lednárová, a Slovak sculptor living in Berlin. Viewers have been able to see her visual works at many exhibitions at home and abroad. By way of example, let us recall her participation in EXPO 2000 in Hangzhou, China, where she received a prestigious invitation to create a work of sculpture, which was appreciated by Chinese art critics also. The opening of her exhibition entitled Perspective, curated by Lucie G. Stach, will be held on Thursday April 25, 2019 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the spaces of Kunsthalle LAB.
Perspective is a key concept for the viewer visiting Lednárová’s exhibition. Through this concept the artist’s thinking is disclosed: how she regards language as a visual, sonic, and also sensual and emotional possibility of capturing the world and its changes in the layers and the forms which compose it. Lednárová’s notion of the ideal world does not include borders or narrow demarcations of culture. She sees borders, barriers and their mutual permeations as an expression of the reality of the world including the changes which globalisation has brought, as well as the migration crisis and climate change.
On the formal level the artist visually combines a variety of scripts and sign systems, using the map as an indexal sign and image of a designated, appropriated territory. Manipulating its symbolic significance, she critically analyses political power and the desire for superiority of force and domination. “Using the language of cartography, she shows the world as a single living organism constantly transmuted by the mental activity of its inhabitants, which develops freely outside of state borders and often in spite of the political organisation of countries,” Lucia G. Stach says of Lednárová’s work. For the artist the structure of the map becomes an instrument for expressing artistic and civic opinions, as well as a method of visualisation of global connections.
In the exhibition at Kunsthalle LAB viewers may also see a work from the Signs&Locations series, originating in 2001 and produced in various media, from graphic art to a strategic computer game (2004). In this interactive spatial installation the artist uses twelve large wooden cubes, reminiscent of a child’s meccano set. The viewer may change their arrangement and thus create six different maps of the world, which apart from political division illustrate the indices of education, corruption, writing systems, and indicators of prosperity and culture under the impact of globalisation. In her own words, Lednárová wishes to offer “a different view of various problems and thus to offer an opportunity to perceive connections and continuities”.
An installation of objects in the left-hand side of the gallery entitled 2000 CE (2018) again presents pseudoarchaeological objects as a testimony of the time of human history. Small porcelain objects, gilded with 24-carat gold, on which specimens of twelve officially used writing systems have been cast in relief, are shut in twelve glass boxes. The viewer gradually arrives at the fact that universally valid and firmly-established systems are actually mutable and fragile, because they are subject not only to the extremely subjective activities and motivations of people but also to time, which with its diverse layers is the meta-theme of the entire installation. Contrasting with the gold and the porcelain there is a railway sleeper, symbolising “travel”, which according to Irit Rogoff comprises a tremendous number of metaphors of displacement: movement, discovering, adventure, scholarly research, as well as uprooting, epistemological colonialism, crusades, etc.
“We must see Zorka Lednárová’s exhibition from the perspective of the present-day human being, living under the constant pressure of mobile categories without certain knowledge of one’s own territory and its stable map. She finds, however, an added value in uncertainty: the promise of new moments, the celebration of change and displacement as a principle of life,” the curator of the exhibition remarks in conclusion.
ZORKA LEDNÁROVÁ: Perspective
Curator: Lucia G. Stach
Opening: Thursday, April 25 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in Kunsthalle LAB
Duration: April 26 –June 23, 2019
Venue: Kunsthalle LAB