Solo exhibition at Zak|Branicka, Berlin
From the press release:
In different ways, all the works in the show approach the problem of space, staging a series of complex dynamics between the center of a space and its periphery, between the front and the back. By modifying images, objects, and surfaces in ways that relocate and playfully exchange sides for the middle, inside for the outside, and top for the bottom, the artist repeatedly reworks her source material’s spatial properties.
At the centre of the gallery’s main space, Horvat presents a selection of new wall-based collage works, comprising modified and excavated photographs, each depicting a female figure. Using a series of cutting and folding gestures, the artist sometimes removes all context and surroundings around the figure, leaving the figure suspended in the midst of empty frames, and other times folds the figure outside the edges of the photograph, or outside the edges of the paper itself.
The relation between the sides and the middle similarly comes to the fore in the sculptural work Peripheral Awareness, in which a range of round or tubular objects are placed at the very edges of a table, precariously stopped at the table’s brink, apparently caught at a precipice. The safety of the middle and the stability of the centre are abandoned here for a more precarious space of the edge, and the possibility of the objects “going over the edge” (in both literal and metaphorical sense) hangs in the air. As is the case with Horvat’s collages, in Peripheral Awareness, the safe centre also becomes a site of abandonment – evacuated and deserted – while the edges become sites of activity, enlivened with the presence of objects/figures occupying it, but which are displaced and stopped in a precarious balance between stability and the potential fall.
The walls around the sculptural works hold Spread Pages, Horvat’s delicate reworkings of the surface of A4 paper. Here the artist again applies a formally consistent process of cutting and folding their surfaces, expanding them outwards from their one-time boundaries to create a constellation of Moebius-like geometrical conundrums. In this process, basic blank pages are dismantled as solid flat-plane surfaces to become problematic three-dimensional artifacts whose borders, edges, and interior dimensions are constantly an issue. While much of Horvat’s work to date has subjected a human figure to gestures such as cutting and severing, recombining and reconfiguring, here the focus shifts to the reconfiguration of an object, to negotiation and distribution of space itself, to the possibilities of occupying it, and of re-drawings its borders. In the spatial redefinition and literal unpacking of this everyday object – the page – and in the repeated flux/reversal of outside and inside, Spread Pages evokes the social and political processes of territorial expansion and conquest, and the psychological processes of interior revelation and exploration.
Works in the show:
The Past is Another Country (01-16), 2015
Photo collage mounted on board
Peripheral Awareness, 2014/16
Wooden table, various objects
Remade to Measure (White), 2014
Broken wooden builder’s ruler, rubber bands
Spread Pages, 2015
Modified A4 pages, wall version
Rough Surfaced, 2013
Floor sanding paper, mounting board
Torn Red Strips, 2013
Torn inkjet print, watercolor paper, mounting board
Layered with Felt, 2013
Inkjet prints, paper cutoffs, felt, mounting board
Taz die Tageszeitung (link) – March 2015: Mini-review of Vlatka Horvat: Immeasurables (in German).