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Zaratan AIR | Open Studio KATARINA BALUNOVA | “Blindness”
EXHIBITION | January 26-27-28-29, 16:00 – 20:00 LIVE PERFORMANCE | January 26, 18:00 ENTRY | Free INFO | firstname.lastname@example.org
Zaratan is please to present “Blindness“, a pop-up exhibition by Katarina Balunova, who is showing the works developed during her residency in Lisbon. The artist has been exploring the relationship between land / territory and water / sea through different media, reflecting on the cultural and historical link among the two. The title of the project, „Blindness“, refers to a well-known novel by the writer José Saramago and points to the invisibility of contemporary social and ecological catastrophe. Saramago’s narrative makes clear that the literal blindness is a metaphor to express a pathology of consciousness that locks an individual within himself and deprives him of an ability to perceive our own humanity and the humanity of others: “… they crossed a large square with groups of blind people who were listening to speeches from other blind people, at first sight, neither one not the other group seemed blind, the speakers turned their heads excitedly towards their listeners, the listeners turned their head attentively to the speakers.” Current ecological problems such as global warming and sea level rising are the result of social inequality and oppression, which is linked to the colonial past. European expansion overseas in the modern period was marked by an ‘explore-exploit’ relationship. Nowadays the exploitation continues, with our eyes narcissistically fixed on our own image in the phone screen mirrors. When will we be cured of our egocentric perception of the world? Composed of collages, videos and actions produced during the last month, the exhibition is directly linked with the live performance that will be presented on January 26 at 18:00. Katarina Balunova’s artworks are an invitation to “allow us to re-understand the escaping reality”, as Saramago’s novels do.
Her residency at Zaratan is supported using public funding by Slovak Arts Council.
BIO: KATARINA BALUNOVA is an interdisciplinary artist, scholar, and curator based in Bratislava, Slovakia. Her artistic practice develops in a wide range of mediums such as painting, installations, performance, video, and poetry. She has exhibited worldwide including the Ely Center of Contemporary Art USA, Czong Institute for Contemporary Art South Korea, Kohta Kunsthalle Finland, National Art Museum of China, Mark Rothko Art Centre Latvia, Dafen Art Museum Shenzhen, and others. Her work explores themes such as utopia, (urban) habitat, personal mythology, oscillation between the past and the future. According to Zygmunt Bauman, utopias lie in the space of tension between the critique of the present, the search for solutions for the future, and references to the past. Utopias can be a search for an ideal form of architecture and society, a memory of childhood, or a Garden of Eden. Indeed, paradise is a spiritual utopia, a mirage of humanity; it is a bygone golden age, but also the promise of a future life after death, an eternal hope. Utopias are inherently ambivalent, and it is this aspect which most interests the artist – the contradiction between the pursuit of perfection and the untidy reality of human nature and emotions.
R. de São Bento 432, 1250-221 Lisboa, Portugal
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