Contemporary Art Initiatives
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'A surprising look at the sea by an international group of artists'.
Klara Hobza (Berlin), Dorota Lukianska (Gothenburg), Stefan Meier (Zurich), Cora Piantoni (Munich/Zurich),
Stefan Wischnewski (Munich)

photos: Dorota Lukianska, Cora Piantoni

Review Den Haag Centraal 19 april 2014
(in Dutch)

Press release Expedition of Slowness
At a time characterized by "high-speed" and "unlimited access", the artists involved in the exhibition Expedition of Slowness are exploring its opposite; the ability to stop the process for a while, which in turn enables an exploration of the actual movement in time and space. Their approach includes for instance the consideration of the past, at more abstract mathematical calculations or at tales and legends. They are physically discovering and mapping territory through hiking and diving and conveying this through different medias such as drawing, performance, installation or video. The artists have been exhibiting together in several group shows where their common thread has been the theme of maritime shipping and navigation, metaphorically and literally. The physical journey through time, where every step does not only point towards a future goal, but also embraces the past starting point, are for this team of artists important as a common platform and an actual encouragement to take a closer look not only to the "here and now", but also the perspective of time in itself. The artists present a current and a past work which shall emphasize their way of working and their collaboration and enables the spectators to deepen their perspective and relation with the theme and the artists.

Klara Hobza's (Berlin) performances and artistic test series use equipment and strategies which are familiar from navigation. Based on extensive researches, she gives herself almost unsolvable tasks, during whose management she becomes an expert in the respective area. Her extensive art project Diving Through Europe, 2010 - 2035, will require the next 25-30 years of her time. Her plan is to dive through Europe, starting from the North Sea through the Rhine to the Main, then through the Main-Danube-Channel, the Danube and down to the Black Sea. She will present her preparations for her endeavor and the actual start of her project at the Hook of Holland in two videos.

An old captain's logbook is the starting point for Dorota Lukianska's (Gothenburg) equally conceptual and poetic meditation on universal questions presented as drawings in the work Mathematical Drawings, 2007. The three-dimensional collage or installation Transitoriness, 2012, can be described as a variable of the vanitas-genre as it visualizes the lost beauty of nature presented as archive boxes filled with more than found objects from different seaboards, a single screen projection and photographs.

The excursions through the open landscape that Stefan Meier (Zurich) engages in during the summer, guided by maps and compass, concentrates on the relation between the drawn location system of the map and his own sense of the environment. This research is later on, during winter, transformed into art works in his studio. At Quartair he will present a wallpaper based on 60-degrees triangle grid patterns derived from Arabic ornaments. The patterns give an impression of water surface inspired by an experience during a one month sailing trip through the Baltic Sea.

The photographic series and films of Cora Piantoni (Munich/Zurich) are based on documentary investigations which connect the topic of navigation with individual life plans. In the video installation Andersson, 2009, a sailor's son tells about his childhood which was shaped by women and an absent father. The video reveals the discrepancy between the made up image of the sailor, which stands to this day for an adventurous life at sea and the daily routine of his family members staying at home. Her installation A Box of Letters, 2010/12 concentrates on the role of the sailors and their families under the dictatorial regime in Romania.

Stefan Wischnewski (Munich) uses materials found in junk shops or second-hand stores for his installations which have the ability to transform familiar everyday objects into something completely different, depending on its context. In the work Grandmother's Lighthouse, 2005, a regular night table and a standard lamp become a lighthouse and in Sindbad, 2012, the compiling of canvas duffelbags into a large hammock recalls a torn sail, marked by the salty sea and wind sets the spectator's fantasy into motion.

This exhibition is made possible with financial support from Stroom Den Haag