Wednesday, November 20, 2013

La Petite Mort Gallery presents:

new works / theatre of cruelty

Show is open from DECEMBER 6, 2013 - JANUARY 2, 2014

Vernissage/Opening Reception:

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 6th, 2013. 7-10pm 

* painting performance at 7pm
* dj and drinks

Music provided by co-op students from the Capital DJ Academy who will play a mix of groovy tech house, nu-jazz, and deep house while Aleks Bartosik does her live painting event.

306 Cumberland Ave.Ottawa, ON

* * *

“I cry out in the dream but I know that I am dreaming and over BOTH SIDES OF THE DREAM I make my will prevail.”

- Antonin Artaud, from Theatre and its Double (1938)

* * * 

In her upcoming La Petite Mort Gallery exhibition, Aleks Bartosik presents new works that center on a theme of metamorphosis, capturing figures in the intermediate spaces between the internal self and the manifest extension of the mind and body into visual space. In this series of works, Bartosik offers neither fully animal nor human figures, but rather, hybrid creatures held within a tensed space of the imagined and the real.

In her practice, Bartosik extends drawing elements into the realms painting, sculpture, performance, film/video and installation. Her experimentations with form and figure are grounded by an instinct to dream and thus suspend reality. As such, Bartosik’s works can be seen from a view of life as theatre.

We are all performers – both within and outside of ourselves, in private and in public. It follows that we redeem our physical bodies by allowing our innermost imaginations, fantasies and desires to take shape. And it is only when we become conscious of our immaterial potential that we hold the power manipulate and subvert “accepted” reality and thus create new reality.

From this view, this exhibit centers on a process of metamorphosis or becoming of the self. Subsequently, Bartosik’s works can be read through such themes as repression and manifestation, instinct and knowledge, emotion and gesture, and identity and artifice. If the very notion of the theatre forces us to believe in (or at least temporarily accept) some emotive truth that lies beneath performance, then further, in Bartosik’s ‘theatre of the self’, we must read each, figure, form and symbol as operating from within a kind of emotional intelligence.

Bartosik’s practice can be reflected onto Antonin Artaud’s theory of the ‘Theatre of Cruelty’, which advocates that the role of the spectator must be implicated from within the spectacle on a deeply human, instinctive level. Artaud’s ‘cruelty’ does not point to a literal reading physical violence, but rather to a violence that disrupts order, normalcy, and thus, defeats socially accepted “false reality”. In this view, if we can direct our instinctive drive towards a liberated physical determination, we can defeat false reality and, however paradoxically, begin again in a chaos towards something new. Bartosik works from within this gesture, in the attempt to offer the imaged as the real, and thus, to blur the distinction of life through art in general.

Following Artaud, Bartosik’s works inherently implicate the spectator through the spectacle. The strength of her visual language depends on our willingness to recognize ourselves from within and without. Bartosik’s figures, arrested in a flux of means and ends – at once morphing and evolved, or repressed and manifesting – push towards an idea that we are always more than what we are immediately willing to know. As such, her creative process is motivated by the dualities of inner and outer experiences; the particularities, delicacies, sensitivities, and obsessions held within relationships, between lovers, siblings, strangers, and finally, from within ourselves. 

It is in this complex emotional space that Bartosik’s figures breathe with a kind of fluidity from both within and beyond the work itself. This is her theatre of cruelty. And there is indeed a cruelty within all of us. However paradoxically, it is in this search to shatter and thus exceed “false reality” that there rests a kind of grace. Fantasy, illusion, and theatre are only as real as permit them to be. 

- Written for LPM Gallery by Adam Barbu, 2013
- Exhibition Curated by Guy Berube, LPM

- See more at:La Petite Mort Gallery: Aleks Bartosik
aleks bartosik ART website

desolate paper queen (2013)
performance and installation by aleks bartosik

No comments: