Apophenia is a group show proposed by Alix Janta-Polczynski investigating the divergent practices and overlapping interests of three artists: Anna Perach, Mariana Mauricio and Pascal Ungerer. Patterns emerge, connections are revealed and a common ground of interpretation smoothly unfolds: obsolescence and identity.
A sense of the past being reclaimed resurfaces in different ways, both in the displayed works and in the artists’ individual practices, whether as a means of analysing social narratives in a strictly material sense or through reconstituting found objects or media into new meanings.
Methods of retrieval and reuse play out through much of the show, where the acts of collecting and altering imbue materials with a sense of new potential. This process of recycling also functions as a ground against which to examine the human relationship with a media-crazed consumer society; collecting and reconstructing fragmented detritus of the everyday somehow enables a partial reconciliation with a world of waste and disposability.
Anna Perach (b. 1985, Ukraine) was born in the former Soviet Union and brought up in Israel. Her practice draws on personal experiences and memories of Soviet domestic environment. She explores how cultural transitions influence one’s sense of self, relationships in the domestic sphere and gender roles. Her tufted masks Birth Mark (2018) and Shadow (2017) are inspired by Slavic folk stories and ritual traditions. They also recall the Soviet practice of hanging carpets on the wall as means of protection from the cold, isolation, and decoration.
Mariana Mauricio (b.1983, Rio de Janeiro) examines the relationships between the body and the erotic in a new series of small paintings based on found photographs. In these miniature scenes, where the body seems subject to labour rather than pleasure, she explores the contexts of intimacy and domesticity. Mauricio systematically identifies, collects and moves piles of discarded furniture, building parts and other found objects into her studio. From this detritus of the discarded she creates new multifaceted narratives that speak about her own personal experiences, relationships amongst individuals and their anxieties.
Pascal Ungerer (b.1978, Cork) has a particular interest in marginal habitats, which are obsolete or dysfunctional and do not fit into conventional socio-geographic norms. His practice is primarily concerned with spatial cultures in the context of peripherality, contested space, social history and geo-politics. He often constructs digitised fictional landscapes that form an intersection between time, narrative and place, and uses them as a means of recontextualising liminal and peripheral topographies and as a metaphorical space within his work to address socio-political, historical and ecological concerns. His piece Suspended Animation (2018) is a photographic synthesis presenting one image in several different ways in a digital montage. An attempt to subvert traditional notions of aesthetics by recontextualising the banal, he creates a dichotomy between the grotesque and the beautiful. The rearranged photographic construction presents the unwanted, the overlooked and the thrown away objects of contemporary society in a work that explores ideas of temporality, mutability and waste.