Artists: Mo Abd-Ulla, Eglė Budvytytė, Tanya Busse, Victoria Durnak, Gunnhildur Hauksdóttir, Berglind Jona Hlynsdóttir, Saulius Leonavičius & Vida Strasevičiūtė, Robertas Narkus, Augustas Serapinas, Kristin Tårnesvik
The idea of “climbing invisible structure” invokes not only something hidden, but also something vertiginous and inaccessible. It invites “us” (artists and audiences as participants) to engage and reflect on the complex and multi-layered relationships between references and meanings that pervade most of our disciplinary practices and social life. Although reflection is itself an intimate hidden process that involves careful thinking and consideration, it is, as the Latin root of the word reflex suggests, the thought “bent back” on itself.
This image corresponds with the common analogy between thought and light. It conveys the notion that we absorb and reflect thoughts and ideas similar to the way materials and celestial bodies absorb and reflect light. However, reflection implies both action and reaction, and it should not be interpreted only as a mental process. Exposition to other people’s thoughts, to others’ lights and rituals, is an all-embracing experience, intellectually, emotionally and physically. In this sense, engaging with works of art means engaging with past and present disciplines and rituals.
Ritualisation is also a kind of reflection, since it throws back (from the past to the present) practices that are no longer actual or functional, but which we maintain because of their historic and symbolic signification. Ritualisation could also mean the creation of new rituals that reflect contemporary practices. Reflection and ritualisation are thus two aspects of the same artistic procedures, the same method. Both seek to apprehend, process and project the hidden fabric that shapes our understanding and identities.
The works in this exhibition point to a wide range of ritualised practices, connecting actions by people who lived a long time ago with contemporary rituals. Ranging from social and spiritual practices, which are familiar to everyone, to contemporary strategies framing the conditions of art production and management, they investigate, explore, question, disrupt, modify and fictionalise established beliefs, disciplines and daily habits, and outline directions for new ones.