Artists: Hagar Schmidhalter, Elena Narbutaitė
Venue: CRAC Alsace, Altkirch
Exhibition Title: Between Ears, New Colours
Date: February 16 – May 10, 2020
Full gallery of images, press release and link available after the jump.
Images courtesy of CRAC Alsace, Altkirch
As exhibition titles succeeded one another, in search of a formula that wouldn’t settle anything, a volatile title-phenomenon, a mood, a title that would neither describe nor indicate its intentions, a title that would leave room for a bare experience of the exhibition, Elena was overtaken by a clear blue fear that things may never touch, Hagar by a vague green fear that she may no longer see the exhibition. Seeing that we no longer heard each other, I sent them the image of an offering, given by a certain Cutius to Asklêpiós, thanking him for restoring his lost hearing, a small square bas-relief showing a geometrical structure framing two ears sculpted in marble, most likely those of Cutius. Two ears facing one another, not only hearing but also speaking. Two ears saying thank you.
Hagar’s vision cleared, Elena saw things touch again. They began to see new colours floating in space, phenomena, images and affects, a song, a laser beam, a window reflection, the hysteria of electric light, wind in hair, a hand caressing a screen, a scientific conversation. They began to see new colours that sporadically bind themselves to a body, an object, an oversize paper sculpture, a lamp named Billy, an apathetic stone, a ruby, a machine or its technology, sometimes asking:
What forces hide behind words and things? What do you see behind your closed eyelids? Do you know how it is to be transparent?
—E.T., January 2020.
Born in 1984 in Vilnius, Lithuania. Elena Narbutaitė lives and works in Paris and Vilnius. Represented by PM8 Gallery, Vigo, Spain. Her works stem from various literary, scientific or historical sources. Enigmatic, they resist interpretation yet always define a space that induces sensible experiences, be they collective or individual. Narbutaitė’s work has been exhibited internationally, including the joint Lithuanian and Cyprus pavilion at the 2013 Venice Biennale, and the 2016 Liverpool Biennial. Narbutaitė has also contributed to the publications The Federal, Nero, Bill Magazine and CAC Interview.
Born in 1968 in Raron, Switzerland. Lives and works in Basel. Hagar Schmidhalter works with the photographic medium in two very distinct manners. On one hand, as an archivist, by appropriating found print material and photos which are later recombined and layered in order to create new combinations and readings; on the other hand, she works with readily available photographic processes, whereas the automised act of taking a snapshot, or scanning an image is questioned. The process of recording an image with common low-fi equipment becomes an exploration during which accurate imaging is replaced by material creativity.