28 January – 30 March 2018
Kate Van Houten
27 January 2018 (Saturday)
ul. Jabłonowskich 6, Kraków
DŌ is a tale of travel. Of everything at all. Of the road and the trail. And of method. It is an exhibition by three artists who had met in Paris to once more embark on a journey east and to mark, perforce rather than premeditatedly, the east with a western experience. To tell a tale of half-tones, greys, discrepancies and displacements that are born and die in a space where light goes on and off, until, ultimately, one arrives at a conviction that it cannot be otherwise, that everything, after all, is drowned in twilight.
In a sense, it is a spectacle reminiscent of listening to a storm, watching a sunset and waiting for the dusk. It is a wallowing in a slightly Romantic, but unpretentiously ordinary shadow, in a typically Japanese―to follow Jun'ichirō Tanizaki’s classic essay, In Praise of Shadows, where an entire section is devoted to an outhouse―space “suffused with ashes of darkness”. Since the shadow, subtly and ambiguously, is imprinted, however contrarily, with an exhibitionism, like an unfinished sentence, a word half-spoken, emphasising its evanescence and impermanence. Paradoxically, it conceals more than it reveals. It enchants with its literalness, but also its ‘understatedness’, and cocoons with a thread of mystery. And it might have not existed if not for its gestures.
The exhibition presents works by Takesada Matsutani, Kate Van Houten and Aliska Lahusen, connected not only by their enduring friendship and their enchantment, in a sense, as acquired as innate, with the art and culture of Asia, but also by their formal kinships and aesthetic similarities. Their oeuvres, betraying a fondness for minimalism, emptiness and radical simplicity, imprinted with a performative gesture, an anxious expressiveness of a trembling line, a gleaming, and therefore dynamic, texture, reflect their materials, reveal the rhythms of their work, and multiply formal and semantic tensions. They create a species of melancholy and meditative atmosphere, which induces us to reflect on the light and the dark, on knowledge and ignorance, on consciousness and the unconscious.
Curatorial text: Ania Batko
Curated by: Kamil Kuitkowski, Lucyna Shefter