Galerie Raum mit Licht




Opening: 12.01.2019 12PM
Exhibition: 15.01. – 01.03.2019

Image © Aliki Braine
Aliki Braine, »Where Two Seas Meet (Skagen no.1)«, 2008
The Blind Surface

In bringing together the work of Aliki Braine and Josef Zekoff in a single exhibition, the Raum mit Licht gallery is daring to broach a tentative connection: Braine (London) and Zekoff (Vienna) have never met before. They neither live in the same country, nor can they draw on a shared education or work in similar media. A discourse that connects their works is yet to be established - this exhibition is their introduction to each other.

Aliki Braine’s medium is analogue photography. To be more precise: it consists of light-sensitive silver halide, cellulose and polyester negatives. Nowadays, the medium of physical film is steeped in the nostalgic ‘charm’ of a bygone era. Braine treats this brusquely by piercing, cutting and folding the transparent coatings. Purposefully damaged by precise interventions, what was once taken for granted now gains an unmistakable presence, and the status of a corpus delicti.  The artist presents us ex negativo with the corruptibility of now-ubiquitous digital photography, which has long since sloughed off its material body, replacing it with code and algorithms. In her choice of photographed motifs, as well as in the way she works, Braine is guided by the Old Masters and starts from keystones of composition such as the golden section. Processed in this way these negatives then become the material of her actual work, elaborately produced prints in which the added erasures remain present as erasures, as a visible blind surface. They open themselves up to the vagaries of personal imagination or question the viewer critically about their own perspective.

What stands in the way of Josef Zekoff may be nothing more than what for a long time was the primary task of photography: contemporary witnessing and documentation. Instead, he has dedicated himself to the longue durée. His works are characterised by a calm analytical view that strips the present of all excitement and measures it against what is permanent.
His themes are the original image formulas of human culture.

For this he uses traditional techniques of painting and drawing or works with the medium of carefully hand-drawn wood prints. His works surprise in content and form with a bold attempt at reduction, and are impressive in their concentration and decisiveness. One might describe them as archaic, mythical, occasionally laconic.
What remains is what is necessary. The surface of the paper adjusts the depicted object, fixes it, supports it. Here it is again, the mere surface, the blind surface that generates the Proustian moment and invites the viewer to immerse themselves in private poetry and reflections on their own location.

Revealing without pronouncing could be a concern that Josef Zekoff and Aliki Braine share; another may be the disturbance of the expected, a third the search for resistance in a world of constant visual temptation.