Galerie Raum mit Licht



»When Our Eyes Touch, Is It Day Or Is It Night?«

Opening Wed, 21.03.2018, 18:30 – 21
Exhibition: 22.03. – 04.05.2018

Image © Olena Newkryta, 2018
With Olena Newkryta and Bernhard Hosa, Galerie Raum mit Licht presents a juxtaposition of two artistic positions anchored in different ways in a conceptual approach, assimilating and expanding them decisively. Both artists engage with the unintelligible, the fleeting and concealed, the traces of which are not to be found in the rational dimensions of the idea but in the material manifestation and in the sensual.

Olena Newkryta develops conceptual performative works, always referencing the societal and also latently political issues raised by the medium. She is interested in current realms of experience, in the possibilities for exchange, touch, being absent, and the material traces of these. Through surfaces that change on every contact and with each glance at them, Newkryta collects fleeting memories of the interaction between the viewers and her works. She uses a hand-scanner to scan the surface of concealed people or makes portraits of people using photographic negatives applied to the skin. Insofar as the touch itself provides the raw material and is addressed directly, Newkryta's approach reflects a politics of the medium and of the body. In her most recent cycle, when she depicts anonymous photographers as they disappear together with the apparatus beneath the black cloth in order to see the image on the viewfinder of a large-format camera, a paradoxical characteristic of photography becomes clear: the author is swallowed, so to speak, the moment they select their subject.

Bernhard Hosa also uses the essential feature of the medium of photography and film, the capacity to capture fleeting moments in an image. Vague forms appear from nowhere on a monitor, sometimes here, sometimes there. As if driven by an invisible force, they spread out in patches and streaks, slowly becoming uniformly circular in shape only to disappear the very next moment. When this reminds one of a kind of ephemeral manifestation of constructivist forms and paranormal phenomena, the question arises as to the origins and the author of these images and patterns of distribution. His three-dimensional collages of fragmented memories of body parts, details from documentary photographs of paranormal phenomena, scratched and painted traces, and smooth quadratic shapes seem like constructs but remain in the realm of the occult. Hosa's approach is rooted in a post-conceptual understanding of art that he leaves behind and reinterprets. In his works with supernatural metaphysical elements, the memory of programmatic comprehensibility and of constructive aesthetics combines in a self-differentiating unity.

Newkryta's and Hosa's works incorporate different approaches to the concealed. There are two differing views of the natural inherent in the material and physically anchored characteristics of visual art and the possibilities of touching idea and materiality. This is why the title of the exhibition quotes Jacques Derrida's question, which comprises the point of departure for his engagement with the notion of touch and the problem of the relationship of the psyche to the body: When our eyes touch, is it day or is it night?

Text Anna Spohn

BERNHARD HOSA (* 1979 in Amstetten, AT) studied painting at the University of Applied Arts and lives in Vienna. The forms and materials used by Hosa in his objects, collages and spatial installations are clear and simple. A motive that is always present in his works is the human body. His pieces rarely show or represent the body´s outer shell. They should be regarded as analogies to the emperical-medical structures of norms and knowledge that human beings adjust to. These metaphors allow a ´negative form´of the human body to arise in front of us. Hosa´s work has been presented in numerous solo and group exhibitions and in 2007 he was awarded with the Recognition Prize for Fine Art of the Province of Lower Austria.

OLENA NEWKRYTA (*1990 in Wosnesensk, UA) studied photography with Gabriele Rothemann from 2011 to 2017 at the University for Applied Arts Vienna and finished an exchange semester at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam.
Participation in several national and international exhibitions. She won the Kunsthalle Prize in 2017. Olena Newkryta`s mixed media works emerge out of a conceptual performative process, always referencing the societal and also latently political issues raised by the medium.