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LMAKprojects (Williamsburg)
60 North 6th Street, 718-599-0089
March 23 - April 22, 2007
Reception: Friday, March 23, 6 - 9 PM
Web Site

The collection of works depicts the mercureal nature of solitude: solitude can be heavy or light, joyful or anxious, liberating or alienating. We can choose solitude or endure it. We can experience and face it alone, or with others. Solitude is an essential part of our lives. Yet nobody teaches us how to experience it.

In their works, Agostini, Ahn and Ferreira emphasize the fact that solitude is inseparable from our history and humanity. Each one of their works approaches solitude from a different angle. Nicoletta Agostini shows solitude within the context of couples, within relationships and after separation. Isabelle Ferreira shares with us the solitude of the creator, the difficulty of feeling alone, but also the stark beauty of what we can achieve when we accept our solitude. Ok Hyun Ahn’s work makes us confront ourselves and our personal solitude, within a group of spectators. Each artist, in her own way, encourages us to experience the solitude which arises from self-awareness, and the consciousness that emerges from solitude.

In Le petit Dejeuner by Nicoletta Agostini, a double projection work created in 2001, the viewer faces a table where a short double breakfast scene is taking place: there are two characters played by Agostini (though we do not see their faces) standing opposite each other. In this work, there is no language, no dialogue. All we see and hear is a ballet of gestures and sounds occurring simultaneously in the two projections. The video was inspired by a work by the French poet Jacques Prevert entitled Le petit Dejeuner. In the poem, Prevert describes a breakfast duo scene with very concise actions. The text inspired the entire work by Agostini up to the end when one of the protagonists leaves the scene, at the same time leaving the life of the other person. The minimalism of the subject and actions is reminiscent of a mime scene. We face a contemporary still life, like a living painting where the two individuals’ solitude culminates at the end in their separation.

In The Little Electric Torch Of The Usherette (2003) by Ok Hyun Ahn, the viewer observes eleven individuals who are, in turn, watching films in movie theatres. The portraits are mixed with subtitles, movie soundtracks, and external images. The subtitles in the video seem to be the daydreams of the work’s spectators who are engrossed in the films’ narratives, and the movie soundtracks seem to come from the screen they are watching. However, all the film’s thoughts and words have been written, located, and orchestrated by the artist. The first phrase we read on the screen is “I am bored” and one phrase later ” when will I be released from this boredom?” In the film, we follow the spectators’ thoughts, we hear the movie and see the people’s faces and in so doing we are facing their solitude just as they face their own solitude and ours.

In the two works we present by Isabelle Ferreira, we have a sense of viewing a moving painting similar to the one in Agostini’s work. Here, even the title of the work underlines this idea: Tableau de 8 minutes (Eight minute painting), 2003. In Eight minute painting, Ferreira is filmed walking towards a slag heap and strenuously and laboriously ascending it. In Valse (Waltz), 2004, the artist is sitting alone in front of a wooden table, miming as if she is playing a waltz by Chopin, and again with the same relentlessness as in the ascension in Tableau de 8 minutes. Both works, in their differing actions, evoke a sense of melancholy, a sense of the absurd. Ferreira in spare settings evokes both a sense of emptinesswhile making us aware of the artist’s inner voice.

In the four works in this exhibition, the viewer, in different ways, faces the hidden, mute solitude which we call life. The works look at us, and allow us to shed light on a different part of ourselves. Like a lighthouse emitting signals to another lighthouse, one person’s solitude reflecting the solitude of another. In the reflection of these powerful works, we inevitably reflect upon ourselves, and recognize our own reflection.
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