Over de expositie
The title of this exhibition can be explained as twofold where the words ‘close’ and ‘distance’ may represent the opposite of each other. At first sight incompatible but at the same time it can be seen as an analogy. ‘Close distance’ in the meaning of closeness cannot exist without a form of polarity, here distance. The two behave like an union, an unconditional chain if you want, which will go on for eternity. An universal concept that we can find everywhere in nature. In protons (positive particle) and neutrons (negative particles) who form the condition needed for atoms. Or male (Mars ) versus female (Venus) without no new life would exist. Basic elements where we have to deal with and from which we must approach our existence.
In this realm of apparently coexistence there is another side we have not mentioned yet. It is shrouded in secrecy and comes to us vaguely in our subconsciousness. In the so called polarity the space between the extremes is filled with darkness. A place where fear, ignorance, doubt and anxiety reign. It is comparable to earthly gravity, as if the dark space is the matter that bonds the extremes together.
In this case we deal with proximity as we can understand from the title. As we have mentioned above the extreme of this subject is distance, the dark matter here the hedgehog’s dilemma, first described by Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860). This dilemma illustrates the example of a group of hedgehog’s who seek shelter to one another for the bitter cold. However due to their sharp spines they must remain apart so they cannot hurt oneself or another. Although the hedgehog’s are willing to share intimacy they are not able to for reasons they cannot avoid.
Schopenhauer (and later Sigmund Freud) used this example to focus on how people relate to other individuals when in a close relationship. It says that in all our intention to bond we also have to remember that bonding cannot occur with mutual harm. Freud later stated that in every intimate relation there is a sediment of feeling of aversion and hostility. These feelings are the dark matter and can only be erased by repression. This repression results in defence mechanisms. One of these mechanisms is withdrawing from this existing world towards a fairy story that we have created ourselves.
The aversion and hostility in relation to this world is made visible by Loy in her work through personal choices. Her subject depicts womanhood with the total absence of men. Most of her work consist of two pair of identical girls. These doppelgangers are reflections of her own and of the collective womanhood. The elusive worlds she creates full of womanhood are the dark matter. Here work is rooted in the former East German culture where she grew up. Prussian militarism, National Socialism and later Communism represents a dominant masculine society. However as we said these societies need an opposite extreme found in heroines. That i s what Loy’s work is about. But these worlds are far from ideal as we can see. Yes they are dreamy, yes they are soft, but you can feel a tendency that these women are looking for a counterpart. Maybe they really want to understand the men they are logging for, but their fear to become close to them sends them towards the works of art we can see here. Women who can be only surrounded by the same gender because of anxiety for real society where these women ware suppressed.
The paintings in this exhibition are made by casein paint. A method that has been used since ancient Egyptian times. This painting is derived from milk protein and is a fast drying, water soluble medium. Loy is one of the few artists who use this method. Her bold brushes are artistic protests in the battlefield of the sexes. It is a deeply personal, touchy and creative manner to conquer the darkness between the extremes of gender in society. The artworks are the gravity that is needed to keep the debate on this subject matter alive.
Rosa Loy (1958) lives and works in Leipzig, Germany. She is educated at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (Humboldt University of Berlin) and the Hochschule für Grafik und Buchkunst Leipzig (Academy of Visual Arts Leipzig). Selected solo exhibitions include Essl Museum, Vienna (with Neo Rauch); Kunsthalle Giessen; and David Zwirner, New York. Group exhibitions include Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, Dresden; City Art Museum, Helsinki; and Museum der bildenden Künste Leipzig, Leipzig. Her work is represented in collections including Deutsche Bank, Leipzig; Commerzbank, Leipzig; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Museum of Modern Art, New York; and Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich.