‘Going down the rabbit hole’ refers to how far you are willing to go to discover your true nature. Naturally, this frightens most people because usually, once you go down, everything goes crazy—as with the example given in Alice and Wonderland. Together these artists make up the ‘Get Down The Rabbit Hole’ exhibition. Their ability to challenge the audience to think about their perspective on themselves and on life is something that they all have in common. All of these works of art are not only challenging but extremely unique, colorful, and entertaining to look at.
“Their ability to challenge the audience to think about their perspective on themselves and on life is something that they all have in common. “
Courtesy of artist.
‘Going down the rabbit hole’ refers to how far you are willing to go to discover your true nature. Naturally, this frightens most people because usually, once you go down, everything goes crazy—as with the example given in Alice and Wonderland.
Alice was growing tired and bored; sitting on the bank by her sister who was reading a book that lacked both conversations and pictures, “and what is the yes of a book, without pictures or conversation?” thought Alice. Before completing the thought, a White Rabbit ran right by her; there wasn’t anything very unique in that, but as soon as the Rabbit took a watch out of his waist-coat pocket, looked at it, and then continued to run by, Alice was intrigued and on her feet. Intrigued and curious, she quickly followed the Rabbit across a large field and jumped down a large rabbit-hole immediately after him.
She continued to fall down the hole for quite some time before she found that she was falling down a very deep well. Whilst pondering whether or not the fall would ever come to an end, it was over and she was amidst a heap of sticks and dry leaves. Unscathed, she leapt to her feet and opened a door with a passage approximately the size of the rabbit-hole, outside was the most beautiful garden she had ever seen. Alice couldn’t help but think that very few things were indeed, truly impossible.
In kind, Factory Art Gallery is hosting a summer group show entitled “Get down the rabbit hole” challenging us to look deeper into ourselves. Selected artists of the show include Mariele Bergmann, Leland Bobbe, Chiara Dynys, Helga Franz, Lea Golda Holterman, Tuija Helena Maronsalo, Hannakaisa Oksanen, Alessandro Sau, Gerard Stricher, Richard Tipping, Yonahan Ullman, and James Watts. Many of these artists specialize in either photography or sculpting.
Sculptor, Mariele Bergmann was born in Germany, she studied and worked in the psychological field before actually beginning to study art in Berlin in 1992. One of her sculptures, that is on display at this show is titled Ballast of the Past and shows three women sitting on pallets of wood. These women represent the generation of the war along with the war’s morals and ideals; they represent the inequality between men and women of the time.
Photograph courtesy of the artist.
Photographer Leland Bobbe exhibits largely in the United States. His portraits Half-Drag that are shown at this exhibition are images of drag queens in half drag. Bobbe says, “with this series, my intention is to capture both the male and the alter-ego female side of these subjects in one image”. He deliberately chose to show half of the face in drag to exhibit the extreme power of the hair and makeup that allows these men to completely transform themselves and find their female side.
Figurative painter Chiara Dynys was born in Mantua, she rejects every concept of style and school to freely express her reflection on the contemporary world. While discussing her work, Dynys stated that what is common to all of her work “is the sense of the crossing”. Her work entitled False Perspective recreates the illusion of one’s perspective. This is made up of glade, wood and colour, her art studies the perspective effect of varying colour.
Installation artists, Helga Franz is exhibiting her piece Crystal Events. This piece is made of blown glass with liquids in an ongoing crystallization process called light defecation. This piece, very much like the different events in Alice and Wonderland, challenges your perspective and whilst allowing the light to come through in different ways, changes your perspective each time that you look at it.
Photographer Lea Golda Holterman was born in Israel and graduated from the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem. She currently works as a photographer and writer of her own column at Haaretz Magazine in Israel. Her collection of photographs of Orthodox Jewish youth will be on display at this exhibition. Her photos greatly challenge the audience to rethink their perspective and stereotype of Orthodox Jewish people, mainly their youth. Her photograph entitled Orthodox Eros shows a young man posing, wearing nothing underneath his Tallis, with his hand on the Torah (the Jewish bible). This is not typical, at all, of an Orthodox Jewish boy because they would rarely be seen slightly unclothed and it is frowned upon to use your bare hand to touch the Torah (it is customary to use a silver pointer while reading it.) These photos are all taken in very interesting places that only slightly break the ‘rules’ but that completely challenge the viewer to change their perspective on the Orthodox youth.
Visual artist Hannakasia Oksanen lives and works in Finland. While discussing her current projects she states, “at the moment I am contemplating the concepts of time and transitoriness. My works are sort of a map, memory traces of places or situations in which I have been.” She continues to say that she only uses the situations and places that have had a profound, personal connection to her as inspiration for her artwork. Her most recent works explore the fragility of life, ‘”when the time comes to give something upend how that space will be subsequently filled by memories. I remove that piece from a work and sew it back again. Things are not as they were before, yet they still are.” She is exhibiting The Small Needle and Blockhead’s Wandering.
Painter and sculptor, Alessandro Sau put an interesting spin on the seven popular dwarves from Disney’s ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarves’. His piece entitled Mandala pictures the dwarves beating up one another. He adds more of the element of death to this image with the help of the snails, which infest the cemetery of San Michele that have eaten through parts of the picture.
French abstract painter Gerard Stricher discusses his nature inspired artwork in his personal statement. “I am inspired by nature and am pushing my technique to get more and more texture on the canvas while [still] keeping it’s transparency,” Gerard said while discussing the artwork that he will have on display at this exhibition. His signature in his paintings is his instinct to put together various colors in ways that aren’t necessarily coordinated. He uses themes of dreams and happiness in each of his paintings and hopes that when the audience looks at his paintings they are overcome with a feeling of happiness because “paintings should help people be happy.”
Australian artist Richard Tipping is famous for his interestingly witty photographs. Two of these will be a part of this exhibition, included is his No Understanding with Wedding Couple which pictures a wedding couple standing in the streets of the city underneath a sign that reads ‘NO understanding any time’. This is a prime example of Tipping’s sense of humor.
Image courtesy of the artist.
“My art disrupts the intolerable movement of time to contemplate real life and its decay, violence, heroism, and vulnerability. Would you care to slide down my rabbit’s hole?” states Israeli artist Yonatan Ullman. His piece Matter of Time fits perfectly with the Alice and Wonderland theme of this show. This piece was made by poring hot liquid sap into an analogue wall clock, as the sap cooled it solidified and stopped the clocks transition between life and death. This piece is perfect for the challenging of one’s perspective; everyone sees time in his or her own unique way and this challenges the concept of time. How much do we have? How do we use it? And, is it slipping through our fingers too quickly?
Sculptor James Watts is interested in the convergence of everyday found materials for his artwork from the streets of Brisbane suburbs in Australia where they have been discarded from domestic homes. “I am attracted to and utilize materials that contain painterly and worn characteristics as a way of not only translating and painting and drawing into physical space but evoking a sense of time and place,” says Watts on his practice.
Together these artists make up the ‘Get Down The Rabbit Hole’ exhibition. Their ability to challenge the audience to think about their perspective on themselves and on life is something that they all have in common. All of these works of art are not only challenging but extremely thought provoking.
Factory-Art Gallery presents: 2012 Project Berlin – “Get Down The Rabbit Hole.” This exhibit runs from July 13 – August 4, 2012