NEW: Considering the development of the situation regarding the spread of the corona virus, Rijeka 2020 in agreement with its partners, decided to cancel all events planned till April 14th 2020, regardless of the number of people who would gather at these events. MORE
* * *
In the framework of Dopolavoro flagship of the Rijeka 2020 – European Capital of Culture project, the installation Do Plants Have Dreams about the Future? by Rijeka-based artist Igor Eškinja will be presented at DeltaLab (Delta 5, Rijeka), from 27 March to 17 May, 2020.
The installation will open on Friday, 27 March, at 20:00, remaining on view until 17 May, from Monday to Saturday from 11:00 to 19:00. Admission is free.
The modern world lies on the categories which make it possible to classify the world we know into sorts, classes and groups. The two elementary categories are the category of the nature and the category of culture, separating the natural world from the world created by human intervention. Yet, the world around us often tends to escape our categories, organisms and phenomena sometimes show up somewhere in between, pertaining to some other other class. One such escape also occurs in the spaces created by the humans, which the natural world is simply reconquering. It does so, however, not by pretending that a human intervention never happened as the intervention itself actually provided the life of certain organisms.
The artist Igor Eškinja wondered what kind of vegetation inhabits the abandoned industrial spaces at Mlaka, Brajdica, Marganovo, and Delta. He transformed the samples of the plants living in these venues into design patterns to use for a new space. The new space tells us a story about the plants that continue to live in the spaces created by man and then his absence. The vegetation inhabiting these spaces differs from the one we encounter in the fields and groves in the surrounding areas, some species unknown to us we classify as weeds, as something we cannot make any use of. The metaphor of a weed can be extended equally to these spaces which, abandoned and out of function, escape classification and with which we cannot build any relationships as in reality we do not know them.
The artist transformed the samples of plants from abandoned industrial spaces into design patterns – wallpapers – from which a new space is being built, telling the story of plants, whose life in the space created by human hand was enabled by the absence of man.
Igor Eškinja lives and works in Rijeka. He constructs his architectonics of perception as ensembles of modesty and elegance. The artist “performs” the objects and situations, catching them in their intimate and silent transition from two-dimensional to three-dimensional formal appearance. Using simple, inexpensive materials, such as adhesive tape or electric cables and unraveling them with extreme precision and mathematical exactitude within strict spatial parameters, Eškinja defines another quality that goes beyond physical aspects and enters the registers of the imaginative and the imperceptible. The simplicity of form is an aesthetic quality that opens up a possibility for manipulating a meaning. It derives, as the artist states, from the need for one form to contain various meanings and levels of reading within itself. The tension between multiplicity and void constitutes one of the most important aspects of Eškinja’s mural “drawings” and seemingly flat installations. A void is still an active space of perception; it does not conceal; it comments on the regime of visibility, it invites the viewer to participate in the construction of an imaginary volume in an open space. The temporary nature of the artist’s spatial structures and the ephemeral quality of his carpets (where ornaments are carefully woven out of dust or ash) manifest a resistance to the dominant narratives of institutional apparatus and socio-political order. Igor Eškinja studied painting at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Venice. He has been exhibiting in various venues since 2000. Among them, Manifesta 7, Italy (2008); 28 Grafični Biennale, Ljubliana (2009); Dirt, at Wellcome Foundation, London (2011), Rearview Mirror, at Power Plant Gallery , Toronto (2011), Inhabitants of generic places, at Kunstforum, Austria; at Museum of Contemporary Art, Zagreb in 2011. He was on show with Swept Away at Museum of Art and Design, in 2012 in New York. He took part in the 2nd Ural Industrial Biennial of Contemporary Art, in Ekaterinburg, Russia (2012). He took part in 8 ways to overcome space and time, Muzej servicemen umetnosti, Belgrade (2013). Moreover, his show was on display at Casino Luxembourg - Forum d’Art Contemporain, Luxembourg; MAC/Val, Musée d’Art Contemporain du Val-de-Marne, France; Federico Luger Gallery, Milan Italy; ADN Galeria, Barcelona, Spain; Marta Herford; Centro de Arte Caja de Burgos; FRAC Pays de la Loire, France, Museum Of Contemporary Art, Zagreb, Croatia, among others. Recently, his work was on show in frei_raum Q21 (Vienna, Austria), at Sariev Contemporary (Plovdiv, Bulgaria), Studio La Città (Verona, Italy), and SC Gallery (Zagreb, Croatia).