Renata Poljak at group exhibition in USA

time: 16.01.2009. - 21.02.2009.
place: New York, USA
organiser: Winkelman Gallery
 Video artist Renata Poljak partakes at group exhibition Things Fall Apart in New York's Winkelman Gallery. The exhibition which is curated by Joy Garnett, is on view from 16th January till 21st February.

Featuring work by
Stephen Andrews
Paul Chan + The Front
Mounir Fatmi
Yevgeniy Fiks
Joy Garnett
Susan Hefuna
Christopher Lowry Johnson
Carlos Motta
Renata Poljak
Susan Silas

Things Fall Apart takes its title from a line in a well-known poem by William Butler Yeats1 that warns of ominous forces unleashed in the political vacuum following World War I.

The poem reverberates in 20th and 21st century literature and culture, from Chinua Achebe’s eponymous novel2 about African societies giving way under colonialism, to Joan Didion’s collection of essays on California in the 1960s3, to Oliver Stone’s Nixon. Allusions to the poem regularly color news items, notably The Economist’s cover story after the U.S. market collapse, and New York Times articles covering the failed war in Iraq, the increasing dysfunction of the U.S. right wing political axis, and the spread of the current economic crisis to global markets.

If Yeats' poetic imagery and its subsequent iterations seethe with foreboding and even despair, by contrast, the international group of artists presented in Things Fall Apart mark precipitous global power shifts in their work while positing the darkest moments—when things fall apart—as salient points of departure for change.

In her new dual-channel video installation, Renata Poljak (Croatia) explores the intersections of the personal and the political, identity and nationalism, by juxtaposing the escalating collapse of a fictional relationship with the suppressed history and memory of the war between Serbia and Croatia. Susan Silas (USA/Hungary) inverts memories of past barbarism through a haunting retrospective lens with her series of paired photographs that reunite images from the Olympic Stadium in what was once West Berlin, with images from the Jewish Cemetery at Weißensee, in what used to be East Berlin. The layered, transparent drawings of multimedia artist Susan Hefuna (Egypt/Germany) play on metaphors of separateness and stereotypes of otherness through the filter of her dual heritage; multiple vantage points and interpretations—from the

Modernist grid to Orientalist mystification—infuse her abstract renderings of mashrabiya screens, a traditional Islamic latticework window element that allow a building’s inhabitants to observe the outside world while remaining hidden.

More detailed about the exhibition

(Source: M. Poljak / Newsgrist / Winkelman)

(D.H., 13.01.2009)