Schleifmühlgasse 18 - 1040 Vienna 
+43-1-9207778 - info@galerie-stock.net

galerie michaela stock
8.3. - 20.4.2019
Opening: 7.3., 6pm


From March 7 to April 20, 2019, galerie michaela stock presents two solo exhibitions Ivica Capan: Candid and Alina Sokolova: Heracleumfall

The artworks displayed in the two exhibition rooms are characterised by a construction of "communication" between the different components. Both artists living and working in Vienna and responding to new conditions of surveillance and hypervisibility in their works. This may lead to the deconstruction and questioning the medium itself and provoke confusion between illusion and testimony. A subtly exhibition links personal histories with wider cultural and political issues from different perspectives.

The young Ukrainian artist Alina Sokolova rebels against the law and institutions of power and masters the expression of space and time. In her installation Heracleumfall she tells the stories of the poisonous plant Heracleum Sosnowsky, its role in society and its historical back-ground as well as her personal connection to it. Popularly the plant is called "Stalin's revenge" and it's an ideal metaphor for ideological intoxication. Because once the poisoned stem is cut down, overnight it grows with even more persistence. In different performative acts Alina Sokolova cut the plant several times down, smuggled it over the border and tried to reanimate the dead plant. The exhibition is a result of a long-term research and observation with the accent not to eradicate the usage of symbolism, rather working with the symbols in their internal meaning on a poetic level. It's an insight into a few years process of relocation, strategies, history, and observation.




Alina Sokolova Heracleumfall

In her first solo exhibition at galerie michaela stock the young Ukrainian artist Alina Sokolova instrumentalizes the invasive poisonous plant Heracleum Sosnowsky in metaphorical way. The plant is also called "Stalin's revenge" and is widely known for its persistence, once the plant has been cut, it spreads even more of its roots. On a subconscious level of mind it represents the roots of Stalin's ideology in the former Soviet Union and it is a byword for ideological intoxication. Sokolova deals with Heracleum Sosnowsky role in society, its historical background and her personal experience with it. The artist pointed out that: "Since childhood, I had the entrenched idea to stay away from the plant, which made it eminently desirable to touch it. Consequently, re-living it through performance was in a way a confrontational experience."

First part of the project was a performance in the sense of processing the traumatic memory and dealing with the past, which has involved the repetitive act of scything the plant by the artist dressed in white protective clothing. By dint of this senseless, radical act, Alina Sokolova wanted to point out the confrontation with the national past and present and at the same time her own past. Nowadays it is a suppression of the communist past and eradication of Lenin's monuments according to "decommunization law" 2015 in Ukraine on the one hand, but on the other it could be as well a strict control on the external border of the European Union.

During the work on this project Sokolova was forced to arouse her interest for the states border control structures and to improve her smuggler skills in order to cross the border with the poisonous plant and bring it on a new territory. For her first show in Vienna she smuggled the plant successfully across the border to Austria - but it resulted finally in the death of the plant. After numerous failed attempts to bring it back to life, the artist had to realize, that the plant died as an integral part of the working process. The resulting sculpture Running water from the blisters in the exhibition repeats the pattern of the blisters, which one gets after contact with the leaves or the steam of Heracleum. Remaining on a totalitarian regime and causing burns, each of these "blisters" containes a tea cooked out of the dead leaves of the smuggled plants.

The exhibition is a result of a long-term research and observation with the accent not to eradicate the usage of symbolism, rather working with the symbols in their internal meaning on a poetic level. It's an insight into a few years process of relocation, strategies, history, and observation. Thereby, in the works the individual project stages are depicted in different media, such as video, sculpture and photography.

Contact:
galerie michaela stock, Schleifmühlgasse 18, 1040 Vienna
www.galerie-stock.net info@galerie-stock.net


PRESS
press release | Ivica Capan: Candid and Alina Sokolova: Heracleumfall

press image 2: Alina Sokolova, Heracleumfall, 2016, C-print, mounted on Dibond, 110,8 x 82,8 cm, Courtesy: Alina Sokolova / galerie michaela stock

press image 4: Alina Sokolova, Running water from the blisters, 2017, installative sculpture (heracleum tea, fabric, foil), size variable, Courtesy: Alina Sokolova / galerie michaela Stock

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