Veronika Landa, Zblízka
Vue exposition Zblízka de Veronik, The White Room Pragovka Gallery, Prague – Photo Marcel Rozhon
EN DIRECT / Exposition Zblízka de Veronika Landa jusqu’au 16 février 2023, The White Room Pragovka Gallery, Prague
Par Petr Vaňous, commissaire de l’exposition
Veronika Landa (1979) is an author whose visual language originates in reductive approaches common in the street art scene and comic book narratives. In her work, this simple syntax transforms into a richly structured experimental field of forms that follow serious personal and societal topics, as well as social games. Exactly this sort of thematising of a specific problem becomes the connective vessel for explored and chosen syntax that either distinctly self-determines in opposition to its surroundings, dramatises the topic or flows around it in the experienced time and stores it in a time-pocket state. The base theme the author uses in her work is a changing figure which here becomes a pawn of transformation, a figurine in the playing field, simultaneously a winner and prey. It openly experiences its inner and external conflicts and frankly talks about them. The corresponding situational narratives play out the intersection of the virtuality of collective play with a painful personal experience.
Attention is focused here on the polarities of fragility and hardness of what is represented in the painting. Representation is a very important component of Veronika Landa’s painting expression. It allows the author to freely handle and visually work with topics that penetrate under the skin of society, or are consciously displaced from it, and irritate with their inalienable right to specific visibility and representation. The metaphor for human experience is demonstrated primarily through motions that the figure, for different reasons and purposes, undergoes or which accompany and surround it. The author places sharing experiences in smaller and larger communities into juxtaposition with loneliness which serves as a gesture for other kinds of understanding whose outlines cannot be so easily shared. Similarly significant, in terms of chosen topics, is also the forced deceleration or pausing of the human organism, whether real or metaphorical, that can be caused by anything, for example, the change in the individual’s health. One suddenly finds themself outside of familiar stereotypes and contexts in a sort of new landscape of understanding that creates completely new feedback for what we could call self-knowledge in rearranged contexts. On its reflective journey, human understanding leaves the ritualised comfort zone and fully experiences it from the inside as a societally constructed scaffolding, covered by conventions and acceptable communicators whose validity is not as stable and untouchable as it might seem at first glance. This approach generates a feeling of creeping unease in the spectator.
Veronika Landa’s paintings feel organic. They are physical and psychological at the same time. Next to the “firm bone structure” of the drawings, the author places the fragility of the “soft tissue”. Everything is then permeated by a sort of “nervous system” which as a kind of soft conductor transfers sensitivity into different parts of the work. Some pieces are breathing fast, others are subdued, some are waking up from anaesthesia and are searching after lost outlines of substance, as we fumble around in a memory that was suddenly interrupted and only slowly returns to us. The painting, much like the human body, is a victim of permanent change. The author integrates various kinds of experiences into her art, from the most personal to ones that are appropriated and are found in different pop- or sub-cultural platforms of expression (film, music, fashion, etc.). The name of the exhibition – ZBLÍZKA (UP CLOSE) –declares the meaning of the way a painting is formulated as a vision or an insight that cannot be forgotten after being observed, their imprint remains subconsciously in the human mind. The painting here represents revealing experiences where we cannot return to a time before in our perception of the world. They become an inseparable part of our sensitivity through which we understand our life roles and the way fate has thrown us into the scenery of the world constantly transforming and in motion. And we have to transform with it.