Titled ‘No Tears Left to Cry’, the 12th edition of Organ Vida is dedicated to exploring the various manifestations of feeling in contemporary society.
The exhibition will present ten international artists who applied via an open call and whose works were selected by an international jury constituted by: Agnieszka Roguski, Antonio Cataldo, Ivana Meštrov, Jen Kratochvil, Lovro Japundžić.
Selected projects tackle various manifestations of emotions in contemporary society. The projects focus on prevailing negative emotions such as anxiety, dissatisfaction, and frustration, and seek to unravel, contextualize, and transform them into visual critiques of reality. In her work “Fugues”, Nicole Maria Winkler deals with the desire to control chaos and with the attempt to restore stability in everyday life. Fugue is a defence mechanism that protects the psyche from painful experiences by blocking out certain information, but it is also a compositional technique. Using everyday objects, organic and inorganic substances, the artist shapes wondrous compositions that form a soothing microcosm and offer an escape from the familiar, suffocating, or oppressive constellations. In his work “Renaissance”, Nils Stelte also identifies stress as a social symptom. Through a series of photographs, he presents a number of rituals and tactics used by individuals in urban areas to overcome stress and personal crises. The work “Cool To Cry” by artist Marin Håskjold focuses on living conditions during the pandemic and also explores how to collectively deal with feelings of loneliness and isolation and how to overcome apathy.
For Anna Vallejo, the pandemic was also the trigger for dealing with her own ailments – love addiction and the pathology of idealizing unavailable men. Drawing on theoretical insights from the fields of psychology and neuroscience, in her series of photographs called “Neuromantic”, the artist seeks to demystify the traditional concept of romantic love and deconstruct the established patterns of attachment in romantic relationships. On the other hand, Sara Pukanić and Filip Vest explore how contemporary romantic relationships are shaped by virtual patterns of behavior. While in her work “You Have Been Seen” Sara Pukanić discusses the consequences of ghosting, an abrupt and unwanted termination of contact with a romantic partner, Filip Vest in his installation and performance “Bed Made to Look Like Body” turns off his cell phone while waiting for a date to avoid the possibility of ghosting. Even though these works are intimate in principle, they are also critical of unavailability, lack of interest and non-communication as frequent features of contemporary interpersonal relationships and they emphasize the importance of open communication about (one’s own) vulnerability.
Personal perspective is also the starting point of Ezra Šimek’s work “Do They/Thems Like Flowers or Do I Buy Platform Shoes and Tarot Cards?”. Through a series of examples from their everyday life in the format of an educational video essay, the artist criticizes the gender binary as a fundamental organizational principle of gender in society, but also emphasizes the potential for emancipation, a pleasure that can come from overcoming this oppressive logic. Artist Mara Jenny also deals with the issue of the (im)possibility of representation of queer subjectivity and corporeality in the spatial installation “accessory for a hidden track”. Framed by motifs of a mirror and a handless clock, the work is envisioned as a moment of contemplation, a timeless space for establishing intuitive and associative connections between the present (viewer’s) and absent (artist’s) bodies and their more (billboard) or less (mirror image) commodified representations.
The works of Yosi Negrin and Naomi Moonlion explore and imagine alternatives to the anxious capitalist reality. In “Rare Earth”, Yosi Negrin shows the general lack of control and aimlessness of life through the prism of ecological devastation. An artificial lake filled with toxic technological waste serves as foreshadowing of a dystopian landscape of the near future. In “Fever Dreams of a Hermit”, Naomi Moonlion gives a utopian answer to the widespread crisis – the denial, inaccessibility, and undemocratic nature of various forms of care under capitalism. Using tarot both as a metaphor for the uncertainty of the age we live in and as a means of imagination, the artist re-examines the existing protocols and encourages devising new, more gentle, and more solidary practices of care.
Feelings of exhaustion, indifference or disappointment may be naturalized in contemporary society, but this does not mean that they are natural or that they cannot change. The exhibition “No Tears Left to Cry” is an attempt to artistically explore the subversive potential of emotions – a space to criticize the prevailing hopelessness, but also a space for imagining and creating more optimistic affective alternatives.