02/11/2018 – 10/12/2018, Bazament Art Space, Tirana, Albania
Solo show by Ann Iren Buan
Curators: Claudia Buizza and Pietro Della Giustina
Curate It Yourself teams up with Bazement Art Space to present “Retracing Postures”, the first solo show by Norwegian artist Ann Iren Buan in Albania.
Rooted in the medium of drawing, in which the graphic mark is considered, not as the delineator of an illusionistic space, but in all its physicality, the works of Ann Iren Buan are the result of an autonomous and controlled procedure that questions the references of the artistic tradition, reinventing them.
In “Retracing Postures”, the artist proposes a series of ephemeral site-specific works, moving the entire creative process on site, from the conception to its mise-en-scène. By transforming the exhibition space into a projection of her studio, a place of intimacy, experimentation and daily routine, Ann Iren Buan takes the architectural and decorative elements as the starting point for the development of her intentions. By moving forward in the artistic procedure, she realizes pastel drawings on paper that constitute the core and the ‘‘skins’’ of her creations. The paper is subjected to an intensive alteration conducted through the materials, colors and dealings with the exhibition space. Thus, the intense tangibility and aesthetic experience of the final work, combined with the supremacy of the method, end up to determine both form and content.
In Norwegian culture, the taste for the material and its aesthetics is clearly summarized in the word kunsthåndverk which defines both the artistic and the manufacturing quality of an object. Art and craftsmanship are depicted as a unicum without distinctions, oriented towards the ideal achievement of form and its physical presence in reality. In the same way, Ann Iren Buan’s oeuvre interweaves with tactility and manual work, based more on process than narrative. However, the interest in matter and its substantial properties does not necessarily imply an art focused on the reformulation of basic methodological concerns: her work escapes from categorizations and rises above the traditional formal values of drawing and sculpture, appealing to our feelings and our impressions and evoking a sense of brittleness and precariousness.
Although Ann Iren Buan does not explicitly claim it, her work can be linked to the artistic tradition of Anti-Form or Post-minimal movements, emerged at the end of the 1960s in the United States, embraced by several women artists through the use of artisanal techniques and abstraction. Specifically, in Eccentric Abstraction, an exhibition organized by Lucy Lippard in 1966 at the Fischbach Gallery in New York, the art critic aimed at defending a minimalist art that did not renounce to the sensual component of emotions, evoked by new types of substances, forms and gestures… The formal dimension was then distorted and enriched by the research for expression and sensitivity rooted in the physical authenticity of the materials.
Displayed, assembled, fragmented, the sculptural-drawings of “Retracing Postures”, invade the space and create a suggestive atmosphere that envelops the visitors. Each environment is occupied by a group of individual works which corresponds to a specific emotion, an exclusive sensible experience.
The audience is invited to penetrate the room and to merge into the energy field generated by the tension of shapes and colors. Whether it is through the body that we experience and learn the world (Maurice Merleau-Ponty, 1945), Ann Iren Buan’s artistic proposal connects us with the tangible materiality of our surrounding environment which is increasingly affected by an excess of stimuli. Via the delicate balance between the transience and physical quality of matter, the exhibition becomes a means of knowledge and a metaphor of reality. The showcased works will not persist the end of the exhibition: the precarious and vulnerable nature of the materials reveals the beauty of our own existence crystallizing its mutability and its inexorable decadence.
This show is made possible by the generous support of:
The Office for Contemporary Art Norway
Istituto Italiano di Cultura-Tirana