Limits of Navigation
Recently, I heard an interview on the radio with a creator of maps and atlases, the graphic designer Joost Grootens. He spoke about how he felt the need to intentionally exaggerate and accentuate certain aspects of maps in his work, so as to point out to his audience his manipulation as an author. No map, mind, is a faithful reflection of reality, but rather a set of a number of subjective decisions which in turn directly affect the way it is read.
Similar methods are favored by the authors of the Limits of Navigation exhibition, Ľudmila Hrachovinová and Merzedes Šturm-Lie. Their map is the exhibition space which serves them not just as a backdrop, but rather as a co-creator and main inspiration of their collaborative efforts. It is in dialog with it that they use hyperbole and various deviations and obstacles to point out rules and simplifications which are often mechanically accepted and, while they do represent a necessary prerequisite for our orientation in the system, can without regular re-assessment and verification lead to loss of meaning and freedom. Limits of Navigation sometimes create situations bordering on the absurd which might give the impression of self-sabotage, but are in fact a challenge to look for new ways of seeing and experiencing things, a tool to uncover deliberate and unconscious manipulations which we ourselves partake in.
Ľudmila Hrachovinová (1984, Slovakia) and Merzedes Šturm-Lie (1991, Denmark) met at the Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm, Sweden, where they studied between 2010 and 2017.
Ľudmila Hrachovinová works with the medium of painting. Her spatial installation focus on the relationship between spectator and uimage and the possibilities of its manipulation. The often used unorthodox placement of the painting is a way in which she redefines the relationship to the medium and its existing historical and social ties. The resulting concept is ultimately formed only by the actual situation itself of the work being on display and in interaction with the spectator. Ľudmila’s abstract paintings are a sort of transcription and a section extracted from the outside reality, data selected and rewritten based on one’s own internal principles. The depicted elements and shapes are often in movement and rotation. She is interested in relationships and the tension between them.
Merzedes Šturm-Lie works with many different media such as sculpture, performance, paintings, video and sound. In her works she often integrates artefacts of historical or cultural importance. Her art practice centers around processes of transformation, inverting realities, investigating histories, death and dreams. When producing works, she searches for ways to understand the complexity of power and to question that which appears natural, but is in fact a construction. She views history as an endless spiral of construction and de(con)struction and is investigating this juxtaposition.
With support by Iaspis, the Swedish Arts Grants Committee’s International Programme for Visual Artists.