Splintered selves

The Factory, Dalston

26 March, 2020

/Replaces by an online preview due to Covid-19 safety regulations

 

Splintered selves was initiated as a group exhibition exploring the idea of identity in a dialouge between three female emerging artists - Zula Rabikowska, Sophia Wohleke, and Galina Hristova - who have different nationalities and meet at a cross point of their lifes in the UK, trying to  disrupt social and geographical boundaries in a quest to find their ‘splintered selves.’ They have curated their work around the themes of migration, nationality, and belonging, and examine the idea of the “splintered self” and its implications. Through photography, painting, and performance, this exhibition rconsiders how the concept of identity is perceived and performed.

The exhibition was cancelled days before the Opening night, but the process of organisation and curation was already advanced and fruitful. The participation in Splintered selves was my first external collaborative project during the MFA Fine Art course and challenged my ability to meet professionally the requirements of an external organisation and other independent artists, which task frames the responsibility of being an artist outside the comfort of working close to colleagues, friends, and in familiar circumstances. I had met Zula Rabikiwska recently and after introducing ourselves we found common purposes and visions for Art and life. After another artist dropped off, Zula invited Sophia and we split between each other the different roles we had to proceed with in order to prove consistency and state the value of our project to the Exhibiting space management team, to design, promote, curate, and document the show.

I was responsible mainly for the publicity and contact with media, while Sofia worked on the design and Zula coordinated with the Gallery, but we worked closely together and discussed each task, approach, and further step to suggest, correct, or improove our performance in reponse to everyone's necessity and expectation. It was agreed to present the Private view with a Talk, where each artist would share more about her individual concept and how they work together, and a Live performance in which I intended to explore the link between past and present, and the loss of identity through the path of migration.

Zula is exhibiting her most recent project, Ba Lan, about the Vietnamese Diaspora in Poland and explores the relationship between nationality and ethnicity. Zula draws on her experiences as a Polish immigrant in the UK in her collaborative work with the Vietnamese community in Warsaw tries to understand his community reconciles their identity in a country that believes that nationality is rooted in ethnic origin.

 

Galina’s painting and performance practice centers ‘the body’ and ‘the persona’ as a subject and explores how one’s personality is transformed.

Galina was born in Bulgaria, where she started her professional art education at the age of 13 and she is now based in London.  With diverse background practice oscillating between Painting and Drawing, Stage and Costume Design, and Fine Arts, she focuses on Painting and Performance, and her concepts are informed by migration between Bulgaria and other European countries.

 

Sophia’s À La Recherche de Monsieur Tan depicts her search for a man who once lived in her neighbourhood in Marseille. Monsieur Tan, who came to France in the late 1970s to escape the Khmer Rouge and genocide, made his living out of an old backstreet garage for many years. One day, he disappeared. From France and Italy to Cambodia and Thailand, the search for Monsieur Tan examines the possibilities of life, as well as the realities of migration. It is an effort to gain understanding and closure.

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