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19 Aug 2011

Dislocation at Galerija KORTIL, Rijeka

Udruga TRAG


Show runs from 22-30.8.11
Sponsored by the City of Rijeka & Primorsko goranska županija
Curated by Lea Čeč & Maja Radesić
Artists: Angelo Božac, Lea Čeč, Kate Foley, Katie Grace McGowan, Maja Radesić, Olja Stipanović

Lea Čeč
+385 91 946 77 97

Galerija Kortil
Strossmajerova 1
51000 Rijeka

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Whether mapping the streets of New York or scouring the graffitied alleyways of Naples, artists have long explored their identities through the act of traveling. Relatively inexpensive transport, along with technology, has extended our collective sense of geographic mobility. This access allows for new perspectives into our respective cultures.

The artists represented here share the impulse to travel or to experience living away from the place they call home. A broader point of view and new level of critical observation are gained as one becomes an outsider. Our identities are put into question and our senses sharpened. Maja Radesić draws upon her acute power of observation as she depicts characters encountered in London. Similarly, Olja Stipanović views her adopted city through the finely calibrated lens of a geographical transplant, noticing the contours and idiosyncrasies of New York.

There's no place like home…Is this why we want to escape it? As we taste the strangeness of the world outside our respective bubbles we develop a keen eye for cultural nuance. For Dislocation, Lea Čeč photographs public love letters on the streets of Naples— the romance ignites her imaginary. In his series 'Kafka's Prague,' Angelo Božac depicts the beauty and isolation of his adopted city.

Kate Foley, an American choreographer who lives in Rijeka, plays with invented Slavic folkdance, documentation of witch trials and American popular dance. And, I with ongoing identity issues related to being invisibly biracial.

In some, highly idealistic, views the notion of being 'a foreigner' is archaic. As the world lurches toward becoming a global village the very idea of being of one place seems outdated. However, on the ground, is a very different story.

There is undoubtedly a lucky minority who feels at home any place they go, then, there is the alienated majority, tuned in to the cultural peculiarities of each geographic location. The way people buy their groceries or the number of kisses each cheek gets can become an overt marker of difference. For this group the idea of foreignness is all too alive and well.

Dreams of Esperanto may have filled the idealistic heads of young World Citizens of the past, but we are now collectively left with English—replete with its many problematic and colonial associations—as the closest thing to an international language. But, there are other ways of communicating...

Sometimes we don't share a common tongue, but artists usually do share the common language of desire for a bigger worldview. Few accomplish the feat of truly escaping the mores and prejudices of the places we respectively call 'home', but that doesn't mean we can't die trying. -Katie Grace McGowan, 2011