October 22-November 21, 2017
Opening Sunday, 22nd, 7-10 PM
The ground is here and Panic & Anxiety dance around, freezing arms and legs, preparing us to fight...When one faints, wings have grown and our 'upper bodies' have morphed into lions, tigers, and bears--who fly.
Viktor El Saieh presents paintings where various subjects of worship, from the iconic idea to the spiritual figure, live in a state of...
His paintings attest to a certain solidarity between the feral, the poetic and the human. The character's actions are silent, apparitions are themselves, while planes of color and negative spaces (Fighting each other out) amplify a vitraux.
Anxiety defines us through conflict, in-forming us; and when facing it, we come to terms with oppression, violence and choice, grasping how this meeting morphs us into versions.
The Dizziness that El-Saieh talks about, is, in his words: "An attempt at understanding the relationship between folklore and culture through the lens of mythology and its potential application in daily life."
He ads "I try to highlight the commonality of the human experience as a way into myself...Maybe my background has led me to tap into a plane where the mythological is the breeding ground for a tendency toward hyper-subjectivity and infinite possibility, and everything is probable, in the sense that everything has already happened, much like in a dream — but devoid of emotion. Every scenario you might ever imagine has already taken place and the outcomes are immune to any sort of outlook, which leads to a type of neutrality."
Building on the artist's previous body of work which examined, in depth, the narrative of a very particular figure in Haitian political-mythology called Chaloska1, these paintings seek to address the notion of the individual, and the value of the symbolic, right now, when choice is abundant and incredibly limited. By taking as a given that every discourse is poiesis, El-Saieh can cross thresholds and categorization, touching their stratification.
Viktor El-Saieh actively trespasses some mainstream perceptions of history when suggesting an alternative, as if he says 'I am not what I am' 2; looking at 'The Contemporary' and facing his, and Painting's potency as well as shared patterns of anticipatory anxiety.
1.-Chaloska: a political/military figure from the early 1900s infamous for murdering political prisoners and immortalized as a sinister carnival character with a large red mouth.
2.- Borges, Jorge Luis: 'Everything and Nothing' short story in "Fictions"; translated by Andrew Hurley, Penguin Books, 1999.