Igor Eskinja: "Poems of Accumulation and Growth"
Opening date: Sunday, March 15, 2015
Exhibition dates: March 15 - May 10, 2015
"Poetry, before being the name of a particular art, is the generic name of art. Techné poiétiké: productive technique. This technique, that is, this art, this calculated operation, this procedure, this artifice produces something not with a view to another thing or a use, but with a view to its very production, that is, its exposition. The pro-duction of the thing puts the thing forward, presents and exposes it."
- Jean-Luc Nancy, The Technique of the Present
Scaramouche is pleased to present the first U.S. solo exhibition by Croatian artist Igor Eskinja. Realized in photographic work and site-specific installation, Eskinja's abstract compositions are characterized by their particular production through accumulation. The resulting ephemeral and fragile state of the work incorporates the very essence of transformation. The exhibition's title, "Poems of Accumulation and Growth", refers to the bond between the poetic dimension (in the works themselves) and the economical context of exchange, abstraction and power.
Eskinja "performs" the objects and situations, catching the moment of their transition from two-dimensional to formal three-dimensional appearance. In the series Made In:side, the artist transforms a space by unraveling adhesive tape with extreme precision and spatial parameters. Approached from a random vantage point, the tape-drawn lines would appear disjointed and nonsensical. But by placing his camera at the exact point where the illusion merges, Eskinja summons it into a simulation of three-dimensional reality - an exploration of a mirage - that is preserved and perceptible only via the two-dimensional photograph. Moving beyond the physical aspect, to the imaginative and imperceptible, the result opens up a possibility for manipulating a meaning. As the artist states, the work derives from the need for one form to contain various meanings and levels of reading within itself. In these mural "drawings" and seemingly flat installations, he creates a tension between multiplicity and void. For Eskinja, a void remains an active space of perception, inviting the viewer to participate in the construction of an imaginary volume within an open space.
In the series Sun Diagrams, he captures transformation in the traces left by the sun on surfaces of paper. The chemical process makes these 'appearances' seem like hidden drawings; we see gradations and marble patterns as fragile diagrams that want to tell us something before they become completely yellow and disappear. The marble structure present in one of these works is an image of a stone wall from the Mies van der Rohe Barcelona Pavilion. The building, constructed as an iconic manifestation of modernism and 20th century industrialization, is ultimately at risk to fade.
In Eskinja's hands, materials such as dust, sand or ash form carpet-like structures that paradoxically become visible by accumulation. For these installations of detritus, the artist employs intricate patterns that evoke 15th century Flemish interiors in which the first stock exchange was established by the De Bourse family in Brugge. The ephemeral nature of Eskinja's spatial structures and carpets, underscores a resistance to the dominant narratives of institutional machinations and socio-political order, and reflects on the fragile nature of the fundamental context in which we live.
Igor Eskinja (Rijeka, Croatia, 1975) has exhibited extensively in museums and venues around the world including, Manifesta 7, Rovereto, Italy (2008); Caja de Arte, Burgos, Spain (2008); Casino Luxembourg - Forum d'Art Contemporain, Luxembourg (2009); Brugge Central, Belgium (2010); Wellcome Foundation, London,UK (2011); Accademia Pavilion, 54th Biennale di Venezia, Italy (2011); Power Plant, Toronto (2011); Kunstforum, Vienna, Austria (2011); Museum of Contemporary Art, Zagreb, Croatia (2011); Federico Luger Gallery, Milan, Italy (2011); MARTa Herford Museum, Germany (2012); ADN Gallery, Spain (2012); Museum of Art and Design-MAD, New York (2012); 2nd Ural Industrial Biennale, Ekaterinburg, Russia (2012); Museum of Contemporary Art, Belgrade, Serbia (2013); MAC/VAL Musee d'Art Contemporain Du Val-De-Marne, France (2012); Museo d'Arte Contemporanea-MAC, Lissone, Italy (2013); and Museum of Perception-MuWA, Graz, Austria (2014). Eskinja lives and works between Rijeka, Croatia and Milan, Italy.