Lieber noch als meinen Augen trauen
3 May - 14 June 2008
Natalia Stachon's exhibition at Galerie Loock evokes sensations of urbanity. Although we look in vain for the relevant images of city life, the way lying behind us, changing views down canyons, graphite fields, and Plexiglas formations, all of this evokes in a contradictory way reminiscences of those moments in a strange city when a traveler looks around carefully for the first time. Although the surroundings are unfamiliar, the eye registers within the briefest time span the familiar points of orientation that seem to repeat in almost all urban contexts: materials, perspectives, arrangements, proportions. In her expansive installations, the artist Natalia Stachon is engaging in a quiet, but disturbing game with the way our perception operates. Although her works briefly initiate a temptation to synchronize what is found in them with the images of urbanity stored in our memories, at the same time the attempts to make this link fail confronted with the fragile constitution of the exhibited objects and their risky spatial positioning from the point of view of statics.
Sometimes–and here the beholder’s perspective is decisive–it seems that with the slightest shudder the complexly arranged Plexiglas objects would break apart, that the seemingly immobile formation of 170 graphite tiles would slide away, allowing the entire spatial constellation to shift in just a few seconds. Stachon generates in her exhibition atmospheres of expectation and tense attention. The visitor is witness to temporary and endangered states, an observer of sculptures, drawings, and photographs that challenge on second and third glance and evoke a pleasure of inventive reconstruction.
"Lieber noch als meinen Augen trauen.", “Even better than trusting my own eyes." Natalia Stachon wrote these words in large white letters on the gallery wall. The writing is not immediately visible, and it almost seems that in using a camouflage technique Stachon was trying to counter the danger that a mind reading too quickly might mistake the wall text for a popular saying. But the formulation is not equivalent in meaning to the exclamation of surprise usually used when we passionately hope for the definitive figure of what we are beholding. It is a quote from a line of poetry by surrealist author René Char, and thus an expression of an equally tender and euphoric skepticism about the meaning of all impressions of reality gathered by the wake eye. By quoting this line, she directs all attention to the second reality, not registered in any lexicon, a reality of things and spaces. This reality is in constant motion. It is incomplete and fragile, and in this way touches the true core of human perception and sensation. This second reality is what we are beholding, and we have already changed it.