Natalia Januła's single artwork exhibition 'The Picnic' at gallery apiece

2024 07 11 — 2024 09 01
Author Echo Gone Wrong
Published in Events in Lithuania

On 11 July, 7 pm,  Natalia Januła’s exhibition opens at apiece, a showcase-style gallery strategically focused on autonomous artistic expression.

“Come closer”, she said to the snake. Tongue flicking and hissing “ss-sss-ss”, the snake moved towards the slick and scaly Goddess. Their picnic was formed of turbulent material, so the snake picked a path with care, navigating that which had been gathering in a time before time. Her utterance might have been lost between one epoch and another, but feeling beyond words, the snake registered an imminent potential resonating within the Goddess’ command. The eternal void was slippery with change, and there was so much motion in it; seas of chaos laughed, glittering as the formless waters churned. Amidst this hung an egg, still and perfect. The Goddess, a fish of great wisdom, watched as the final guest slithered to join them. She wondered if she had welcomed the one who could sustain the patient embrace required to release the multitudes focused inside her egg, but that is quite another story. “To health, to life, now let us begin”.

  • Hannah Blows

The Picnic is exploring the potential and the paradox of a hyper-capitalist, globally connected reality. Bodies, nature, food, gender and labor are employed in an industry where even invisible and abstract forces, such as love, can materialize into a definitive economy of objects, consumerism, units and value. The work references culinary, anatomical and bric-a-brac assemblages via a nostalgic and satirical version of a “cabinet of curiosities” and edible products, for which the apiece gallery becomes a showcase.

Like goods in shop windows, the works of art displayed in galleries, especially in this one, are not themselves. In general, there is no such thing as a thing in itself. They signify the relationship among the present, future, desires, references, parallels, the ability to form memories and rituals, as well as the possibility of exploring the exchange between the object and the subject. Similarly, the egg, including its ability to nourish and give birth to new life, is a motif found in the mythology of many cultures and civilizations (the Cosmic Egg or the Earth Egg). Or else, the tongues and the fish, these silicone and 3d printed references to anatomical parts and animals, as well as the floating miniature table, express a humorous approach to Eastern European culinary delicacies.

Januła’s artwork focuses on socio-cultural rituals and practices, aesthetic-commercial methods of arousing desire and the “force of materiality”. Compulsive and habitual consumption is our cultural responsibility and duty, an indicator of our place in the social hierarchy. While Professors of Design Dunne and Raby argue that “by speculating more, at all levels of society, and exploring alternative scenarios, reality will become more malleable and, although the future cannot be predicted, we can help set in place today factors that will increase the probability of more desirable futures happening”.

Natalia Januła is a Polish-born artist currently based in London. She received her MA from Slade School of Art in 2016. In her current artistic research she looks into bodily fragility and the ambiguous and obscure connection between domesticity and technology, futurism and decay. Her practice employs a range of technologies and methods, including video, installation, CGI, performance, sculpture, kinetics and sound.

Crossing the boundaries of the intimate and alien, her work can be at once comforting and unnerving, desirable yet repulsive. A perturbing humor twists and winds pervasively throughout. Januła often works collaboratively in an effort to build a reciprocal ecosystem with individuals from various disciplines and backgrounds.

Januła has exhibited in the UK, USA, Canada and Europe including two solo exhibitions at New Art Projects (London) and Union Gallery; her group shows include the Horse Hospital, Final Hot Desert, Collective Ending, Iklectic, TBA Academy, Gossamer Fog, Embassy, Subsidiary Projects, Xxjira Hii, New Art Projects, the Factory Project and Conditions, amongst others. She has also participated in residencies at Jupiter Woods, Camden Art Centre, Biquini Wax and Arts Territory.

Exhibition curators: Milena Černiakaitė and Aušra Trakšelytė
Communication: Menų komunikacija
Graphic design: Marek Voida

The exhibition is partly funded by the Lithuanian Council for Culture and Vilnius City Municipality.
The exhibition is open 24/7, until 1st of September 2024

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