Juliana Höschlová & Marta Antoniak: Bulimia Cocktail Party
Curator: Eva Riebová
“We went to elementary school when Kinder eggs from St. Nicholas were a rarity and going to McDonalds‘ only a treat at the end of the school year. Colorful artefacts of a burgeoning capitalism, whose definition we began to grasp only a decade later, caused us states of excited trance. We would collect joghurt cups, chewing gum tattoos and Pogs.
And today? Today we’re hungover. We gorge on things, information, emotions, we gulp down data and swallow everything available, in plastic or not... and we’re having a hard time digesting. Like a generation of ,unaware bulimics we constantly and intuitively have to filter it all, so as not to get lost under the trash calamity. The wrong kind of hangover pulsates in our heads, the one that brings spleen and nostalgia, as if after a big party full of drinks and cocktail umbrellas.“
The Bulimia Cocktail Party exhibition will for the very first time present the artistic collaboration of two artists of the upcoming generation of Polish and Czech art scenes, which naturally converge due to similar sociocultural backgrounds: Juliana Höschlová (CZ) and Marta Antoniak (PL).
Juliana Höschlová (*1987), a graduate of Prague’s Academy of Fine Arts, is known in the Czech environment through her intense performances, engaged conceptual drawings and videoart, through which in the recent years she undertakes a criticism of mass culture, the mechanisms of consumer society and image manipulation. As part of preparations for the Bulimia Cocktail Party exhibition, Juliana organized a collection of plastic bags, which were then smudged and conjoined into a monumental abstract painting. The collecting of the bags was made difficult by the fact that it took place in Juliana’s temporary place of work in the “deplastifying“ Austria, so most of the bags traveled from the Czech Republic. The exhibition is accompanied by a story from a dystopic world – from “Whiteland“, where flows a black river of oil and people buckle under the weight of their own bellies. Juliana Höschlová mediates the story by means of simple illustrations projected in the gallery through overhead projectors.
Marta Antoniak (*1986) is a painter and has recently received her doctorate at the Krakow Academy of Fine Arts. The pieces presented represent Marta as an artist closely examining her medium, which has in the recent years taken on the form of a unique relief. Through melted plastic toys and chewing gum tattoos she creates pleasing yet unsettling assemblages bordering with kitsch. Her relief-paintings often represent parasites spreading under human skin, which upon observation awaken a tingling body feeling: they tempt the observer into a manual exploration of themselves.
Juliana and Marta’s joint exhibit is formed from the belief that their formal expressions can create a strong visual experience together. On another level, the exhibition reflects the nostalgia of a generation raised in the nineties in post-communist countries, when the pitfalls of a consumer culture seemed as distant as the world of adults and the currently suffusing feeling of hypersaturation and the fear of its ecological impact.