Nothing is True, Everything is Permitted
Exhibit dates: May 24 – July 6, 2013
Theodor Adorno once said that “…without the notion of an unfettered life, freed from death, the idea of utopia, of the utopia, cannot even be thought at all.” If this is correct it lends a terrible irony to the fact that Man’s attempts to create ideal conditions for himself are so often mapped out through trails of carnage and destruction.
The work of Andrea Stanislav displays an acute awareness of this tension and offers a series of elegant yet challenging reflections on the limits and failures of the utopic imagination. Reflection is a key word in Stanislav’s lexicon, as it serves to indicate both the means and the ends of her artistic endeavors. In her work, the viewer is not simply invited but compelled, by use of reflective surfaces, to interrogate their own position vis-a-vis the artwork, and, by extension, vis-a-vis history and culture.
These surfaces, revealing the face of the viewer at every turn, and often to infinity, point to futility of our attempts to escape our unsatisfactory current conditions. Obelisks and flags, potent symbols of colonialism, implicate both American history and its insatiable appetite for global influence, its faith in a ‘manifest destiny’, in the destructive paradoxes of utopian visions. Astrological symbols and labyrinthine structures point to our desire to find meaning and impose structure on the underlying chaos of the Real. And yet at all times, the viewer is haunted by her own face. By considering the breakdown of the utopian imaginary in this manner Stanislav’s work precisely locates and interrogates the limits of human rationality.
About Andrea Stanislav
Andrea Stanislav was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1968. She lives and works in Minneapolis and New York City. Ms. Stanislav received a MFA from Alfred University in 1997 and a BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1990. She is a contemporary artist whose interdisciplinary practice includes: sculpture, video, installation and public projects and interventions. Her work interrogates popular culture and global capital through unexpected visual manifestations, multi media installations and monumental sculpture.
Solo exhibitions and projects include: thisisnotahop, Dublin, Ireland; Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minneapolis, MN; Packer Schopf Gallery, Chicago, IL; Jonathn Shorr Gallery, New York City, NY; 21c Contemporary Art Museum, Louisville, KY and Bernis Center for Contemporary Art, Omaha, NE. Ms. Stanislav has recently received a Lower Manhattan Cultural Council – Swing Space Artist Residency, Governors Island New York City, NY and a 2010-2011 McKnight Artists Fellowship for Visual Arts.