Vlatka Horvat’s exhibition at the NO.5 gallery space in Bergen Kunsthall can be seen as a stage in an ongoing process for the artist, since she is here continuing her long-term iterative investigations of spatial qualities and relations. With a well established artistic strategy, where the method involves picking the existing apart, cutting out, folding/bending or weaving together photographic, textual or physical elements, she creates new, fictive potential for the relationships between space, body and object.
For the exhibition in NO.5 Horvat will be showing a major installation, as well as several new series of works on paper. Thematically, she has focused her exploration around the concepts of ‘the edge’ and ‘the centre’ as both spatial/physical and conceptual phenomena. Inherent in this is the idea that edges connote boundaries and limitations, whether in physical conditions like place and space, or in social relations in the form of normative expectations of interpersonal behaviour. Not least, the edge constitutes a concrete, defining entity when it comes to image production, since the framing does a great deal to determine the reading and the status of the picture. What is inside and what is outside? Where is the beginning and where is the end of an object, an image, or space? The notion of the centre meanwhile brings about a range of related concerns, as physical and spatial centrality tends to evoke questions about power and agency. Working through ideas related to the middle and the margins, the center and the periphery in this exhibition allows Horvat to explore both the visual economy of images, as well as the broader political and social implications of reconfiguration of images and space.
Horvat’s work has its roots in the performing arts, and in her expression she may refer to both early performance art and Arte Povera from the 1960s and 1970s. As regards the former genre, this means that she makes use of dramaturgical resources, such that the works – or the scenarios – may appear to be plausible narratives, until one realizes that everything is built up from an internally flawed logic. As regards the latter genres, it means that she uses prosaic existing objects and commonplace materials to create new aesthetic configurations and spaces of understanding.
Vlatka Horvat was born (in 1974) in Čakovec, Croatia, and currently lives and works in New York and in the UK. She completed her PhD at Roehampton University in London in 2009, and has been exhibiting her work at a number of exhibition spaces all over the world since 2003. Her first solo show titled Or Some Other Time was presented at The Kitchen in New York in 2009. Later that year she participated in the 11th Istanbul Biennial with the project For Example. In the course of 2010, her work was included in ”Greater New York” at MoMA PS1 in New York and at Aichi Triennale in Nagoya, Japan (a collaborative projects with Tim Etchells). Vlatka is a recipient of the 2010 Rema Hort Mann Foundation visual art grant award. Bergen Kunsthall will be her first solo exhibition in a public institution in Europe.