The Decline of the Showpieces
7 December 2017 – 18 February 2018
Ola Vasiljeva’s work tells stories. Stories that belong to no single entity, but which unfold gently through objects. While walking one day in Graz, the artist encountered an enormous boarded-up 16th century
building on Kaiser Franz Josef Kai. Falling in love with the door and window grates that shelter the interior from the glare of passersby, she began to develop new sculptural works that would neither hide nor reveal themselves – objects that ‘look like’, but refuse to fully commit, sitting somewhere on the cusp of recognition. Vasiljeva speaks with materials through
strong lines, exaggerated features and rude shapes, but it’s the magic she conjures in encapsulating what’s absent that makes her work really sing. As part of our Winter Season the artist stages an arrangement of recent and newly produced work, to create a series of imaginary thresholds that act as guardians between one moment and the next. One of the artist’s works can also be seen in the window of the house whose encounter first inspired her assembly of objects for this exhibition. The work can be seen from the street, at 36 Kaiser Franz Josef Kai.
Addressing the ideas of decline of the showpieces, Vasiljeva beautifully crafted a bed to nestle the personal library of Elisabeth Printschitz (1952-1993), former artistic director of Grazer Kunsteverein (1987-1993). The bed, which can be turned into a kiosk was gifted by the artist to GKV and will become a permanent part of our interior.
Photography by Christine Winkler