PRETERNATURAL SHADOW SHIFTER
curated by Virginia Villari
On view April 28 – May 28, 2016
Ca’ d’Oro Gallery New York
529 W 20th st., 9th Fl., 10011, NY
Andrea Stanislav’s artistic practice encompasses a variety of media, visual strategies and concepts. Her sculptures, bi-dimensional works, videos and public installations assume diverse forms and present different scenarios, though with a common denominator: the involvement of the beholder in a deep personal and collective experience. In fact, Stanislav’s work can be defined as “experiential” because of its peculiar interaction with the viewers, who find themselves involved into immersive installations that encourage the exploration of the artworks under different angles and the creation of personal and experiential patterns.
The audience is called to connect with unexpected, unusual and otherworldly manifestations, to walk around them or become part of the artwork itself by seeing their image reflected in a mirror – often used by the artist as a medium. Therefore, crucial to Stanislav’s discourse is the creation of visual and emotional experiences that raise questions and stimulate thoughts on current philosophical and socio-cultural matters.
Preternatural Shadow Shifter is a multimedia and multidimensional exhibition that presents a group of 2D and 3D artworks in dynamic conversation with each other, the space and the audience. Stanislav’s bidimensional pieces are intricate works made of refractive film collaged with cut-outs of the artist’s own work along with pop culture icons and images that recall the West’s cultural history. Because of their constructed and layered nature, these kaleidoscopic collages have an essentially sculptural quality that allows them to enter the public’s space as lively presences. Through the use of layers, refractive surfaces and optical distortion strategies, Stanislav portraits the massive overload of information that characterizes our contemporary society. It’s a representation of the hyper capitalistic way of life of our times in all its social contradictions and cultural clashes. Each one of these pieces challenges the viewer with a complex universe of images and concepts to explore, and aims to establish an interaction between artworks and audience by evoking both personal and collective memories.
On the same experiential note and in direct conversation with the refractive works, the sculptures included in Preternatural Shadow Shifter present another key element of Stanislav’s research: the animal presence, revealed through the use of taxidermies that symbolize what the artist refers to as the “animal spirit,” or the essence of the natural world. In sculptures such as Someday Never Comes II (2015) and Thyco Magnetic Anomaly (2012), a bird and a goat appear in odd and disquieting dialogues with human artifacts, such as mirrors, crystals and other geometric objects, in a visualization of the disharmony and paradoxical separation between man and nature.
Stanislav investigates the dark side that always resides behind or within beauty. The collages are, in fact, visually seductive in their flashy, shiny façade while, at a closer look, they unveil rather perturbing and ambiguous motifs. The dialectic between these opposites intends to create tension in the works and is realized through the collage operation: in a surrealist fashion Stanislav lets her stream of consciousness produce automatic visual and conceptual associations, which the viewer is invited to discover or to create their own.
Preternatural Shadow Shifter questions and expands our perception by assembling elements normally remote from and in contradiction with one another. Dadaist in this process, the artist also pays homage to Minimalism, Modernism as well as to esthetic of Baroque in her constant engagement and activation of the viewer’s eye. The show is a witty tale of guilty pleasures and provocative statements that immerses the audience into an alchemical, synesthetic web.