The title of the exhibition is "Until the Wolf is There", named after a children's song of the same name. The song goes "Let's play in the forest until the wolf is there, is the wolf there?" And then the wolf answers what activity he performs to start his day. While the wolf prepares himself, the children play. The wolf gets up, brushes his teeth, bathes and dresses, until he is ready to hunt. Then the wolf answers the children that he is already there and that he will eat them. He then continues to hunt them and the children start to run.
UNTIL THE WOLF IS THERE shows a duality: a bizarreity. The works look beautiful, but delve on more complex underlying themes that are the result of social or personal problems. Both the positive (the forest, the jungle, the infant, the family, the celebration of life) and the negative (the wolf, the predator, fear, lack of resources, conflict) take part in this play.
"Not all that shines is gold",
Some of the topics dealt with are: deprivation, migration, war and depletion of natural resources, but also mental states: depression, anxiety, loneliness, vulnerability and difficulties to feel, amongst others. However, the exhibition shows as well how in complex contexts there are individuals or prosesses able to counteract or stand. Despite feelings that could catalogue someone as weak, fragile or sad amongst others, a person can be beautiful in its fragility, very strong by living with it and very lovely -to have empathy- towards others. Despite the violence, subjects can show admirable strength in the shape of love and community. Despite continuous acts against nature, it can show also its strength and the possibility to overcome.
Finally, it must be said that the beauty of the works give them a fairytale notion -that might feel also as awkward beauty- and this fits well with the location of the castle.
The following texts of the exhibition are a mix of the own words of the artists and the words of Parce. Therefore, they include individual appreciations of every artist and the perspective, thoughts and dialogues that the Parce Director found while organizing and creating this exhibtion.
Peter Land (DK)
Title: Absolute perfection
Technique: silicone, wax, fabric, mirror
Format: 40 x 15 x 20 cm
The work explores the connections and juxtapositions between the ideas of perfection and performance.
Much of Peter Land’s practice deals with the fine line between the real and the surreal, as he examines the realities of the human condition. Therefore, his figures give the spectator an uneasy feeling increased by the fact that they are young children. The use of young children and their naiveté and innocence of youth is contrasted by their very adult-like expressions and posture. Their posture and appearance may confront us with the adult ideals of perfection and failure, that can turn into preassure and expectation placed on children. It shows "an internal sensitivity and a kind of external, masked toughness that is undoubtedly shared by Land" (1)
Using himself as his primary source for research, Peter Land often transposes himself into his work, revealing his own vulnerabilities.
The idea of the child that has to fulfill expectations can be extended to the idea of the artist himself as someone that has to perform and succeed for an audience. In the words of Galleri Nicolai Wallner for the exhibition Showbizz (2015): "In a reality where the artist, the artwork, the institution and the spectator are intrinsically linked, the role that the artist plays in relation to the work goes beyond being simply the creator of the work and becomes understood as a kind of figure that can be typecast and expected to fulfill a certain set of expectations. Land asks the spectator to question their own motives in this paradigm. What kind of burden of expectations have they placed on him in the role of Peter Land, the artist?" (2)
"After observing Land's piece, I came to realize that some of my thoughts have voices that have their origins in my childhood. I can hear in my own voice my father telling me to be disciplined and my mother to listen to the plants, some of these voices became friends and others became inquisitors"
PETER LAND is one of the leading contemporary artists of Denmark. He makes performances, paintings, drawings, videos, sculptures with the same trademark, his tragicomedical flair.
Man's ambitions and failures in his difficulty finding balance and meaning are the recurring source for absurd situations and compositions. At the same time obscure and funny, hopeless and light, Land never shuns the extreme, and we are confronted with our own "all too humanity", reminding us of how much we are concerned with our identity and how it may be determined by the failure instead of becoming our 'self'.
The subconscious and self are explored by blurring the boundaries between memories and expression, through children's games and nightmares, despair and the idyllic ... The surreal and the grotesque ignite an existential alienation and we remain restless but amused.
Land's work has been shown at numerous exhibitions in Europe, North America, Asia and Australia, including solo shows at Galleri Nicolai Wallner, Copenhagen, Denmark; the New Museum, New York, NY; and the Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan. Land represented Denmark at the Venice Biennale in 2005.
Marina Lauwers (BE)
"A fence, a house with a tree, a bare landscape with a tree, a house on a cliff. Silently waiting, a strange world into which Alice has entered. The illusion of the peaceful environment that we felt we had but we see emptiness and loneliness. The wolf is not a fierce predator here: he is trying to hold on to the illusion and is fiercely surrounding us, allegedly threatening our culture. Little Red Riding Hood is alone."
Fairy tales are the basis of Marina's work in this exhibition. A plastic bag, inside the bag a white house. Building layers of protection while at the same time creating loneliness, decreasing the possiblity of love or expanding oneself. The bag protects against the unknown, but also prohibits the entrance of oxigen. Her stories speak about several issues, amongst others the fear of the unknown, the other, the different one, the foreigner or the migrant. It refers to the desperate desire to protect oneself in a search for happiness and a better life, but how this can also work out to be against one self and self-isolating.
Title: Er is iemand in het huis! ("There's somebody in the house!"
Technique: pencil and watercolor on cardboard, paper and a branch
Format: 70 X 41 x 14 cm
Title: Het huis op de rand van de klif ("The house on the edge of the cliff")
Technique: sculpture: wood, paper, ink, thread and twig.
Format: 26 x 25 x 8 cm
Title: Kan de maan zien en horen wat er in het huis gebeurd? ("Can the moon see and hear what happens in the house?")
Technique : paint pencil on wood, iron, rope and paper
Format: 20 X 12 x 6 cm
Title: Onder een sterrenhemel ("Below a sky full of stars")
Technique: drawing: mixed techniques, paint and ink on cardboard
Format: 18 x 19 cm
Title: Wie is er bang van de grote zwarte wolf? ("Who's afraid of the big black wolf?")
Technique: fountain pen drawing on paper
Format: 36 x 26 cm
Title: Veilig? ("Safe?")
Technique: paper, paint, rope and plastic
Format: 26 x 25 x 8 cm
Laura Peña (COL)
Technique: mixed media
My work was born out of a concern: the struggle of those who are forced to live in the shadow of violence, but also admiration for a community that despite their conditions stand firmly and proud maintaining their own technology, culture and traditions. During the investigation for the project, I identified myself with the communities involved, resulting in a strong feeling that it concerned also me and my country.
The work revolves around the coastal region of El Choco, one of the more deprived regions in Colombia, which is also heavily controlled by drug mafia and drug trafficking violence. The control of these groups is so strong, that people are not able to leave their homes when they forbid them to do so.
My works make reference to a group of boys called "the Matachines." The group got that nickname because they made masks for themselves and the community, which were used in holiday celebrations and celebrative dances. This way, they brought joy to the community. The Matachines were invited to come and play a football match in another village, where prizes could be won. The boys never returned and were found by their mothers the next day: in trash bags, chopped and with traces of torture, even though they had nothing to do with the conflict. One more child was found and never identified, which I think probably was the reason the Matachines were killed.
Title: Palafito Oscilando ("Waggle Stilt House")
Technique: mixed media
While this piece seems unstable, nevertheless it is firm. The architecture of palafitos is characterized for being self-sufficient. It is ecological since it achieves optimal housing conditions with the lowest energy consumption and takes into account the orientation of the construction, the land and the surrounding nature. By their origin, they were constructions designed to be self-sufficient and self-regulated. They are closely related to the landscape and nature, whose protection and care is vital for these communities, which is why the palafito - among several characteristics - must be able to reuse rainwater.
Title: Palafito en agua ("Stilt house on the water")
Technique: mixed media
The palafitos are architectural and ecological heritage in the Americas. According to anthropological studies, the first palafitos were built between 5000 and 1000 BC. The indigenous Añú or Parajuanos tribes were known to be the first architects specialized in this type of architecture. The stilt houses have a close relationship with the mangroves, the Red Mangrove provided its wide roots to serve as their first foundations.
The inhabitants of the stilt houses, usually use hammocks (chinchorros) to sleep, which are made with moriche fiber and of which the fabric also serves as a means of expression and communication in many of The Americas' indigenous communities. They contain stories, differentiation of status in the congregation, collective beliefs, etc. The chinchorros also mark specific moments of the members of the community. In some indigenous groups for example, the chinchorro is used symbolically to mark the passage from childhood to adulthood. In general, tissues in objects such as hammocks and "mochilas" (bags) are a fundamental part of the culture in several indigenous communities of America.
They are houses built on the water, despite having land in their vicinity. The constructions are separated from the mainland to regulate the temperature, as earth heats twice as fast as water. Water also has more capacity to absorb heat and its movement distributes it preventing it from accumulating. The houses are also built on water so that the inhabitants are protected from attacks by animals and because water - channels, rivers, and seas - are prime means of communication and support.
These practices are used by paramilitary groups to control the territory with fear and violence. They take place in some of the many "palafito" houses, typical for the region. These are wooden houses built on stilts in the water. the community has been building these for centuries as they are most resistant against the water, don't harm the nature and are very convenient for those living of fishery. They protect against predators, hostiles and exhalations of the soil. they also regulate the temperature. The mothers of the boys (and the community in general) have since then been peforming a masked dance with strong movements, which are a protest against those who force them to live in the shadow of violence, while at the same time guarenteeing that hey cannot easily be recognized/caught. However, the dance is also celebrates that victims of a conflicteventually become strong again. A protest of happiness and memory arose from pain The work shows a community that stands, that despite the circumstances tat affected them, as their territory was chosen strategically by illegal groups, they maintain their traditions, culture and architecture with strenght.
Title: Prueba inicial: Árbol ("First try: Tree")
Technique: Paper mold. Arches, colored and stacked, mounted on Hahnemüle paper.
Format: 49 x 57 cm
Maite's work is related to the way we humans treat our natural resources. The work is changing: it shows the process of exhaustion. In her piece, only the first layer was colored, by draining it in ink. This layer supplies all subsequent layers with ink, until there is no more ink to be substracted and only the vacuum shape of the first one reminds (but still, there is a shape. A new beginning a possibility to continue). The first layer is therefore full and the last layer almost empty.
My work speaks about how we work with the world, how our exploitation of the world is unsustainable. I try to evoke universal ideas through the visual language of matter itself. Here the imaginary and the physical, the surplus and the void, the accumulation and the residue and the alignment of different moments of a process come together. I believe that it's possible to recognize in these dualities, as well as in the light clues written in matter by the processes themselves, the dynamics that we humans exert with our material and symbolic resources.