02.11.2016.

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Tarra Nullius (Primavera)


Lőrinc Borsos feat. Nicolas Poussin
2015 | oil painting on canvas, enamel, mechanical installation | 180x150x250 cm

This work is the part of the Paradise Lost series which accumulates pictorial representations of the Paradise from art history, remixed by the artist. Through masking the main figures with enamel varnish, the works’ form is transformed. The figural but at the same time abstract works announce the Dark Matter through which a symbolic wormhole opens from the value crisis of contemporary societies directly into an imagined paradise.

Dark Matter is a device frequently used by the artist in his painting: glossy black enamel varnish. It generally appears in the paintings as a mask obscuring specific parts, mostly the figures. The glossy black voids function as media: they establish a connection between the artwork and the spectator. This medium is capable of being charged with destructive, alienating, mediating, appropriating or self-reflexive narratives, depending on the context.

The term Terra Nullius in the title means no man’s land, and it originates in Roman law. Throughout history this was the name given to continents that were not officially in the possession of any state. Citing this, colonizers would freely invade the territories they set eyes on, subjugate the natives and exploit the continents.

As opposed to other pieces in the series, in case of this painting, which is a 1:1 replica, the dark matter is applied onto the surface not by the artist, but the visitors of the exhibition in the course of a performative act. A motion detector is linked to a mechanism that, when activated by a visitor who walks into its range, submerges the painting into a tub filled with black enamel varnish and then brings it back to the original position. The thresholds of the masking are set so as to obscure the figures in the painting, only leaving the foliage of trees and a narrow strip of the sky visible. During the exhibition, the painting is continually coated in enamel varnish, in direct proportion to the number of spectators viewing it. Bearing an increasing load, the painting can be considered complete by the end of the exhibition.


In studio

photo by Miklós Sulyok

 
Exhibition view

Handle with Care, Ostrale'015, Dresden, Germany, 2015

 
Exhibition view

Handle with Care, Ostrale'015, Dresden, Germany, 2015

 
Exhibition view

Handle with Care, Ostrale'015, Dresden, Germany, 2015

 
Exhibition view

Handle with Care, Ostrale'015, Dresden, Germany, 2015

 
Exhibition view

Handle with Care, Ostrale'015, Dresden, Germany, 2015