Let Me Fly
Center for Contemporary Arts Celje – Racka gallery
4.3. – 28.3.2010
Following last years’ successful defence of her MA at the Academy of Fine Art and Design in Ljubljana Ana Čigon – a representative of the up-and-coming generation of artists - enrolled into a post-graduate course at the Linz Universität für künstlerische und industrielle Gestaltung (University for Art and Industrial Design). As a means of expression she uses paintings, video and new media, and lately she also started experimenting with a combination of video and dance. In her works she not only researches the characteristics of individual media and the possibilities of merging them, but she also pays special attention to the social position and role of women, as well as the position and presentation of contemporary art. The first time she exhibited in the Centre for Contemporary Arts Celje was in 2008, when she participated at the group exhibition entitled Premiera 17 which took place in the Galley of Contemporary Art. This time she is displaying the solo exhibition Let Me Fly, which was prepared especially for the Račka gallery. Last year she was one of the finalists of the Essl Award as well as a finalist and winner of the OHO award (awarded by the Ljubljana P.A.R.A.S.I.T.E. Institute in cooperation with the Foundation for Civil Society and the Trust for Mutual Understanding, both based in New York).
With the project Let Me Fly she touches the topic of eroticism and questions the established patterns of appropriate sexual behaviour as well as the conventional perception of women. The exhibition is composed from larger and large format paintings, small drawings (croquis), a statue and a video. Her most common motifs are male and female bodies through which she questions the relationship between man and woman; her understanding of the female body, femininity and sexuality, as well as sensuality, pleasure and sensibility is – in her typical manner – shown through a combination of teasing, irony and humour. In her art Ana understands humour as a strong and efficient tool for addressing various social and artistic issues. Figurality and narration are typical (without a single exception) for her paintings (which constitute the majority of the exhibition), however she also researches the material existence of the painting itself, which she performs with the materiality of the paint and the use of materials such as jute and lace. In some works she uses the subject substitution strategy in order to refer to well known works from the history of modern art: in her work Olimpus she used Manet's Olympia and placed a passive man in the position of the active woman, thus radically changing the situation; in her work Duet for Gauguin she referred to Gaughuin's Words of the Devil in order to once again deal with the relation between man and woman and expose the strength of the woman. These two works are examples of direct references, however indirect references can be found in her works Nika (or Thongs on a summer evening) 1 and 2 and Compromise (Dressed and naked in May).
Ana Čigon (1982) currently lives and creates in Štanjel, Ljubljana and Linz.