Mirror, Mirrorfrom Olga Ku
Agora Gallery is pleased to announce Mirror, Mirror, a group exhibition of paintings, photographs, and collages that delve into the way we reflect back on the world and society at large. To truly understand the challenges, feelings, and expectations of a population or culture at a given historical moment, we need not look any further than art. The Renaissance signaled flourishing optimism after the dark period of the Middle Ages; Impressionism rejected classical subjects and realism in favor of a spontaneous depiction of modern life; while Expressionism voiced human anxieties around psychological alienation and emotional distancing in the early 20th century. The same happens today.
Mirror, Mirror attempts to paint a realistic picture of contemporary society’s general sentiment, as expressed through the eyes of artists from widely diverse walks of life and cultural backgrounds. The exhibition explores the theme of reflection from two different angles. On the one hand the works act as specular images of an artist’s emotional or physical environment. Magazine cutouts depicting figures from 15th to 19th century paintings play out the tragedies of contemporary society, touching on subjects of equality, motherhood, love, and faith. Intimate portraits shot in domestic settings confront gender identity, reclaiming space in today’s relational and sexual panorama. Black holes and flaming bursts of color speak of passionate turmoils of the soul.
On the other end of the spectrum, the work portrays an ideal reality through idyllic representations or a selective focus on the miracles of the natural environment, which are slowly disappearing. Pictures of horses illuminated by an ethereal light, closeups of luxuriant animal plumage, tunnels in imaginary gothic castles project a utopian illusion, acting as agents of awareness and change from the outside in. The countless mirrors in this exhibition invite us to ponder, examine, dream, as a way to understand who and where we are.