The square is as high and as wide as a man with his arms outstretched. In the oldest writings and in the rock inscriptions of early man, it signifies the idea of enclosure, of home, of settlement. Enigmatic in its simplicity, in the monotonous repetition of four equal sides and four equal angles, it creates a series of interesting figures; a whole group of harmonic rectangles from the Hemidiagon to Sixton, generating the Golden Section and the logarithmic spiral found in organic growth of plants and animal parts. Its structural possibilities have helped artists of all generations and styles up to this day, giving them a harmonic skeleton to which to apply an artistic construction. Accordingly, it is present in all styles of all peoples in all ages, both as structural element and as a surface that supports and determines a particular decoration. The square is the finest expression of a spatial idea complete in itself. It represents an order of charged spiritual symbolism.’ – Bruno Munari, ‘The Square’ 1960
23.03 is a third in a series of four solo exhibitions by artist Vanya Balogh, inspired by four european cities he simultaneously works in and inhabits at present time; Zagreb, London, Venice and Berlin.
Taking place during the historic 15th Architectural Biennale, initial point of departure for exhibition 23.03 is dialogical, an ongoing informal conversation between the City of Venice and visiting artist Vanya Balogh, whose visual payback is a creation of speculative response to its timely endurance, beauty and fragility during the crisis moment in which resident populations are seeing as rapidly falling, new advertisements persistently disfigure ancient buildings and rising water levels continue to damage and threaten the very fabric of this Renaissance wonder.
‘When I enter City Of Venice, or every time it appears to me, from the very first stages of engagement with its narrow streets, historic buildings, elegant bridges and sentient ornaments, whilst vast array of visitors incubate endless passages, slits and corners baring scars and indentations, to the very last moment of setting your foot away from that Venetian ground, yet again to depart reluctantly from this uncanny floating geometrical oasis, one is somewhat left amused if not perplexed by its divine complexities and primary symmetry, as for the visual beauty and presence it can do no more but introduce the wonderer to the moment of pure absorption and joy. It was left for me to minimise and cushion that initial impact with quiet meditative gaze whilst revisiting the hot labyrinths and impenetrable Palazzos at regular intervals. One thus arrived, in some random fashion I guess to bridging reductive visual points, which at first seem unrelated aesthetically or architecturally but in essence and purpose form the core basis for the complex whole that is City of Venice.’ Vanya Balogh @ 23.03
Vanya Balogh is an artist and independent curator born in Zagreb, Croatia. He currently lives and works between cities of London, Berlin and Venice. His artistic output is diverse, multifaceted and often has interdisciplinary focus. He equally explores mediums of photography, sculpture and film to sound, performance and site specific interventions. His photographic imaging is commercially acclaimed and he worked as a contributor/stylist with a cult street style magazine I-D over a decade in the 90s. His work has been widely published and exhibited in UK and internationally including V&A, Tate Modern, Biennale Venezia and Loop Barcelona. His curation, which is integral part of his creative output is defined by high intensity, large scale events aimed at off spaces instigating autonomous temporal zones for emerging and established artists to experiment and observe often disputed relationship between commerce and art. He has work in private collections and is currently working on several book volumes due for launch in 2017.
Vanya Balogh: VeniceInABottle Gallery Castello 1794, 30122 Venezia Exhibitions runs; 5th August until 3rd September 2016