The exhibition by Luna Joyy (b.1990) and Bruno Osif (b.1985) in the Zahorian & Van Espen in Prague presents a symbiosis of one artist’s current video creation with the other’s photography.
Luna Joyy’s videos are characterised by the striking presence of her frail-seeming body and the contrast situation which this body co-creates. Dispensing with narrative dramatisation, emphasis is placed on the exteriority of the recorded realities, deprived of the contexts in which the viewer is accustomed to read them; this is accompanied by an intellectualisation of the contents and an attempt at minimalisation of the distance between the reality and its presentation. The exhibition videos Carnivalesque and Sacred Cave also have a powerful line of statement on the level of the artist’s language, in which she imparts quotations from works by Bakhtin and Dostoyevsky. In this instance also, the viewer’s experience is co-created by the presence of her body, which is quite as valid a bearer of the contents as the specific thoughts presented.
Precisely what Bakhtin is examining (in Rabelais and His World) is the interaction between the social and literary and the significance of the body in the given contexts. Through an analysis of carnival he constructs the concept of the grotesque body, which is commanding in its openness and materiality, and which makes it possible, according to some interpretations, to perceive the historicity of man.
On the formal side, Luna Joyy’s videos are an analysis and criticism of the presentation of video art currently. As she sees it, the prevailing mode of exhibiting video art, as a film in a cinema, places the viewer in the passive role of someone waiting and thus enables a detachment between him/her, the medium, and its announcement. In her latest works she reevaluates and reinterprets the mediation of the video by presenting the video projections as part of the object. She thus places the viewer in the role of direct participant in their process, sometimes even physically interreacting with the shared forms and contents.
Bruno Osif’s photographs, like Luna Joyy’s videos, work with a liberation of images from received stereotypes of their perception and interpretations and a blurring of the narratives that they might associate with. His shots dispense with the function of the bearers of meanings, antecedently identifiable events, and social connotations. Osif aims for a statement without direct messages, with no option of a simple decoding. Thus he shifts the particular moments, in terms of reading them, to something significantly closer to unidentifiable abstraction. He does not stage the recorded reality beforehand; he does not even think about a subsequent possible combination of photographs and their mutual interaction. Despite this, they allow one to sense, in the situation that emerges within the exhibited ground-plan, a certain corpus: the body and tongue of potential new narratives. The joint presentation of these two artists may thus also be read, for example, in the hinted connections of body and tongue. By these means they sketch situations in which various voices appear and interact, breaking down conventions and enabling authentic dialogue. They offer possibilities of original perspectives and a different order of things, while pointing to the relative nature of all that exists around us.