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I closed my eyes, the sun burned crimson through the lids.
I opened them and saw a pale fire.

Matti Isan Blind

Curator: Aurelia Nowak

Zona Sztuki Aktualnej
Szczecin, Poland

Zona Sztuki Aktualnej is pleased to present Matti Isan Blind's first solo exhibition in Poland. The artist was born in Busan in South Korea in 1975. He graduated from the Chelsea College of Art and Design in London in 2002. He lives and works in Berlin.
Exhibition I closed my eyes, the sun burned crimson through the lids. I opened them and saw a pale fire was specially prepared by him for the gallery and presents his selection of works including the latest series of works on textile.
Potentiality, performativity, unpredictability, poetry are specific for Isan Blind's works. His exhibitions are not just a collection of objects, but first of all the type of script that viewers are the integral part of. In his practice, the artist focuses on the audience participation, social interaction and dynamic experience. He frequently introduces everyday objects or materials into the gallery space. It happens that he arranges, imitates certain phenomena, precipitating viewers from the daily perception of objects and space.
Although Matti Isan Blind works much more frequent with time-based objects and installations, his latest works certainly relate to pictorial traditions.
The artist decided to use the well-known, daily use reflective material, instead of the canvas, which, when pulled on the looms, he subjected to experimental, technological complex processing, to create fascinating, unpredictable forms on their surface. The works provoke the audience to a specific choreography of movements.
They make that we look at them from different angles, expecting changes in the perception of their surface. Depending on the position, the distance and the intensity of the light, they become matt, shiny, monochromatic or beam with a colorful, rainbow light. The desire to see them fully, provokes the viewers to follow certain directions, falling themselves into the planned script.


Rain, 2017, Zona Sztuki Aktualnej, Szczecin, Poland


In movies rain fulfills a narrative function. Falling raindrops serve as a visual cue to render a hopeless situation even more forlorn, a desperate person even more lost, or a happy character even more euphoric – despite the rain. Of course, the intensity of the rain and the mis-en-scene play a part in this. In some films the protagonists are coated in soft curtains of rain, in others they are washed away by it. One thing might be common to all – that the beginning of rain marks a turning point in the narrative.

The desire with this minimal work Rain was to initialize such a turning point. The element of surprise that comes with when entering the room is linked to perception. In the initial encounter it is not obvious, one can’t pin down the work of the artist. His interest lies exactly in this delay in perception. The work surrounds the visitor, who perceives it without having had the time to consciously process it. To stage this situation,   contact microphones are fixed to the outer facade of the exhibition venue. It was not a coincidental wash of rain that was

transmitted, but rain which was generated by an apparatus consisting of the simplest of materials installed on the roof and above the window of the space. As in films, the rain came from a tap – intensified to facilitate an acoustic, visual, and emotional experience for visitors to the exhibition.This installation could be linked to other works with moving elements, since rain, the ‘material’, constantly changes. The sounds it emanates get louder or more hushed, depending on the pressure in the tubes and the chance pattern of the drops, just as early kinetic sculptures depended on natural influences like wind or air pressure.Through minimal variations the view through the window alters, becoming a moving image. The abstract motifs of what can be seen through the window are much closer to the poetic modus operandi of an early documentary filmmaker like Joris Ivens – who actually made a film about rain – than to Hollywood films.

Reflection Deflection, 2017, Zona Sztuki Aktualnej, Szczecin, Poland


Common mass-produced light-reflecting fabrics crested with small shimmering resin particles are stretched over wooden frames. Onto the surface of each of the two stretched fabrics, I have repeatedly added several coats of various substances with the intention of enhancing and amplifying their initial light-reflecting qualities in an irregular, random way. Saltwater crystals and varnishes of different tints and degrees of glossiness react on and interact with the fabric to re-produce light. The making process is experimental and performative, and so is the reception of its result, which is, by no means, a „final“ result. The paintings constantly alter their appearance from matte to glossy, shiny, from different greys to lush rainbow colors, either due to the changes of incident light, or to one’s changing viewing angle.

I began working on this series a year ago. The idea came up after watching people on the street wearing items made out of light-reflecting, shimmering fabrics. The trigger was my instant fascination with the involuntary performative aspect of these flickering vibrations on their bearers. Light, movement, the viewers and their perspective are concurring agents in a combined action creating possibly endless experiences of the same object. The works not only point out to the the act of seeing, furthermore they stage it as an event that grants a fascination in certain ways similar to the one experienced at the sight of natural phenomena.

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