MAYBE THE LAST ONE I SEE
Solo exhibition, Jiri Svestka Gallery Berlin, May 2 - July 11 2015

photographs: Katarina Hruskova
text by Marcus Kleinfeld

The title of Katarina Poliacikova’s second solo show with Jiri Svestka Gallery Berlin - ‘Maybe the last one I see’ - was borrowed from a found Instagram post during the solar eclipse of 2015. The act of intimately looking, or the introspective gaze at cosmic objects as much as at the intricacy of one’s own life and history, is present throughout the whole exhibition: in the works and their subject matter as much as in the act of the audience regarding the display.

The scope of Poliacikova’s panoramic and spatial arrangements of clusters of various appropriated images from different times and sources lend a contemplative quality to what is being seen. The air of reminiscence that the title of the exhibition suggests becomes a realization of beginnings and endings, of farewells and time passing as much as of the wonder of the uniqueness of moments in our lives.
Applying a contemporary and purified mode of research to almost Romantic notions of man’s place within nature, the artist’s sources reach across time and media. The resulting planar wall arrangements of images formed by universal as much as personal matter are made up of paper cut-outs from 100 years old books, digital, analogue and found photographs, photograms created by the chemical reactions of sunlight meeting photographic paper, and NASA space images.

What can be experienced appears to be synonymous with what can be seen here, and this act of seeing also appears to be inverted onto one’s inner realm. Being reflected is light – arguably one of the major themes of Poliacikova’s practice - in a woman’s sunglasses gazing up into the branches of trees or perhaps the sun; or onto the face of a girl as a mysterious veil of colour seemingly coming from nowhere.
In other works, trees infinitely larger and older than any of the human beings placed underneath them are set against the sky. Those trees almost become a genealogy of lineage, with the single individual only being its most fragile component standing in a long line of age-old branching networks. This allusion may be heightened further when learning that in one of the photographs the artist’s mother can be seen: tiny, and leaning against a tree herself.

Marcus Kleinfeld, 2015

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“I’ve gradually become more and more interested in the negative space of photography; the time between the frames on film, the non-visible, cut away; in everything that reaches beyond the picture edges.”
“The moments that are lost are somehow always present in those captured, just as the presence of something does not necessarily mean it is visible.”
Katarina Poliacikova, in 2015