exhibitions

jana sterbak

Sep 22 - Nov 18, 2006
via a. stradella 7
Galleria Raffaella Cortese is pleased to announce the first Italian solo show by Czech-Canadian artist Jana Sterbak. The opening takes place on the first night of START 2006 - three days of contemporary art in Milan – when 31 galleries will stay opened with extended hours: Friday the 22nd from 12 to 9 pm, Saturday the 23rd and Sunday the 24th from 12 to 8 pm.
Jana Sterbak's oeuvre is extremely eclectic and generally critical towards society.
In the '80s her research is mainly focused on the body-object and conceptually close to the reflections and experiences of the last body-art: "Vanitas", 1987, is a dress made of raw beef that appears today as dry skin. Her search field necessarily includes a sharp analysis of the influence of capitalism on human perception and cognition: "Generic man", 1989, is the portrait of a man's nape tattooed with a barcode. Moreover, the relationship between art and science plays a fundamental role in Sterbak's practice: "Faradayurt", 2001, is a tent built on the model of the typical yurt from Central Asia and protected by an electromagnetic field (discovered by Michael Faraday) which invisibly isolates it from the external world.

In show:
Artist as Combustible is a performance from 1986: the artist sets her hair on fire, both poetically and ironically expressing the metaphor of the artist as energy generator.
Waiting for High Water is a three-channel projection of a video shot in Venice in 2004 during the period of the high water. As for the work presented at the 50° Venice Biennial, where Jana Sterbak represented Canada, the small video-camera used by the artist is actually positioned onto a Jack Russell Terrier puppy: the artist forces us to modify our perspective and perception of the city and space.
February is the most recent work by Jana Sterbak: an ice rink is filmed in the highest image resolution with a fixed camera. The viewer is in front of a scenario that is as detailed as one of Brueghel's paintings: a familiar and apparently non-interesting place becomes the subject of a contemporary equivalent of the most refined Northern Renaissance style.