23. 10. 2018
31. 10. 2018

Néphéli Barbas (FR): ChURTEN EFFECT

We cordially invite you to the exhibition of Néphéli Barbas (FR): Churten Effect in PRÁM Gallery. Néphéli will present the works which ahve benn working on through her residency stay at PRÁM Studio. The opening is on Tuesday 23rd October from 7pm and the exhibition lasts till 31st October. Curator of the exhibition is Šárka Basjuk Koudelová.

Néphéli Barbas took totally by chance a tiny book called Churten Effect for her way from Paris to Prague, this book is a part of the Hainish Cycle from American legendary sci-fi writer Ursula Le Guin. Ursula Le Guin, who died this year in January, was an appreciated classic of that genre. In Hainish Cycle she describes development of the society in far undefined future spread on a several solar systems. The classic sci-fi scenery has atypically become a platform for implementing Le Guin`s own views on politics and society. In Hainish Cycle she depicts the evolution of humankind in the background of post-technological human community, which survived ecological collapse on one of the planets, and on the other planet she describes an ideal life of society, which succeed. Failing civilizations acclaimed dynamic economy and patriarchal authoritarian system, while the long-term successful civilizations confessing the respect for nature, are based on community life and live „close to land“. It is apparently not surprising that the Earth is mentioned there as an example of civilization that failed…
Churten Effect itself is the result of the theory of instant travel between individual solar systems. This kind of technology actually works in the book and allows people and space ships to travel instantly, but it is unpredictable and it has particular side effects, with certain Churten Effect. If we could apply the instant travel to artists and artists residential stays, Churten Effect could be a term for defining the impact of a different environment on the artist`s work. In work of Néphéli Barbas we would probably easily distinguish this effect. Her sculpture, installation and drawing outcomes certify that she also lives really “close to land”, but instead of some illusionary planet, she lives in 21st century cities. Each such city is a specific anthill, a planet with specific conditions, which are subject of appropriate solar system. It can be assumed that Prague and Paris orbit the same sun, but Buenos Aires, where Néphéli alternately lives, could be assumed as being located in different solar system.
We generally perceive the urban environment like a coulisse bearing various signs of use and we do not pay much of attention to its specific elements. Concrete, grids, pavement. On the contrary Néphéli Barbas defines, isolates and observes the aesthetic qualities of the isolated elements, that one has to invent and produce, although it is already blending in greyish matter of the city. She is creating a city dictionary of each urban planet, which is characterized by specific morphology and surface index. Colour and structure of the objects give the conflicting dual emotion – the high aesthetic on one hand, but on the other hand it looks like that the author created them from dust, fragments and stiffened chewing gums swept into corners of busy streets full of bars. The civilization remnants of a failed society are becoming a new quality, but also as a report of the way of life. Likewise, the incised objects from the current exhibition at Prám Studio are practically cut formats written all over with Prague glossary. Petrified postcards from another planet, deformed by the result of instant travel. 

text: Šárka Koudelová

Thanks GoOut.cz for PR support.