Ilha Iconica – Exhibition @Cor Galeria – Florianopolis, Brazil
artists: Pauline Zenk
opening: 30th of August 2014
location: Florianopolis - Brazil
curator: Marina Baldini
"IN OUR CULTURE ADVERTISING CAN BE A POTENT AND SEDUCTIVE MEANS OF IDENTITY FORMATION – A FANTASY AGRESSIVELY EXPANDING ITS VALUE AS A COMMODITY BEYOND THE MEANS FOR ANY REAL SATISFACTION.“ JENNIFER NEHRBASS
Advertisement today sells more than a product – it is selling a dream, a life style. The woman on the beach is a common motif for advertisers. A motif that is simultaneously ancient (a predominant theme in for example the French romamticist movement) and contemporary. The beach as a mark between land and sea is offering inumerable opportunities for dreams and desires. It marks a transformation of land to sea that psychologically can be interpreted as a vehicle for transformation. Many painters depicted women on the beach as parabole for beauty, desire and freedom. Little has changed in the prefered image of the majority of todays mainstream advertisements. Thematically the exhibition is about women on the beach in advertisements and beauty – and the idea of beauty that is being sold to us. It is about the nature of a beach and the body of women as surface for projections, desires. It is also about the standarization of our idea of beauty and the ongoing enchantment with beauty. The paintings are based upon ads featuring women but in the final work the women from the advertisements, the models who posed for commercial and monetary purposes are turned into real women, standing strong and satisfied, radiating beauty and feminity more as an element of nature, than of a cosmetical or fashionable preparation. The works are feminist in the way that they do mention the marketing, the objectification and the standarization of beauty, as well as the compromising depiction of women in advertisement, but they do not stop there, but also respect our need for beauty – as represented by nude bodies on a beach – and are in the end, apart from being feminist, a study of our current visual culture. The exhibition also focuses on on the contradiction/paradox of the short life of advertisements – ads with an expiration date within a month – versus the lonlevity and promise of eternity that art works carry. In the attempt to render the shortlived eternal, and in order to give a commercial image personal significance, the paintings through a blurred vision effect yield an intimacy of time and place that makes the works special and stand on their own. Ultimately these paintings deny giving an answer to the question of what is beauty, how women should look like, or how a perfect moment should be and invite the viewer to interpret the moment and scene depicted, and ultimately to interpret beauty, as he or she wishes.