– Chitra Ganesh, Project Space 1 + 2 : Loukia Alavanou

HAAS FISCHER is delighted to present the first European solo show of New York based artist Chitra Ganesh (*1975). Simultaneously project space 1 + 2 feature two works by Greek video artist Loukia Alavanou (*1979, lives and works London).

Chitra Ganesh explores in her digital collages, drawings and mural paintings impressions of different cultures, both Eastern and Western. Because of the artists Indian roots, Hindu and Greek mythology have, alongside with post-colonial approaches, become solid parts of her visual vocabulary. In her works the boundaries between race, sex and sexual orientation disappear. Dreams and memories are detached from their repression and, enhanced by the dissonance between text and imagery, let the subconscious emerge. Her comics tell dreamlike stories that are not only inspired by Hindu and other mythologies but lyric poetry and song lyrics (both Bollywood and Girl Rock).

In Tales of Amnesia (2002/2007), a comic consisting of 21 parts, Ganesh revolves close around the Amar Chitra Katha comics, a comic book series which illustrates and disseminates the myths at the core of Hindu culture since the late 1960s. The so found imagery is reorganized, manipulated, recombined and added destabilizing, enigmatic textual elements that create a post modern saga of love and death, destruction and creation. The fact that all 21 parts are at least seemingly related to one another in a strange and broken story line allows the viewer the particular challenge of imaginative plot construction.

In her video installation Loukia Alavanou researches pop culture and today’s mass media industry with its informative and visual overflow. She uses found footage from movies and photography and with a lot of dark humour works it up to surrealistic compositions. In her animated collage Birds and Feathers Alavanou merges details, elements and sounds from various sources: an old Greek photograph, a contemporary horror film, a 1930’s erotica film, Hitchcock’s famous Birds and a cartoon. She creates a monstrous body consisting of fragmented parts and telling a tale of violence and horror.

Both Chitra Ganesh and Loukia Alavanou filter well known images from various cultural circles, reorganize them and by creating surreal scenes draw an irritating view of our world. Alavanou is interested in the language of the cinema and approaches her work in a cinematographic kind of way, whereas Ganesh’s narratives are more similar to sequences from comic books.

Loukia Alavanou has been nominated for the Deste Prize 2007. An exhibition catalogue will be published in collaboration with upstairs Gallery Berlin.

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