Exhibition Statement by Lieta Marziali
Since completing our first Kontrapunkt exhibition just over a year ago, the biggest revelation to us was how, despite not all being close as people beforehand, we had started experiencing the benefit (and the efficiency!) of shared trust and non-hierarchical decision- making processes - what we soon came to call the Kontrapunkt Method. As we reflected on its possibilities as a model for better living in the world, we knew we had to keep going because there was so much more that we could experiment with and learn. And not just among ourselves. The audience is, in fact, just as important in the Kontrapunkt Method, not simply as viewers but active participants in our collective gesture of art-making. The premise for this new Kontrapunkt project is simple enough: four voices, four very personal inspirations, four responses from each voice. The implications are however more complex. The permission mentioned in our title is, very importantly, taken as well as granted. It is taken by each of us in our individual choice of inspiration and also in our interpretation not only of that but of all the others' choices. It is granted in our trust in the others to find their own connections with each of our choices.
Observing and reflecting on the development of this give-and-take equilibrium has been the core of this project.
The etymology of the word permission contains two very important concepts for Kontrapunkt - those of "forward" and of "exchange". What is exchanged and what is moving forward is not just our voice, but our very understanding of ourselves, as well as of others. Our understanding of our own choices and of our own responses, our own life rhythms, our own working habits, our own processes.
Developing such an intimate relation with others means developing a more intimate relation with ourselves. If we started by thinking of "art as a verb", we are now also reflecting on "sharing as a method". The sharing does not stop at our close circle but has to extend completely to the audience. It is together with the audience that our collectivity is fully actualized.
With them, we all move forward once again, as we strive to understand each other through another level, another layer, of sharing where they too have to take and grant their own permission to speak. In this sense, the pieces that are made through this process are not important as a final product but as a challenge to understand that what is "mine" is in fact "ours" and then becomes "everybody's".
It is the dialogue and not the pieces that is the "precious product" here. We take our own permission to talk and we grant it to others and, as in polyphonic singing, individual melodies are not dispersed or diluted into the voice of the choir and instead become more powerful and self-aware as the sharing moves forward. But their potential is at its fullest when they operate in their context and belong, united, to their collectivity.
All Those Choices, brooch, copper, ready-made aluminium, thread, steel. 75 mm x 8mm.
On the Way, ring, Tyvek, copper, cotton cord, 65mm x 25 mm x 8mm.
I Stand Still: object in 9 pieces, copper 62mm x 70mm, 2022-2023
Can You Really Tell A Dream Without Ruining It? ring, paper, acrylic paint, copper, 115mm x 85mm x 10mm, 2022-2023