along the way
Barnard 12.04 - 09.05 2017
Poetic reverie gives us the world of worlds. Poetic reverie is a cosmic reverie.
It is an opening to a beautiful world, to beautiful worlds.
Bachelard’s notion of the poetic reverie – a state in which memory, imagination and wonder are interplayed and find expression in poetic writing – finds itself translated into the the vivid, hallucinatory paintings of Alexia Vogel. Concerned with the relationship between memory, image, place and self, Vogel’s work achieves a visual equivalent to Bachelard’s poetic understanding of reverie in its exploration and facilitation of the mechanisms of memory and emotional resonance. This exploration had its beginning’s in Vogel’s family archive of film photography, which Vogel has repeatedly examined and referred to in her artistic practice. Depicting a time and place before she was born, Vogel’s nostalgia for these images and the locales captured therein thus always contained an element of fantasy and projection. This sense of fantasy and of the unreal, of a confusion of the logic of time and place, and of the fragmented and irrational nature of memory and subjectivity, have found expression both in Vogel’s evocation of fantasy locales and in the physical processes and techniques which have become essential to her visual signature. Among these, the spontaneous movement of paint, the use of multiple layers and glazes, and the combination of intense, complementary hues are paramount.
Along the Way continues and extends this exploration of subjectivity and place through a more in depth exploration of the notion of wanderlust and journey. While previous works tended to present an imagined fixed locale, this new body of work shifts the focus to the routes taken – to movement, progression and transition. Part of this consideration of journey and passage is an engagement with and confrontation of fear and the unknown. This engagement extends Vogel’s practice further into the realm of the sublime, most strikingly evident in her Wave series, an extensive project charged with the ocean’s connotations of flux, fear and the unknown. Combined with Vogel’s introduction of Vogel’s own reference imagery from personal travels (as opposed to the exclusive use of family photography in the past), this evocation signals the artist’s evolving independence through a reflection on the routes and journeys which continuously inform both her practice and notion of self.
Text by Charis de Kock