A l’occasion de l’exposition de ses tableaux les plus récents, Luca Korodi, après avoir fait l’expérience de tableaux aux factures et aux supports ruraux extraordinaires – souvent peints sur des tissus imprimés de motifs orientaux – médiatise une tout autre thématique.
Après avoir exploité des possibilités de transparence d’un ornement superposé dans des couches multiples, l’artiste, cette fois, expérimente l’expression de l’exotisme sous une forme tout-à-fait différente. Dans les séries de Luca Korodi, concentrées sur les problèmes liés à la peinture, le motif exotique devient un dénominateur commun qui accompagne les œuvres d’un répertoire de techniques très variées. Dans l’univers pictural de Korodi, l’articulation des possibilités de la peinture du paysage est un domaine de découverte permanente.
Les paysages subjectifs de l’artiste, agrémentés souvent d’éléments émotionnels palpables sont des surfaces chargées des symboles très forts. Les tableaux les plus récents de Korodi changent l’image de Budapest : répétée jusqu’à la saturation elle devient une « terra incognita ». Les spectacles familiers de la ville, principalement ceux des ponts, sont revalorisés par une luminosité extrême, en particulier nocturne. Grâce à cet effet, la vision ordinaire s’aliène et, arrachée de son contexte, elle se définit comme exotique, gagnant à son tour une signification qui se dépasse, comme métaphysique. Les ponts sur les tableaux deviennent étranges, inconnus, la grande-ville apparaît comme un désert de lumière, une jungle de néons expressive.
Il en ressort que ces tableaux apparaissent comme des portraits architecturaux car l’image est fortement transformée par des techniques de collage, de zoom, de changement de perspectives et de superposition assurée par le rapport de luminosité. Cette méthode de travail et de visualité picturale utilise les manipulations visuelles de la photographie analogue et digitale – songeons aux photos brûlées par la lumière et rendues floues par le mouvement. Les couleurs intensives des lumières nocturnes sont des références à la party-culture contemporaine dont l’expérience est encore davantage renforcée par les accents, les rythmes et les séquences émanant de l’intérieur de l’image-même.
Dans cet espace d’images floues, les ponts sont des éléments très importants et accentuées ; tout se passe comme s’ils reliaient les paysages à des états d’âmes inconnus, par exemple Budapest à l’Afrique. Comme si ceux qu’ils relient ne comptent pas vraiment, mais plutôt leur fonction simple, renforcée par l’artiste. Il s’agit bien là de souder ensemble deux espaces très différents. Et cela peut être une réflexion sur le rôle de l’artiste qui ne fait que médiatiser visuellement ses visions entre le public et lui-même.
Par ailleurs, ce sont des ponts construits à travers des berges infranchissables qui comptent vraiment et assurent la mobilité, ils sont concrets et représentent des points d’orientation fixes. A partir de là, cela ne compte déjà plus d’où est-ce que nous partons et où est-ce que nous arrivons. Mais pendant la traversée, nous pouvons songer, méditer sur l’exotisme de Budapest … et se demander dans quelle mesure ses habitants sont, eux aussi, exotiques.
The topic I recently engaged myself in connects to the African phenomenon that interests me not only through its social aspect or as a simple observer, but in an interactive way. As a painter I got in contact with African culture through their textiles. I paint on fabric samples collected from all over the world, that reflect a certain atmosphere and colouring. New York is one of the main markets for fabrics produced in Africa and distributed by Africans. I’m planning an artwork that would be based on textiles with a wide range of motives to be obtained in New York, as the images below show works that also evolved from the same concept.
Other aspects of approaching this work
Due to my identity I have a personal viewpoint that urges me to compare and map the correlations between the many poor and backward regions of Africa and those of my country, the so called “White Africa”. Hereby I’m reflecting to the hopeless and helpless poverty that is an immobile keystone of our societies.
Urbanized, organic, altering landscapes, African culture embedded in an urban environment, interconnections, the world’s balance – and many more associations will be implied in these pictures that can hardly be expressed by words. There are more tangible phenomena in the world of music that express this idea, thinking of interconnections between Afro-European and Afro-American cultures and interactions like the idea of ‘Under Your Skin’ ( http://www.underyourskin.net/about.html ). I would like to include all these things in my paintings and evolve them, play with them and take them to a different level. In some of my previous works this concept appeared as I painted on printed fabrics purchased on the Malcolm Street market in Harlem, New York:
1. ADRIA JUNGLE
This picture is part of my utopian forest series. Forests are holistic and archaic organisms, which gave place to many significant events throughout countless ages, providing a shelter for the escapers, for the lost and those who want to hide: a realistic and mysterious scene. On the pictures I created scenes that bring up certain memories and foreshadow certain atmospheres; scenes that hide different forces and events. In the title I pay tribute to Henri Rousseau’s Jungle.
2. ADRIA – CHINA
On this picture, due to the connection of two antagonistic motif-systems, a strange discordance is present. The two motifs are the plaid fabric, which I stretched over the frame, and the painted forest (an Adriatic landscape) depicted in a genteel artistic style. The effect is ambivalent, the sense of inner freedom and outer prison, or vice versa – at the same time.
The picture also refers to the recent Chinese phenomenon in commercial goods; that’s why the slight pun in the title, also referring to the fact that the picture shows similarities to 4th Century Chinese landscapes: they also applied more-point perspectives to create a multi-dimensional effect.
3. TOUR DE FRANCE
This small picture is quite personal, it has an intimate atmosphere. It is about two people’s struggle along their way together. This kind of figurativeness changes the picture into a romantic genre; presented with a loose sfumato technique, it’s a very idyllic image, a happy moment of a memory-like impression which is enhanced by the plaid fabric base. It serves as a panel or blanket displaying images of a memory.
Tour de France is a piece of a series of paintings, which I painted being inspired by rhythms of the band Kraftwerk.
4. HOUSING ESTATE
This work shows marks of the social-realistic style, awaking strong memories from my childhood partially spent in Moscow housing estate in the second half of the1970s.
I have another picture that contains similar elements: black and white birch-trees in front of the plaid fabric with its yellowy-rusty colors, creating the atmosphere of a housing estate. I placed that picture inside of a Plexiglas-box and complemented it with a string of LEDs which weren’t evenly placed on the surface of the picture, but more like a string of lights on the street, evoking a dreary, neon-cold, droning and depressing effect. This small painting (60x60cms) is featuring me as a small child on a sledge, which gives the object the vibe of an old slide strip.
I discovered a 16th Century Persian wall-carpet pattern, which shows a sequence of a panther and a gazelle chasing each other. I silkscreen-printed the pattern on a canvas and I painted a draft picture of the panoramic view of a housing estate with lakes.
The landscape is shown from a slight angle as if we were looking out from an airplane.
The redundancy of the pattern motif gives broken dynamics to the pictures. I used this as a base for other pictures as well: in my 2009 exhibition Happy Hunting Grounds I dealt with topics like life after death, projections of the soul – from a non-religious point of view. I tried to stretch the borders of the “edge of life”, to enter a zone where nothing is present: nobody’s land. All these pictures have a vibrating effect; also, they evoke a hiving and swarming feeling in the viewer.7.
6. SPIRIT OF AFRICA
Black music always had a great impact on me and I take every opportunity to get in contact with African culture. For my 2009 exhibition in New York City I used African printed fabrics as canvasses. I painted mainly South African landscapes on them. The photos I used were taken by a photographer friend of mine, who took the pictures from very inspiring angles.
Portraits I have too in this stream- means- afro portraits in something special environment. These beginning from surrealism, but it has concrete story, what I'm trying to transform to the future. The differences similar, than Fritz Lang’s films, to Matthew Barney...
I like the metaphysical writings of Jorge Luis Borges, especially those of the parallel time zones like in The Garden of Forking Paths. I all so interesting in Victor Pelevin's “The helmet of horror”, which is connecting for it.
I discovered the dissonant effect of a tartan fabric with a forest painted on it. I started to work on patterned canvases, later I created the patterned surfaces myself by screen printing.
Transit, border, temporary state
Happy Hunting Grounds (2009 Virag Judit Gallery, Budapest ) was the title of the exhibition where my landscapes were presented.
Each picture each thought is a next layer over the things we hold in ourselves.
The pattern I used for these pictures came from an antique wall-carpet from the 16th Century. The pattern was made up from the repeated pictures of a panther hunting for a gazelle. They were in a movement, carrying the dynamics of a lethal combat, one of the most archetypical movements. It could symbolise many things in human life: hierarchy between the sexes, for example. The hunter, who wants his prey, and the chased victim escaping all the time. Like the tiny frames of a celluloid, its phases changing quickly one after the other.
As the half-finished and finished paintings were still in my studio, I organized a real bowing session among them. The game was the following: we were shooting arrows from the upper floor downwards, aiming at a wine glass that was standing against the wall across the studio. We were surrounded by these strange landscapes with sometimes apocalyptic or paradise-like atmospheres on them which all had those patterns in common. It was inevitable that we would hit some of the canvases that proved them to be perfect targets. The pictures broke here and there, especially one of them that I called ‘Salut’ after ‘Angelic Salutation’. That picture was a memorial for a friend of mine who just died that time. On the painting there were a bunch of pink flamingos, pluming themselves while standing in the water or on the land. The arrows hit quite a few holes in this painting, although I worked on it for at least two months. When I checked the back of the canvas I noticed that the holes form a regular constellation. I looked it up and it looked just like the Perseus-constellation from the Andromeda-nebula. I restored the picture, marking the place of the holes on the back of the canvas.
Later I took the paintings to the gallery to exhibit them, where they suddenly became preys – the buyers could then aim and shoot them down to their heart’s content.