- South London Gallery
The work of Yanna Kubic is almost invisible, at least it sometimes seems that way. Over the last few days I have been watching Kubic working with a team of collaborators in and around the "South London Gallery", carefully recording, documenting and interacting with both the public and the staff. This is an ongoing exercise and Kubic will be working in and around the site until the 28th of February before she moves to the Fruitmarket Gallery in Edinburgh.
However, this is not a contrived piece of work, people do not know what the elusive Kubic looks like, nor do they see the hidden camera's. Instead Kubic seeks to blend into the surroundings and mingle and associate with the people that she finds there. Kubic is interested in our notions of normal discourse and behaviour, the modes we employ when we dress up and go out, how we look at art, how we avoid each other or seek contact and reassurance.
According to Kubic, these actions are interesting not because they reflect some sociological traits, something that can be analyzed and broken down into programmed behaviours, like specimens that can be understood in the context of a laboratory. They are beautiful because they reflect different worlds and because they offer us new opportunities for experience. Experience, according to Kubic, is ontologically prior and accounts for the primary contents of the world.
In a similar piece of work, performed in Berlin last year , Kubic concluded with a 35 minute film projected over the entrance of the Pergamon museum. The monumental structure of the museum appeared to dissolve beneath the shifting and exaggerated figures in the film, highlighting Kubic's desire to raise questions about our faith in the absoluteness of reason, logic and science. It consisted of footage of gallery goers, security guards, museum staff interacting with one another in a manner that seemed choreographed. Occassionally the figures appeared almost to be sleepwalking and became as silent and as monumental as the contents of the museum.
Kubic plans to conclude her recent work in a similar way but as yet the venue for the finale remains unknown. As always with her work, it will be a surprise, but one worth waiting for.