On Stellar Rays presents Apnea’s Rhapsody, a multi-layered installation and performance project by JAŠA, exploring the tension between perceived experiences of awe, ecstasy, and beauty, and actual conditions of a specific time and place. The gallery installation will be immersive, including wallpaper, carpeting, furniture, sculpture, video, photography and other surprises. Apnea’s Rhapsody marks the Ljubljana-based artist’s first exhibition in the US.
Like a rhapsody, Jaša’s work is charged with romanticism, mood and spontaneity, created thorough the layering of familiar contemporary and traditional images. Jaša plays with seemingly idiosyncratic proverbial visual associations - albeit, with Aesopian hints – that are taken to such extremes that the elemental parts fuse and the total atmosphere overcomes interest in minutiae. Personal narratives also permeate Jaša’s work, often taking on cultural or folkloric forms and recapitulating feelings of euphoria and beauty found within them.
Flight is an important reference in Apnea’s Rhapsody, particularly as it relates to the mythological and visionary aspirations of man. Divergent views of the heavens and the sky in Slavic (Koschei the Deathless, Baby Jaga, Tugarin Zmeevich, Zmeu Gorynich) and Western mythologies (Icarus and Deadalus), as well as later, turn-of-the-century attitudes inherited from such diverse sources as the Wright brothers and Vladimir Tatlin’s Letatlin flying device, play into various sculptures and actions most prominently in a 8-foot pair of wearable wings, made of black umbrellas, constructed by the artist and his wife in a furious all-nighter, following their discovery of Tatlin’s shared project.
Although allusions to the beautiful and euphoric are ever-present, Jaša’s playful approach and emphasis on the particularities of situation point more to a heightened state of reality than to fantasy. Reality, however complex, multi-layered, absurd or unpredictable, may still offer breathless moments.