‹Twin Waters› Katia Bourdarel, Sylvain Ciavaldini, Antonio Gagliardi

1.2. - 8.3.08


This special exhibition of three French artists is framed by the mystic title „Twin Waters“. In their current works the artists have been dealing with the world above or below water. The water surface is understood as a mirror, as a division between the top and the bottom, between reality and fiction, earnestness and amusement or between here and now and the afterlife. The mirroring is being reflected; used as a gate to plunge into the world beneath. Three totally independent groups of works, using the water as point of contact are the outcome. Katia Bourdarel is creating poetic, magical works, whereas the two male artists are approaching the theme in a more humoristic, profound way. Even though the group seems to be totally autonomous, it is united to an exciting, thematic cluster.
Katia Bourdarel is showing new paintings and a very poetic video installation. With her oil paintings and watercolors she is leading the viewers into a new dimension. The series of “Naïde” is showing portraits of young women with damp hair, who seem to seek the viewer’s sight. The other series “Open water” is about a kind of fairy tale, a story told in pictures without a beginning or an ending. Her own daughter is one more time the protagonist of the story. The video installation “L`inaccessible” is tied in with earlier works, using the cast shadows of an object as part of the video picture.
An upside down castle is dangling from the ceiling, seeming to immerge into water. Katia Bourdarel is very talented in weaving main plot lines – leaving the door open to all kind of different endings, enabling the viewer to think further.

The works of Sylvain Ciavaldini are full of subtle irony and humor. The wall objects “Splash” are drops of water that seem to be thrown onto the wall. Looked at from a distance they appear as an abstract wall painting, at a closer look they emerge as lovingly crafted replicas of fishes, fish heads, fishtails or water drops.
The eight drawings of fishes are speaking to the viewer by means of comic speech bubbles, which make you smile. The naturally mute fishes are singing well-known rock- and pop songs. An absurd and funny world: ” I can’t get no satisfaction…” the fish is humming in best rolling stone style.

Antonio Gagliardi is showing two different kinds of works. On the one hand you can find his filigree paper objects, made of Japanese paper. Showing animalistic creatures, being for example half hammerhead shark half flamingo. On the other hand he is showing a relief-like wall object made out of wood. Showing snails, whose slime trials are writing the messages, for example “ Home sweet Home” onto the wall. A message brought to the point by the animal, which is always carrying about his home.

Bernhard Bischoff, January 2008

Translation: Patsy Kornfeld