BEGIN:VCALENDAR VERSION:2.0 CALSCALE:GREGORIAN PRODID:iCalendar-Ruby VERSION:2.0 BEGIN:VEVENT DESCRIPTION:

Portraits of Power 
 
 Since the Italian Re naissance\, portraiture has traditionally focused on the face and expressio n of the sitter. It existed to present a likeness of a person\, ideally one that betrays something of the subject's personality and general countenanc e. It also functioned as a status symbol\, reinforcing the subject's wealth and position: their social standing justification for the preservation of their image. A portrait usually depicts the sitter looking directly at the artist\, so as to better engage the viewer with the subject. Yet today the term 'portrait' has other connotations. It suggests the kind of scrutiny th at can determine a person's personality\, background and the possible motiv ations behind an act of destruction. Neither does a portrait have to be hum an. We know from art history that objects can stand in for humans in a tell ing and powerful way: from allegorical portraits and from powerful signifie rs such as Van Gogh's pipe and chair. If portraits are essentially the esse nce of someone or something then they can be powerful tools: demonstrations of status\, authority and even dominion.

\n

 

\n

A person's powe r is often measured by the extent to which they are able to control their e nvironment\, and that of those around them. 'Authority' is sometimes substi tuted for the word 'power'\; it has a softer ring to it. The word 'power' i s often viewed with suspicion\, especially if perceived as being excessivel y or unjustly ministered. Yet the application of power need not be violent or even forceful. It could resemble 'influence' it can be upward or downwar d in direction ('down' meaning the exertion of influence from the top\, 'up ' being the workers or citizens influencing the decisions of their leader). As this is being written\, the world is witnessing the power of upward inf luence in Egypt and across many of the countries of North Africa and the Mi ddle East. Power in society is usually referred to as politics and the pote ntial of upward influence to dramatically change an organisation or even a nation is one phenomenon all the artists in this section are acutely aware of\, even if - as is the case with some of the artists - they were still ch ildren at the time of the fall of the Berlin wall and during the events tha t followed in Central and Eastern Europe\; they have nonetheless grown up e xperiencing enormous political change.

\n

 

\n

Power has many fac es: it could be the possession of controlling influence\, it could be the r ate at which something works\, the ability to achieve\, a position of note (as in government or business)\, the possession of authority\, physical for ce\, the substance that drives a machine\, or a symbol of might. Portrai ts of Power examines many of these possible readings of power. The arti sts invited to participate in this section were free to interpret the title as literally or obliquely as they wished. The exhibition of works can ther efore be perceived as an exploration: five individual journeys into the nat ure of the different faces of power and its implications for contemporary s ociety.

\n

 

\n

The artists in this section are related to each o ther either by ethnicity\, birth\, or through the decisions they made as to where they live and work. The history of the area they have grown up or wo rk in and its imperial and communist pasts have left their mark on them in terms of the subject matter they choose to depict\, and in some cases in th eir stylistic painting decisions\, which at times consciously acknowledge t he influence of social realism. Ultimately though\, these artists are conne cted through a commonality of exploration: of private and public mythologie s\; of the power of past and present icons (whether these be human or machi ne)\; by the often strained relationships between society and the individua l\, and by the increased blurring of the line between reality and fiction\, and the conscious and subconscious mind.

\n

 

\n

Text by Jane Ne al

\n

 

DTEND:20110912 DTSTAMP:20140923T145249 DTSTART:20110525 GEO:50.0837482;14.4712241 LOCATION:Prague Biennale 3\, Prague\, Želivského St. 2\nPrague\, SEQUENCE:0 SUMMARY:portraits of power\, Zsolt Bodoni\, Robert Fekete\, Peter Sudar\, A tilla Szucs\, Alexander Tinei UID:165228 END:VEVENT END:VCALENDAR