Priska C. Juschka Fine Art
Interactive Installation and Performance
November 20, 2008 - January 10, 2009
Opening reception: Thursday, November 20, 6 - 9 PM
Priska C. Juschka Fine Art is pleased to present Scotoma, Taras Polataiko's first solo exhibition at the gallery. In this exhibition, Polataiko sparsely inserts recent life-size paintings of his own eyes into the fabricated walls of an otherwise empty room. Referencing the definition of scotoma - a spot in the visual field in which vision is absent or deficient - the installation subtly toys with concepts of observation and representation while being reinforced by an interactive performance.
With this intimate portrait, Polataiko seeks to disrupt and restructure the process in which one views a painting. Each of the small acrylic paintings in Scotoma will be placed behind a narrow rectangular opening in the faux walls, as if looking from within the depths of a clandestine location. Scattered upon the walls, the eyes follow the visitor as they walk around the bare space, provoking a haunting sense of two-way voyeurism. Due to the nature of the paintings' subject matter, the artist's eyes, the visitor's gaze is deflected, reversing the roles of subject and viewer. At times, Polataiko will add yet another dimension to the confrontation by peering, unannounced, through the openings in the constructed walls of the space during the course of the exhibition.
In Scotoma, Polataiko reevaluates his subject's fundamental characteristics, and ultimately alters our perception of it. He brings forth the human eyes as a person's most defining physical attribute, given they are inherently expressive and undergo few visible changes over time. By exposing his own eyes to the scrutiny of the viewer and dismantling the persona he has carefully formed - he evokes the limitations of self-definition and perception alike.
Taras Polataiko was born in Chernivtsi, Ukraine and currently lives and works in New York, NY and Vancouver, Canada. He received his BFA at the Moscow Stroganov Institute of Fine and Industrial Arts and his MFA at the University of Saskatchewan. Polataiko was a resident artist at Art Omi International Arts Center, 2008, in Omi, New York. His work has been the subject of several solo and group exhibitions in the U.S. and abroad, including the Antoni Tapies Foundation, Barcelona, Spain, the 25th Sao Paulo Biennial of Contemporary Art, Brazil, the Musee d'Art Contemporain de Montreal, Canada, Artspace, Sydney, Australia, the Center for Contemporary Art, Warsaw, Poland and the Soros International Center for Contemporary Art, Kiev, Ukraine.
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