Ukraine, born in 1985
At the heart of this plethoric installation in which photographs collide with sculptures and objects, Ola Lanko is studying the encounter between two a priori antagonistic concepts: romanticism, which relates to the imagination and to the dream, and rationality, which deals in logic and reason. Starting with the observation that, paradoxically, humankind often strives to turn its romantic ideals into reality by mobilizing the logic and rigour of scientific knowhow and technology, the photographer seeks to question the “gray zone” that forms whenever these two disparate terms join forces. Her reconstruction of Tatlin’s Tower (1920), an archetype of this kind of thought, reminds viewers of a Constructivist monument intended as a triumphant symbol of Russian modernism, and yet which remained a drawing-board fantasy. Lanko deepens her exploration of the phenomenon by complementing the installation with dozens of archive images — from artistic, scientific, or everyday sources — selected for their analytical content, but invariably bearers of a strong emotional charge. Further evidence is adduced by many designs for “flying machines” — that incarnation of the inherently human desire to transcend our earthbound condition. By exploiting concepts such as profusion and mise en abyme, Ola Lanko also gets to grips with the issue of the complexity and diversity of image interpretation. An integral part of the piece, some 2,800 pages detailing the concepts, examples, and references that went into making the eponymous installation accompany the four works shown.
Gerrit Rietveld Academie, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 2010 – 2012
KABK — Royal Academy of Art, The Hague, The Netherlands, 2008 – 2010
Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, Kiev, Ukraine, 2002 – 2007
Ola Lanko, Romantic Act of Reason, 2014
Installation (inkjet prints, wallpapers and various objects)
© Ola Lanko
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