• Review

  • August 20th, 2014 08.20.2014

    Flaka Haliti: mumok


    Constructing an awareness of space in a give-and-take manner, Flaka Haliti allows for a multi-sensory experience that revolves around the themes of distance, communication, and subjective perception in her exhibition, I See a Face. Do You See a Face, at the museum moderner kunst stiftung ludwig wien (mumok), in Vienna. Be it through the placement of overwhelming gray columns that are obtrusive, or through photographs that depict an endless sky with clouds turned into faces, Haliti reflects on her own personal encounters in the form of spatial contemplation. While the exhibition space forces the visitor to interweave between both fabricated physical boundaries, the viewer is ultimately confronted with an audible reference to distance in the form of a long distance relationship—conversations over email that we attempt (albeit at times desperately) to continue affairs with those who infatuate us.

    In a piece entitled I miss you, I miss you, ‘till I don’t miss you anymore, blinking cursors on three different colored screens develop into a storyline that, narrated by a computerized voice, involves a correspondence of longing between two lovers. With a sense of anticipation for the next message, the artist and mysterious admirer become lost in their own imaginative drama caused by separation, at times lost in translation. The web of frustration that is spun becomes a set of idealized scenarios, building a utopic meeting between the two—such as bathing together and eating luxurious foods off of small silver trays—only to have realism crash down with the discontinuity of the written word, and eventually any hope for a reunion.

    Whether or not this scripted tragedy is one of more imaginative perception, created by Haliti, or an unfortunate first hand experience that informed the piece, is open for interpretation. The exhibition does, however, prove the importance of space and distance (or lack there of) in shaping our perception of relationships, and the overall approach to understanding new perspectives in our surroundings.

    Flaka Haliti, I See a Face. Do You See a Face, at the museum moderner kunst stiftung ludwig wien (mumok) runs through October 5, 2014.