As part of Alone Together, a new edition of Artefact, an exhibition and festival at STUK – House for Dance, Image & Sound in Belgium, artist Karolina Halatek as unveiled Valley, a large scale installation that invites the viewer to a pure space that recalls a glacier crevice or the passage between skyscrapers. Two white parallel walls create an inclusive dimension where the perspectives are shifted and directions simplified. This new space enables the viewers to experience light in an abstract form.
Upon entering the work alone, it can be used as a tool of mindful exercise where attention to the here and now increases or evokes new ways of seeing; a transformative experience. But you might possibly collide with others, generating a meeting between strangers known in urban settings. The title of the work refers to the Valley of Shadow and Death described in Psalms, however, Haletek reverses it by creating the Valley of Light where the white narrow gate optically expands the space inviting the viewers to a surprising dimension of the light.
Alone Together zooms in on ideas of solitude and togetherness in contemporary society. The exhibition asks questions such as: What does contemporary solitude mean? How does it relate to feelings of loneliness? Can we consider loneliness not in individual terms, but as the result of more structural forces, be they social, cultural, economic, technological or architectural in nature? How do we connect in today’s society? What is the quality of our interactions/connection, and which role do (social and communication) technologies play in this? Together, the artists of Alone Together invite to explore all shades of solitude and togetherness. While potentially confronting, the exhibition and festival might offer at the same time recognition, solace and hope. For the lonely ones are a hundred million strong.
Karolina Halatek is a visual artist working in sculpture and installation. Using light as the central medium in her practice, she creates experiential site-specific spaces that incorporate visual, architectural and sculptural elements. Her installations have strong experiential and immersive characteristics and are often the result of collaborations with scientists, a.o. quantum physicists, founders of the superstring theory and precision mechanical engineers. With her work, Halatek seeks a visual language that evokes feelings and emotions of virtually unknown phenomena.