Mz* Baltazar’s Laboratory at Parallel 2018
We need new stories!
“It matters which stories tell stories, which concepts think concepts. Mathematically, visually, and narratively, it matters which figures figure figures, which systems systematize systems. “
from Donna Haraway’s book Staying with the trouble, 2016 (pp.101)
In this fragment of her book, Haraway talks about fictional characters whose complexion fits in what she calls the SF: speculative fabulation, speculative feminism, science fiction, and scientific fact. All SFs might stand as tools for creative thought towards new imaginable futures. Staying with the trouble is to “open the senses” and accept that the current stories that are being written are not helping us to move forward. Instead, we need to emancipate ourselves, with no fear and no restrictions by coming up with new ideas, new ways of thinking and depict new settings. In one sentence: we need new stories!
Mz* Baltazar’s Lab proudly presents Saskia Te Nicklin’s work as a new speculative chapter for a future story. Her paintings and messages refuses to turn away from the trouble: it’s like skipping several steps of a sluggish journey towards an already expected “unpleasant” end: she dives into the trouble, fearless. In the end of the journey the true seems unraveled by grotesque body figures. Some are gender defined, others pointing to that trouble and, others in the process of becoming perhaps other species. None of the fictional characters seems normative, either due its big staring eyes, or little hands, small or big scale, symbiosis between different things embracing human-animal-nature stories. These narratives are set in motion by its materiality, always in a state of a trace or footprint of a body that might have been just caught in the state of becoming something. As Virginia Wolf once said: “It matters which materials make materials!” and in Te Nicklin’s work that remark is evident! Her unique technic uses crayons and neon markers on plastic, therefore overpainted with ordinary glue. It is within this timeframe between the moment when the glue is applied and rests in the surface, until completely dries, that the bodies arise from this instant of becoming. The dried glue situates the characters in-between transparency and complete opacity; a metaphor for its troublematic existence. The material embraces all the speculative characters, gives it a unit, a solid terrain in which it is possible to co-exist, accepting each other’s differences. In the moment the material is completely dry, the story has been told. There is not so much space left for adding facts, only for speculation. It is up to the visitor senses to do so.
Mz* Baltazars Lab invites you to speculate with us, to immerse in this fictional mission with no prejudices, acknowledging intersectionality between humans, nature and, species. We are proud of creating a fearless space for creativity, activism and provocative thinking and we are devoted to keep on giving visibility to new stories.
Mz* Baltazar’s Lab collective
[Patrícia J. Reis]
PARALLEL VIENNA takes place for the sixth time in Vienna from 25thto 30thSeptember 2018 and sticks to its approach of using temporarily vacant buildings as a presentation platform for contemporary art. This year PARALLEL VIENNA takes place in a former office building at Lassallestraße 1, 1020 Vienna.
PARALLEL VIENNA presents young and emerging as well as established artistic practices and brings together art initiatives of every kind – art associations, galleries, project spaces, off spaces and artist spaces – , both Austrian and international, all under one roof. It thus combines local artistic creation with international trends and contributes to building networks and fosters exchanges between between artists, curators, collectors and exhibition visitors.