Rania Akl, Ketuta Alexi-Meskhishvili, Melike Kara, Hanne Lippard @ LC Queisser


 Rania Akl, Ketuta Alexi-Meskhishvili, Melike Kara, Hanne Lippard

LC Queisser

A warm afternoon, a domestic room, somewhere between Europe and Asia.
Writing about caring, caring about writing.
Untitled, the inaugural show of LC Queisser, has sensitive feelings echoing as inspirational input: “I wanted to create a safe space, where different works and artistic practices could feel protected, but also free in their diversity”. A text thinking about the vulnerability of art, its permanent need of sheltering and protection. Do you know how fragile is existence?

An indefinite time, a narrator with bolder, warmer voice interludes, starting to tell a story. The story narrates of a library, the biggest ever developed, disappearing suddenly in a blaze. The library, one of the largest and most significant of the ancient world, was dedicated to the Muses, protectors of the arts, intuition and creativity – and built to collect all the world’s knowledge.
Knowledge was exchanged between the visitors, often speaking a diversity of languages. Some performed rituals to preserve the importance of wisdom to the youngsters, kissing book pages and thanking the library for its existence. There was no sense of ownership, the library belonged to itself and kept growing through the attention and preservation of its visitors. There are many versions describing the night in which everything vanished, brightening the surrounding city with a warm smoky light. Only one single story, orally preserved, focuses on the aftermath of the destroying blaze and the efforts spent in building up a refuge for wisdom. A secret, guarded with care.

The same room, somewhere between Europe and Asia, the light is now lower,
it’s almost dusk. LC Queisser is located in a house in Tbisili, Georgia. Envisioned as a place where ideas of caring, protection and affectivity can be exchanged and critically considered, LC Queisser, invites 4 international female artists to initiate its programme. A house, a gallery, a theatre, a political act, a space in transition, an alternate universe.
Ketuta Alexi Meskhishvilli’s photographs expand our perceptions. A Soviet old book cover of James Joyce’s Dubliners is enlarged and framed, the book luxurious finishing symbolising the importance of the text across cultures and the use of our inner voice as inspirational source. Other images printed
on translucent textile and displayed as a floating curtain, trigger new relationships between scale and interiors, becoming also a scenographic background for action to perform. We see an enlarged flower vase, a used coffee cup, a flexed arm, a patterned curtain, intimate details of seemingly
prosaic everyday. Two personal paintings by Melike Kara, unfold the theme of memory and identity. The protagonist is a woman -the artist’s grandmother- ghostly gestures whispered through the body, sharp expressions marked by an increasing separation between perceptions and actions. As a background, pages of a phone book, the main document for pre-digital social interaction, letters and numbers merging indicating the little literacy of the woman. Hanne Lippard’s outdoor banner installed on the gallery balcony echoes the words, “THOSE I MIGHT KNOW, THOSE I MIGHT NOT KNOW RIGHT NOW..” a musical riddle sending a message to the passersby. Extracted from Individuals, a sound piece distributed throughout the gallery, the artist’s voice accompanies visitors inner thoughts, a smart invitation to presence and collectivity. Rania Akl’s delicate paper works, words paired to images through meaningful titles, move in the tension between attraction and uncertainty, healing and injury, finding finally peace, protected in Tbilisi. To explore the question of one‘s roots, Rania Akl has developed a very delicate and subtle language, one that is not figurative although not strictly speaking abstract either. Her practice poetically unfolds as a series of remembered wounds that she, by proxy, inflicts onto the material, mostly paper, before turning to them with devoted attention. A house, becoming a gallery, becoming a refuge for artistic discourse to exist and flourish without compromise. Some people would say, caring it’s a political act, more when done with direct agency.

Attilia Fattori Franchini