08/19/23- 19/20/23, Phase Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
“constellating_body_(files)” by Ewa Słapa spins out from the traces of the events that have taken place at the exhibition space. They echo the con-figurations of the people present at previous art openings, but at the same time, they overlap with other traces, transposed from a distant location of a family home in Poland.
This work is a version of “composition studies” based on the photo documentation. What is delineated in these forms are not the shapes themselves, but the trajectory of the movement of the gaze of the observer, conjuring into a subjective graph in the form of digital lines overlayed on the image. The colors are limited to the tones of highlighters. It echoes to scientific method of using fluorescent dyes to label biomolecules and track their movements in living cells.
The figures are connected with the implied lines, forming a map of the psycho-spatial dynamics between them. The mapping of spatial distances as interpretive traces of inner dynamics is reminiscent of the principles of German psychotherapist Bert Hellinger and his family constellations therapeutic method. The imaginary trace of the dynamics - here - becomes a form.
When the traces exceed their own origin, whether in living speech or lived experience, they assume certain primacy- a reversal of priorities. Traces as fixation points in/of memory, language, and history are more than repository, they cannot be reduced to clues or reminders. They are a form of inner skeletal geometry, effecting in a posture toward the world.
In “constellating_body_(files)” the traces of the con-figurations, derived either from previous art events that happened in the same space, or dynamics of family members in far-away Poland, freeze into a fixed, semi-permanent impression, like a web of solidified neuropathways. Those traces overlap and reinforce each other. They form a chart of seeing, a blend of gaze, body, and memory, fusing and confusing geometries of the imaginary and the actual into an inner grammar. It’s a false but effective mental map, not in the form of an image, but orientation, an implicit trace of the past shaping and coexisting with the future.