Lovay Fine Arts

i tried being myself, i ended being others

  • Tatjana Danneberg
  • Noémie Degen & Simon Jaton
  • Chris Kauffmann
  • Gizela Mickiewicz
  • Davide Stucchi

Curated byMohamed Almusibli

21 April– 17 June 2023

Through a variety of mediums, these artists delve into the complexities of the human psyche and the multiplicity of the self. The exhibition’s title speaks to the struggle of balancing personal identity with societal expectations and the desire to fit in with others. While this phrase may seem negative at first glance, it also highlights the complex and often contradictory nature of personal growth and self-discovery. By acknowledging the ways in which we may be influenced by others, we can actively work towards reclaiming our own unique sense of self. This can involve recognizing and challenging societal norms or expectations that may be limiting or oppressive, and embracing our own individuality.

The exhibition provides an opportunity to engage with these important issues and contemplate the role that art can play in our understanding of ourselves and the world. The statement “i tried being myself, i ended up being others” encourages us to think about how our identity is shaped by the people around us.

With a candid low-fi approach as its starting point, Tatjana Danneberg’s photographic practice is a layering of media and techniques. She captures casual memories of everyday life using simple automatic cameras and depicts friends, acquaintances, or her partner in intimate shots, revealing moments where action or the lack of it manifests. Danneberg is preoccupied with the nature of images and the possibilities that can unfold through their manipulation and deconstruction, leading to a painterly attitude defined by deep material and processual experimentation. Through her exploration of the nature of images and the possibilities that can arise through their manipulation and deconstruction, she exposes the constructed nature of identity and the ways in which images can shape our perceptions of ourselves and others.

Noémie Degen and Simon Jaton’s artistic practice is characterized by a constant exploration of different visual codes and techniques. Their images are multi-layered and complex, making use of a grid that seems to be present but remains opaque, making it difficult to grasp the logic behind the picture’s construction. Drawing inspiration from various sources, including cinema and comics, their work transcends a narrative aim and instead establishes relationships between multiple forms and contents through a logic of shifts and interference. Their pictures recall a sense of subjectivity, as the viewer is invited to project their own meanings onto the work, resulting in a complex interplay of perspectives. Additionally, there is an impression of archetypal imagery that runs throughout their pieces. This quality creates a sense of familiarity, yet also a sense of mystery, as the images resist being fully pinned down. In this way, their work reflects a sense of identity that is constantly in flux, shaped not only by the influence of others but also by their own individuality.

Through painting and collages, Chris Kauffmann provides space for a modest figure, often represented as a self-portrait, whose hidden talents and abilities can finally shine. The naively edited or vulnerably painted bodies evoke a sense of importance, combined with the awkward and shy way these portraits are viewed. In doing so, he challenges viewers to question their assumptions about the nature of identity and the role of art in shaping our sense of self. Kauffmann’s playful game of revealing and hiding between the non-functional objects and the main characters further emphasizes the complexity and fluidity of the notion of self in contemporary society.

Gizela Mickiewicz’s work explores the interplay between the body and emotions, as she observes how bodily gestures and movements can convey internal states. The works in this exhibition focus on emotions such as stress, fear, and anxiety – experiences that are often difficult to articulate. Her art invites the viewer to connect with these complex emotions in a visceral way. Although deeply personal, her sculptures aren’t confessional. Instead, they’re formulated in a language of their own, rich with meaning and content. By inviting the viewer to relate to their own experiences, Mickiewicz creates a space for mutual understanding and empathy. Her work reminds us of the complex interplay between the body and mind, and of the shared humanity that connects us all.

In this exhibition, Davide Stucchi reflects on the cyclical movements of settling down in precarious lives. The installation features neon lights wrapped in packaging material and a collection of Italian-designed lamp shades, a moving in or moving out landscape. The title hints at further narratives and even suggests a possible neighbor, alluding to intimate encounters and sexual tensions. These works are partially concealed by their wrappings, drawing on the possibilities of darkness and revealing the domestic aspect of public spaces, while the other series of lampshades appears completely naked to present the same truth.

Chris Kauffmann

*1999 – lives and works between Paris and Geneva
In 2022, he obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts from la HEAD in Geneva, and is currently completing his Master’s degree in les Beaux-Arts de Paris. Recent exhibitions include Chemical X at Cherish and Poésie Parano at Forde, Geneva.

Tatjana Danneberg

*1991 – lives and works in Vienna
She obtained her Master’s degree at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna with Birgit Megerle, Silke Otto-Knapp, Henning Bohl & Heimo Zobernig. She had solo exhbitions at the Kunstverein in Salzburg, LambdaLambdaLambda in Milan and Prishtina among others. Upcoming solo exhibition at a Dawid Radziszewski in Warsaw.

Noémie Degen & Simon Jaton

*1996; 1994 – Live and work in Paris and Lausanne.
Both studied at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna and at École Cantonale d’art de Lausanne. They are the co-founders of Alienze, an exhibition space based in Paris.Recent exhibitions includes Treize (Paris), Terzo Fronte (Roma) and Universitätsgalerie der Angewandten im Heiligenkreuzerhof (Vienna) 

Gizela Mickiewicz

*1984 – Lives and works in Warsaw
Graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Poznań, Poland. Solo shows include: L21 Gallery, Palma (2023); Stereo, Warsaw (2022, 2020, 2017, 2015, 2011); Lucas Hirsch, Dusseldorf (2017); Arsenal, Białystok (2016); Frutta, Rome (2013), BWA Zielona Góra (2013). Group exhibitions include: Kölnischer Kunstverein, Cologne (2021); Kunsthalle Bratislava (2015); CAC Kim?, Riga (2018); BOZAR, Brussels (2018); CAC, Vilnius (2020); Zachęta National Gallery of Art, Warsaw (2019); Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw (2016); Bureau, New York (2015); at-fifteen, Tel-Aviv (2016); Rolando Anselmi, Berlin (2017). Mickiewicz completed a residency at Gasworks, London (2014) and Triangle, New York (2016). She was shortlisted to VIEWS – Deutsche Bank Award (2019).

Davide Stucchi

*1988 – Lives and works in Milan
Davide Stucchi will present his work during 2023 at IICC Italian institute of Culture, Cracow, Liste Art Fair, Basel, Switzerland and Palazzo Ducale Genova, Italy.
Recent solo exhibitions include: Falli (Phalluses), Martina Simeti in Milan (2021); DS, Deborah Schamoni in Munich (2020); Light switch (Entrance), Galerie Gregor Staiger, Zurich (2019); 2546/9728 (2019), Sundog, Paris (2019).; Davide Stucchi con Corrado Levi, Zazà, Naples (2019).
His work has been featured in group exhibitions at Italian and foreign institutions like Museo MACRO, Rome, Italy (2022), Quadriennale di Roma, Palazzo Delle Esposizioni, Rome and Stadtgalerie Bern, Switzerland (2020), Fondazione Sandretto ReRebaudengo, Turin, Italy (2018), Quadriennale di Roma, Palazzo Delle Esposizioni, Rome, Italy (2016).
He has held residencies at Triangle, Marseille (2016), Cité internationale des Arts, Paris, Fondazione Pastificio Cerere per l’Arte Contemporanea, Rome (both 2013).
Between 2011 an 2013 he ran Gasconade a non profit space in Milan together with M. D’Aurizio, L. Castiglioni e V. Angiolini presenti a generation of Italian and European artist.