Darja Shatalova and Jan Pančocha's exhibition at Sussudio in Vienna.

Darja Shatalova & Jan Pančocha: Pearlescent clouds
Text by Lenka Stepankova
31 August – 20 September, 2022
Sussudio, Vienna


The starting point of the exhibition project "Pearlescent clouds" at the SUSSUDIO art space isn’t only its conceptual theme but also the fact that the exhibition artists share some common threats that intertwine with each other. In the joint installation of works we can sense an awareness of the cultural context of both the historical past and the present day. The title of the exhibition "Pearlescent clouds" is taken from a natural phenomenon that occurs mainly at high altitudes during winter when temperatures in the stratosphere fall below the frost point. Pastel shades of color appear in the sky. It is only thanks of the lowering of temperature that forces us to perceive a different perspective. It raises questions about how something can come into being and take shape, but it is also a euphonious name, allowing space for further associations.

The distortion of information through different channels and the longing for clarity and calmness are the characteristic features of both artists. However, in Pančocha’s work specifically in this exhibition, the emphasis is placed on the principle of layering manifested in his most recent figural sculpture "The Saint". Pančocha returns this object to its ancient role captured in layers of a kind of distant intimacy. Layers become emotions - matter becomes a latent experience.

"My installations are more or less based on historical references, which I transfer from the virtual to the physical. At the same time, I don't want to forcefully overfill the space where these two dimensions meet, I leave room for the virtual perception of space in the mind of the observer." Jan Pančocha

The synthesis of a technological and intuitive approach results in the materials used and their placement in physical space - glass, metal, wire, and thread. Wire and thread play a significant role in Shatalova's work by manifesting themselves in a three-dimensional line drawing. Their overall structure remains difficult to grasp - lines of energy creating a magnetic field for the viewer to engage in.

"Space to me is a designated area, defined by certain parameters, carrying a specified function for an interval of time. Reconstruction works, changes of circumstances and people staying in this area modulate and redesign the perception of the space." Darja Shatalova

So, it's usually during the time when the temperature drops and conditions toughen that our feelings, decisions, and opinions are brought to light. The awareness of space and its conditionality depends precisely on communication whether it is a real, virtual, or mental space. Both artists are referring to the geometry of the universe and how the tangible connects. They explore the transcended passage through space and time inviting the audience to tap into a sensitive environment of contemplation.

Photo: Adéla Zlámalová