The Space of Grounded Imagination



This description came to our mind when discussing the possible proximity of artists such as Jan Fabre, Maria Papadimitriou and Almagul Menlibayeva.

In daily life we tend to put imagination aside, as a luxury, or as something that is empty and unrelated to reality. But isn’t imagination one of the basic fields of art, perhaps the most important one in its capacity to help us? Art offers an imagination that remains grounded in our experiences and endows art objects with sense. While we have a tendency to group artists thematically, it may be good to pull together seemingly diverse positions in order to discover that works depicting the horror of our world, dreaming mankind or reflecting on one’s position in between future and past horizons, may in art actually imply one another. Imagination encircles the world, as Albert Einstein once stated.

Fabre here sculpts out of jewel-beetles the ultimate form: the anthropomorphic. Papadimitriou evokes collective horror, therefore implies humanity just as well. Menlibayeva powerfully depicts the position of her people; with Tengri, the ‘eternal blue sky’, but with a horizon punctuated with power pylons . Her native Kazakhstan is the location of both Tengrism and of the Soviet Gulags.

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