Terra Incognita, an exhibition by Lenna Sharashidze, is a lyrical statement, an idiosyncratic message carefully placed in the slowly unfolding ribbon of time...
Anyone can open this message – With the help of signs, symbols, hints dropped in the exhibition perimeter, open it and find there one's own emotions and responses. The exhibition is the culmination of a series of short, vivid journeys undertaken over the last two years, of which the most arresting was a trip to Portugal.
Most people associate this country on the edge of the European continent with those melancholy, not entirely definable words saudade, Fado, fatum… But Portugal is also the ocean adjoining wonderful landscapes, astonishing architecture, unforgettable histories filled with music. All this diversity wove itself into one semantic junction, which took the format of an exhibition and continues to pulsate, filling and filling the gallery space with the sound of the surf...
"I wanted to share my sense of the beauty of the cosmos and the fragility of being that saturates this corner of the globe – share it so that each exhibition visitor can absorb the paradoxical combination of tenderness and endurance simultaneously...
"My glance fell on the old roofs, which time has covered in flowers of heavenly blue… It seemed as though Terra Incognita is not just something unknown, but that which was once unknown, and now is giving signals from the past….
"It was interesting to play with concepts, for example terra means ground, soil, the product of the weathering of hard granite rocks – thus logically there are images of earth, sand, cliffs – and Terra Incognita – unknown land, which I'd like to define as the metaphorical essence of the current moment, here and now for everyone..."
Saudade is a deep emotional state of nostalgic or profound melancholic longing for an absent something or someone that one cares for and/or loves. Moreover, it often carries a repressed knowledge that the object of longing might never be had again. It is the recollection of feelings, experiences, places, or events that once brought excitement, pleasure, and well-being, which now trigger the senses and make one experience the pain of separation from those joyous sensations. However it acknowledges that to long for the past would detract from the excitement you feel towards the future. Saudade describes both happy and sad at the same time, which is most closely translated to the English saying 'bitter sweet'... . Fado is a Portuguese music style... The most popular themes of fado are saudade...
The exhibition comprises more than 20 photographs, a video-art work (6.59 minutes) and a limited collection of prints on silk. Such an extensive project in the field of photography – which took over a year to prepare – is a new experience for the artist; in its own way a Terra Incognita.
Terra Incognita by Lenna Sharashidze
Gallery 83/Kyiv/ 23.06.2020-1.07/2020