Confusion in her eyes
    that says it all.
    She’s lost control.
    And she’s clinging to the nearest passer by,
    She’s lost control.

‚She’s Lost Control’, Joy Division, 1979 (Unknown Pleasures)

Ten artists, one theme: ‚Lost Control‘. Abstract and surreal painting, textile art, collage, photography, drawing, installation and performance; what binds these seemingly disparate artists and media together?
Each artist was chosen to participate because their artwork worked one way or another within the parameter of the exhibition. The theme encompasses not only those who deal with the topic directly within their work; the loss and search for identity, the loss of oneself in the darkness of a nightclub or loss of control experienced in dreams. Other artists in the exhibition tackle the topic with their specific choice of technique: the loss of control through abstract painting, experimental photography, or an installation which will change unpredictably over the course of 48 hours.

Kurt von Bley’s very personal collages and assemblages focus primarily on his search for his own identity, an identity whose roots reach back into World War II, changing borders and relocation. Von Bley was born into an ethnically German family in Poland. He later moved to West Germany, where he again found himself an outsider.
Much of his work is characterized by photo collages based on his own vintage family photographs. Here he searches for his own history and identity through photographs of family members he never knew. Using a variety of materials, he sews, erases, and adds to these photos making them new art objects in and of themselves. In addition to his work with photographs, von Bley creates collages he creates with elements from the medical world; empty syringes, pills of all shapes and sizes, and the empty plastic shells which once housed them. These seemingly cold, clinical items are rendered poetically beautiful in von Bley’s hands. Works such as ‚Undetectable part 4‘, with its softly changing shades of pale white to pink, has a tactile and almost edible feel. However, von Bley’s use of various pills used in the treatment of HIV and the title, ‚Undetectable’, hark to something much more sinister. Von Bley’s pill collages can also be seen as signifiers of the loss of control. Loss of control over one’s body, under the influence of drugs or a body out of control due to disease.

Chandra Fanti is an Italian painter classically trained in Rome. Her dream-like paintings combine the skill and technique of old master painters with the modernity of abstraction, resulting in final works which are hauntingly beautiful, yet at the same time disturbingly strange. Elements of Magic Realism work their way into her paintings in surreal, uncanny ways. Her current paintings are obsessed with highly realistic, large, looming horses, which occupy classical interiors. For Fanti these horses serve as a gateway to enter into her feelings and memories.

The experimental photographer Desireh relinquishes control in her artwork in two different ways. Technically, Desireh’s photographs are created by the use of a computer program she created herself, which allows her to capture sound vibrations digitally and record them as visual abstractions. The final product is a still photograph which seems to vibrate from within. When Desireh is creating her photographs, there is a loss of control within the medium. Although she can choose the subject she is going to photograph, the final outcome is always a surprise. Desireh is interested in the vibrations of many subjects, from nature, to the city, to individuals. In this exhibition she has chosen to focus inward on herself, photographing the vibrations produced by various emotions. Acting out rage, sadness, ecstasy before the camera she records her own loss of control over her emotions.

And then there is Nelson Santos: a Portuguese conceptual designer and fashion artist, who has created an installation titled ‚Transmogrification‘. This work has been created specifically for the exhibition and will change in mysterious and unpredictable ways over the course of the exhibition, resulting in the artist’s loss of control of the final outcome. In the end the original costume used in ‚Transmogrification’ will be destroyed, creating something new and spontaneous in its place.

These four artists, as well as six others featured in the exhibition, will illustrate through their artistic practice, the theme of ‚Lost Control‘, psychologically, thematically or in the way they choose to employ their medium.

‚Lost Control‘ goes into the darkness and doesn’t always return to the light.

Dr. Suzanne Royal