Exhibition text for Ester Gašparová - Metallic Taste of Patience

Royal Academy of Art, The Hague 

It all really depends on what you try to touch it with. Approach soft and you’ll get what feels like a lover’s flesh and skin, a surface you know by heart, a feeling you know within. Approach it with metal, a ring for instance, something that reminds you of a static commitment, and you’ll get a noise in return, then a sharp silence, where all things unspoken have been painfully buried. Try not to grip, not to clench, hold it within, try to see it as is. It all really depends on what you touch it with.

Ester Gašparová (SK) presents a three-piece soft-pace hard-edge visual terminology of captivation.

The metal-glazed ceramic spikes, the glass-blown dog collar and the violently stretched textile are consequential to an intimate performance spanning the past few months, to which only Ester and the materials have been the witness.

Drawn out of its usual, defensive context, the ceramics draw out a designated square where the visitor can surrender to an unusual feeling of protection. The sensory contrast is achieved by means of the simple movement of lowering the familiar urban method for boundary-drawing below the eye-level. The audience is therefore invited to engage in an act of trespassing, one that demands utmost care, due to the brittle nature of the material.

Seemingly a replica of a found dog collar from the ethnographic museum in Krakow, and made in collaboration with Marc Barreda (US), the glass object whispers, I won’t bite you, if only you know how to hold me. Here, restriction becomes transparency, and the urge to control is thinned-out tuned-down and merged into the surroundings.

Following her own tradition in solidly conveying strength in using delicate materials, Ester collaborates with Andon Bakarov (BG) for the hand-embroidered mesh panel. The duo, as a byproduct of their appreciation for the hand-made, and as a consequence of their repetitive style in drawing, brings together a large-format contemporary-folklore textile piece. As a result, not only the lines are put into a dialogue with each other, but also the transparent panel itself gently engages with the space in which it is presented, depending on the light, the background and the suspension.

On this second occasion of Metallic Taste of Patience, Ester Gašparová showcases a captivating sequence of three case studies: the A-B-C of that which is captured and capturing.