Creating the collection Anna Bera searches for a specific mode of existence of objects in space, a manner that is monumental and heavy, even ostentatious; where an object is something that appears suddenly and without justification, but its existence is indisputable. It exists as if it was unable to non-exist. It is only what it seems to be, though it could also be anything else. Bera plays with the form of a utility object. As a result of these considerations, she creates a collection of sculptures that may perform the functions of mirrors. The mirror pane glued outside causes the frame function to be degraded and the frame becomes useless. There is no reason why objects are what they are. Their existence may seem coincidental, but that does not make it less legitimate; and perhaps it is even more legitimate when there is nothing but existence in such an OBJECT.
"The object is what exists and what is perceived. Its status is defined by being and being observed. Not everything is an object, only those things that able to exert influence and draw our attention. We do not invent objects; we only happen to encounter them. They come to us from the outside and demand that we listen. A fragment we are able to customise and impose upon the world; an object imposes something on us." - Jolanta Brach-Czaina
I think about something potent, explicit, so much so that it’s obscene, like it really is. You can touch it. It’s heavy and if it were to fall on me, it would crush me to pulp. I wanted it to be like death; for instance, a stone is like death. I say ‘a stone’ or I say ‘a tree’, but what tree precisely? Imprecisely, quite simply; a tree.
Obscenely obvious things interest me.
There’s a moment when something that hasn’t previously existed as a possibility comes about magically, as it were, because it happens unexpectedly and immediately, incontrovertibly, you might say. The appearance of that something isn’t the result of deliberations, of observation and ascertainment, but belongs under the category of yes-no. Existence-non-existence. And, as with something which was not, but is, what’s astonishing in the end is the obviousness of that something’s existence. Because that something comes about without my participation. This isn’t creating, but more a matter of watching as it emerges or rather as it simply is, because it doesn’t appear, it doesn’t emerge in time, there’s just nothing and then... something. Although, perhaps, even if there isn’t nothing, because there’s no impression of an empty space, the consciousness of the possibility of that something doesn’t exist.
I’d like everything to be directly in view. For a composition to be obvious, for things to be at the central point, perhaps raised somehow, even elevated, uplifted, like standing on a peak.
One thing. Irrevocable. A step taken, uncompromising, a one-off. Without reasoning. Without explanations. Only things that have no need of explanations and descriptions.
Tao Te Ching - Lao Tzu - chapter 25
Something mysteriously formed,
Born before heaven and earth.
In the silence and the void,
Standing alone and unchanging,
Ever present and in motion.
Perhaps it is the mother of ten thousand things.
I do not know its name.
Call it Tao.
For lack of a better word, I call it great.
Being great, it flows.
It flows far away.
Having gone far, it returns.
Therefore, "Tao is great;
Heaven is great;
Earth is great;
The king is also great."
These are the four great powers of the universe,
And the king is one of them.
Man follows the earth.
Earth follows heaven.
Heaven follows the Tao.
Tao follows what is natural.
(translation by Gia-fu Feng and Jane English)
Concept, design and making: Anna Bera
Photos: Emilia Okesntowicz, Marta Pruska, Mili Studio, Oni Studio, Wojciech Tubaja
Year: 2021 - now