DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE
From 25th March until 20th April 2021
Photos © Sali Muller
DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE
The title of Sali Muller’s Solo Show 'Down The Rabbit Hole' comes from the idea of Alice in Wonderland. In the story of Alice in Wonderland the white rabbit is running against time. The rabbit is the first Wonderland character Alice meets. She runs after him and follows him to his hole that leads to Wonderland, to a new world. The exhibition is like stepping into this rabbit hole, into a new wonderland.
Luxembourg-based conceptual artist Sali Muller dives into the world of self-image through materials that she uses to create a reflective multiverse. While exploring unordinary ways to show co-existence with human self-image and vanity, she brings a mystical vision into the physical world through her implementation of mirrors, light, sound, and found objects. A never changing element or recurrent pattern in her entire oeuvre is the use of mirrored surfaces, allowing her to open an associative space of thought.
As an object of physical representation, mirrors have been of great cultural and art historical signifiance for centuries : from self-contemplation and the image of the soul, to the motif of transcience or the transitions of real worlds into magical parallel universes. They allow a variety of imaginary reflections and experiences. As a metaphor of reflection, the mirror expands the view of self-knowledge and self-contemplation. Sali uses the mirrors as a starting point for her artistic practice in order to “refract” them, break them or fragment them. The forms give us thinking tasks. The otherwise narcissistic mirror image and the recognisable space is disturbed or disappears (Bending Moments, 2021). The view of oneself is reflected only in fragments. The result is an ambivalent perception experiment, alternating between real, virtual or almost surreal images of inside and outside, of moods and states in which past, present and future are reflected.
The works shown in the exhibition generate a sense of disorientation by the existence of a ‘fourth’ dimension allowing the transformation of a three-dimensional body into its mirror image, reflected on and through deforming mirrors (Down the rabbit hole, 2021). They allow the artist to transform the entire exhibition space into an ever-changing space of reflections, thus giving the audience an aesthetic and physical experience that goes beyond self-contemplation. By doing so, the reflecting surfaces visually remove space boundaries and the view is directed towards the light-reflecting surfaces and motifs. The general viewing habits are lifted and there is a change of perspective (Upside down, 2021), in which not only the room situation is renegotiated. Sali Muller converts everyday objects into the context of art (Once upon a time, 2020) and calls for contemplations on the questions of time, in which temporal and speculative expansions merge with imagination and reality.
Art is the mirror of a culture and it reflects its cultural values. Islamic artworks and those of Asian cultures mainly consist of surfaces covered with geometric patterns (La vie à l’ombre, 2021). Based on the use of islamic and asian geometry and the use of circles, the artwork will make the visitor reflect on the infinity and finitiy of life. The viewers can see their reflection on the first patterned mirror surface as well as on the second. Both mirror surfaces are throwing back a refracted self-image and they project a reflection of shadows (the rear side of the pattern mirror) on top of the fragmented view. The physical dimensionality of the piece itself and the shadows, spiritual and material qualities, light and darkness, become one.
The artist tends to obscure the view onto her objects (Die Erscheinung, 2021), something that causes the viewer to turn his attention back to himself. Standing in front of the works, the viewer is thrown back to what remains, what lies behind: in other words, to the question of what substance he can possibly find in himself, or what instability he must endure in the dissolution of his self-image. On the encounter with Sali’s works – and with ourselves – we learn about transitoriness. In addition the latent melancholy disappears as soon as we face up to the latent self-image with which we are confronted (Eine Rahmung, 2021) and begin to see it as a given condition in our existence. Experiencing evanescence as something incomprehensible and fragmentary but also as something that belongs to us: the works allow, there where they draw the curtain, a new openness to be experienced.
In the end the inherent romance of the exhibition finds itself shattered by the destruction of the neon tubes, depicting its fragility and sensitivity. We cross the threshold behind the rainbow (Happiness is as brittle as glass, 2019) and, in our imagination we follow the white rabbit into Wonderland...
Small Bio & CV
Sali Muller (b. 1981) lives and works in Luxembourg.
She holds an MA in Visual Arts from the UMB, University Marc Bloch in Strasbourg.
CURRENT & UPCOMING SHOWS
2021 Al-Tiba, MAMA Modern Art Museum of Algiers, Algeria, North Africa
2021 Deconstruct Tense, Times Art Museum, Beijing, China
2021 Solo show, Galerie Bacqueville, Lille, France
2021 Wenn die Sterne vom Himmel fallen, Annexe22, Esch-sur-Alzette, Luxembourg 2021 Paradoxical Objects, peer to space, Berlin, Germany
2021 Solo Show, The Flat - Massimo Carasi, Milan, Italy
2021 Prix d’Art Robert Schuman, Saarbrücken, Germany
AWARDS / SHORTLISTS
2020 Reclaim Award, Cologne, Germany
2018 Premio della Critica, MAC Museo d’Arte Contemporanea, Lissone, Italy 2017 Luxembourg Art Prize, Finalist, Galerie Hervé Lancelin, Luxembourg
2017 Aesthetica Art Prize, Longlist, York, United Kingdom
2016 Aesthetica Art Prize, Longlist, York, The United Kingdom
2016 Int. Emerging Artist Award, Shortlist, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
2016 Salon de Montrouge, Shortlist, Paris, France
2015 Blooom Award, Nomination, Cologne, Germany
2015 Incubarte Award, 7 International Art Festival, Valencia, Spain
2013 Prix Jeune Artiste, 7e Biennale d’Art Contemporain, Luxembourg
2020 Villa Vauban - Musée d’Art de la Ville de Luxembourg
2020 Royal Caribbean International, Odyssey of the Seas
2020 Collections d’Art de la Ville de Dudelange
2018 MAC Museo d’Arte Contemporanea Lissone 2018 Private collection, Milan
2017 IKOB Museum of Contemporary Art