Victoria Colmegna
Mirror, Stage, Baby Introspective

Opening: Friday 7 June, 6pm With a concert by TRIPLE EX, 9pm

Luma Westbau is pleased to announce the first institutional solo exhibition by Victoria Colmegna curated by Fredi Fischli and Niels Olsen at schwarzescafé. “Mirror, Stage, Baby Introspective” shows a kaleidoscopic presentation of artworks and remnants of exhibitions made between 2013 and 2019. In her work, Colmegna engages with the body language and dynamics that dominate closed systems. This exhibition self-critically reflects the making of the young artist’s oeuvre as a self-abusive practice within her immediate social context.

“Simple pop structures sustain her image, allowing her real self to remain a mystery – is she really that sexy?” K.G

“The texts on the light-boxes construct letter by letter her imago with an invented 'biotype constitutive beatnik homeopathic poem', where the artist invents a persona- medica, both temperamental and gestural trying to be annoyingly self radical. The lightly framed metal boxes resemble the propaganda of NYC 80's performance scene marquees and the translucid marks remind us of Chagalls church vitrauxs.

The Super-Personal and the feminist (wing of the Russian revolution)

So there are many paths to follow in “Mirror, Stage, Baby Introspective” but no actual solo show. The show is over- curated, populous, somewhat apocryphal, under- acknowledged. It's transpersonal; as in things done by many. By mixing, committing, hosting, inviting, ordering, demanding, asking and begging different things from different people, VC found the cipher for selfhood's unresolved dilemma: transpersonal agency. Just look at the show: at the peak of networking, exchanging, and including others, everything is kindred. Everything has something, difficult to define, in connection. The problem of receiving transpersonal agency is that we do things with other people all the time, new ideas, things we couldn't even mention without causing surprise, tenderness or exaltation, but we don't have the tools to think about them properly. We have only the clichés of the old organizations and the aftertaste of corruption. But to write something for another person to use is to simulate being another person, thus supporting her and building energy. It’s like raising the neighbor’s kid and not even knowing what kind of relationship you’re cultivating. Ghostwriters are the aunts of the world: transpersonal heroes who channel and formalize other people’s feelings. Can a show be devised by thinking like that, by projecting oneself that much onto others? Can organizations emerge by thinking like that? The question of transpersonal agency (or super-personal entities) isn't the newest item in the agenda of radical intelligence. “We must bear in mind,” wrote Anatoly Lunacharsky almost a hundred years ago, “that the struggle is for an ideal: the victory over individualism and of communal life based on a natural merging of personalities into super- personal entities.” The new entities Lunacharsky was thinking about were not the old fraternities conceived to share power, nor the exhausting binge-networking of the young, ambitious future despots but real kinds of association like marriage, friendship, a party, or just the preference for a particular author: structures that the subject can have confidence in; bonding is a substitute for frenemy. At the time of the Russian Revolution, some of these ideas were shared by the feminist wing of the Bolshevik party. In 1919, Alexandra Kollontai and Inessa Armand founded the Zhenotdel, the Department for Women Issues of the Revolutionary State. It was a completely new institution, the size of a ministry, devoted to improving the conditions of women's lives and promoting their rights. And it also involved experimental inquiry into what all aspects of a woman’s life would be like after the Revolution: marriage, motherhood, sisterhood, friendship. What could these words mean in the future? This was the starting point. So should VC look forward, leap-frog the solo show and establish a new Zhenotdel? And what would it be like? A party? A school? A spa? – Extract from press release of exhibition by the artist 'Broken Ego', by Claudio Iglesias 2017

Exhibition on view: 8 June – 18 August 2019

Any perturbance of her pride will bring on her symptoms
LED lightbox, marker, plexiglass

You will be astonished at the wonderful coldness running through her
LED lightbox, marker, plexiglass

Girls sometimes faint when going into a warm bath
LED lightbox, marker, plexiglass

She never sees a whispered conversation going on but they are talking about her, to her detriment
LED lightbox, marker, plexiglass, 125 x 75 cm

Feeble boys, feeble girls. Mind feeble
LED lightbox, marker, plexiglass

Apprehension and ennui, she seeks society
LED lightbox, marker, plexiglass, 125 x 75 cm

White Lies, 2019
Sweet Valley High book cover, graphite and pen on paper,
commissioned oil pastel portrait by James Mathewuse
Archival photograph, vitrine, key, 75 x 125 cm

Installation views, Mirror, Stage, Baby Introspective at LUMA / Westbau, Zurich