Ventana Medical Systems, Inc Gallery
SAACA and Ventana Medical Systems, Inc. created the gallery exhibition series so the many nationally honored artists could present their pieces of art, while receiving much deserved local recognition and promoting the creation and enjoyment of community art. The series also gives amateur artists the opportunity to showcase their work among established artists.
The public may view or purchase artworks from the exhibit during the three month show. Ventana Medical Systems, Inc., a member of the Roche Group, is the world's leading tissue-based cancer diagnostics company. The organization recently expanded the Ventana Gallery, by creating more exhibition halls, and partnered with SAACA in an effort to further its commitment to support the arts. This joint dedication to local community has created the largest, free of charge, gallery in Southern Arizona which now provides a space for local artists to showcase their work.The Ventana Gallery is open to the public by appointment Monday – Friday between 9am-4pm, and the 1st and 3rd Saturday of each month between 10am-2pm. To view the gallery, you must make an appointment a minimum of 48 hours in advance by calling the Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance at (520) 797-3959.
Ventana Medical Systems, Inc. Gallery
1910 E. Innovation Park Drive, Oro Valley, AZ
(Innovation Park Drive between Tangerine & Rancho Vistoso)
Begins April 9, 2013 through June 30, 2013
View the APRIL 18 OPENING NIGHT RECEPTION INVITATION HERE
New York City artist to show at next Ventana Gallery, opening April 18
Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance and Ventana Medical Systems present the abstract works of Kika Karadi, through a program bringing museum-quality work to public spaces
She has shown her paintings in the galleries of New York, Miami, Prague, Spain and Milan. Now, Kika Karadi will bring her bold expressions to the Ventana Gallery in Oro Valley.
As the opening reception approaches, on Thursday, April 18, the public can anticipate a dramatic exhibition far from norm, with 50 abstract paintings and drawings up to 6 square feet and one large 12-foot wide piece, transforming the Ventana Gallery.
Presented by Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance, the free reception will take place from 4 to 7 p.m. at Ventana Gallery, 1910 E. Innovation Park Dr., and feature complimentary hors d'oeuvres, a cash bar and live music.
Born in Hungary in 1975, Karadi lives and works in New York City. Her one-person shows have included the Bowery Annex Space in New York in 2012, Galleria Rubin in Milan in 2009, Moeller Snow Gallery in New York in 2008 and Bas Fisher Invitational in Miami in 2004.
The Karadi collection was provided by the Process Museum through the Art: In-Transit program, designed to bring artwork into the public eye, rather than just in museums and galleries seen by only a small percentage of people.
“Many people simply do not visit fine art galleries or art museums. Art: In-Transit has the art visit people,” explained in the Process Museum brochure. In addition, “vast quantities of art are locked in store rooms, rarely to see the light of day.
“The goal of the Art: In-Transit program is to place museum quality art in high traffic, high quality, secure locations.”
The Kika Karadi exhibition runs through July at the Ventana Gallery, and the public may view or purchase art during the three-month exhibit.
In collaboration with SAACA, Ventana has provided the largest community gallery space in Southern Arizona, utilizing employee hallways and public spaces to hang more than 400 pieces of artwork each year in a series of community exhibitions and competitions.
With more than 800 employees, the bio-tech facility boasts the participation of emerging and established national and local artists each year. In addition, SAACA implements an annual Employee Art Exhibition, showcasing the works of more than 50 employees in more than 10 two- and three-dimensional art mediums once a year.
Thank you for your visit today. I am grateful to John Wells founder of the Process Museum for mounting his entire collection of my works here. These works of exception span over 8 years and various bodies of experiments in the studio. The paintings show diverse concerns along the way of the process of a single artist, and not necessarily with a focus of an end result. Therefore, this collection of paintings investigate the mind behind the art, communicating precisely to those questions within us about direction and which way to go? With his collection John is making the point that this kind of experimentation is the thing of interest and a valuable entry point into any work of art… My paintings often conjure a feeling of a distinct place/location, but the places remain mentally abstract spaces and are hard to describe. Other than evidence of perhaps them being phantasmagorically free and abstract places, I have always cared that the work feels open to interpretation, and functions, in this way, as an entity capable of transcending cultural and historical influences. Even though I feel some works may be stronger than others, having included drawings, simple sketching of shapes and so on, the powerful point of the Process Museum is a person's relation to the process and physical journey which an art work takes to solidify. I am very much interested in the fleshing out of and into corporeality. Painting is a naturally beautiful medium and freedom, exploration, experimentation, is all a part of that. My most recent series have a much more distilled feeling. I only use black ink on the canvas, for example, with various priming techniques intricacies which i feel are a bit closer to the sublime. Penley Chiang wrote a very intense and interesting essay about those works of which there are a few examples here. Kika Karadi 2013
Kika Karadi: Time and Monstrosity
What remains, then, except an anonymous life that shows up only when it clashes with power, argues with it,exchanges ‘brief and strident words’, and then fades back into the night; what Foucault called ‘the life of infamous men’, whom he asked us to admire by virtue of ‘their rage, misfortune, or uncertain madness’?
-Gilles Deleuze, Foucault
The paintings of Kika Karadi are marked by a parallelism between her methodology and content. Formally speaking, her images appear not so much painted as ‘developed’ over the course of screening various noir movies. The rapidity of each session, painted to coincide with the exact running time of the selected title, is belied by the large scale and intricate textures of the surface. On the one hand, each painting is the consequence of a meticulous, almost alchemical process involving inks, powders, solvents and coatings that nevertheless record every trace of thought and movement across the canvas. On the other hand, the sources that Karadi uses are the cult horror films of the 30’s and 40’s, such as White Zombie, Murders in the Rue Morgue,Island of Lost Souls, The Black Cat, and The Hound of the Baskervilles. Though many of these movies are visually stunning and cinematographically expressionistic, to our contemporary eyes the attempts at suspense seem laughable with their absurd plots, campy acting, and dated production values. The stories typically revolve around the machinations of some villain, motivated by twisted desire, who inevitably gets his comeuppance in the end. What, then, is the secret affinity that links the genre of noir horror to cinema itself, in its essence; and, more importantly, why should this relation be painted? Up until recently, the effect of cinema was sustained by passing a series of film stills through a projector at the rate of twenty-four frames per second. Even today, digital video is composed of discrete bits of ones and zeros that are then translated into flickering pixels. These methods exploit the limits of the human eye to distinguish between individual images, blurring them instead into an illusion of movement. The fallacy of reconstituting motion by breaking it down into static instants has been critiqued ever since the pre-Socratic philosophers of ancient Greece; Zeno’s paradoxes are famous examples of this. However, Gilles Deleuze has noted that even though the means of cinema may be artificial, the result is not necessarily so: does it not have very real effects and affects, making us laugh, cry, and think, whilst giving to us an authentic movement-image? In this case, Deleuze would argue, ‘the reproduction of the illusion [is] in a certain sense also its correction.’
Similarly, could not Karadi’s paintings be considered a redemption – not only of the cult films she sources or even cinema in general, but of the ‘cinematographic illusion’ that continues to hold sway over the way we experience time and live out our lives? By compressing the entire duration and contents of a movie into a singular image, Karadi has reintroduced into the still frame what was previously external to it or produced only as an effect: instead of an image that moves through time, time has now moved into the image, inheres within it and haunts it, like a spectral presence. In the same way that the mechanism of cinema can give us a true image of movement, Karadi demonstrates that the art and artifice of painting can give us a true image of time, one that is freed from the tyranny of the clock and our usual notions of its procession through past, present, and future as it carries us inexorably to our deaths. Just as motion is more than the sum of successive positions in space, duration is not encompassed by the series of successive moments that seem to comprise it. This is why our experience of time varies so wildly from the hours, minutes, and seconds measured by the clock. It is not that our mental state skews our perception of time; rather, it is the chronological subdivision of time that fails to capture our participation in time, as well as our experience of it.
The implications for these competing images of time are not merely academic, but have as a consequence the way we consider and evaluate our own selves: if we are solely the sum and result of our accumulated experiences in time – a tally of our successes and failures, hopes, loves, and fears – then the trajectories of our lives are determined through a combination of factors we had no say in choosing plus the vicissitudes of fate. Or could it be that we ‘are’ more? In an astonishing lecture (or ‘homily’, as he called it) delivered in the Notre Dame Cathedral to the Bishop of Paris, Giorgio Agamben accused the Catholic Church of losing its way – not due to its scandals, administrative excesses, or failure to update its values to ‘keep current with the times’, but precisely because it has abandoned its most fundamental calling as caretaker of the time that properly belongs to humanity. It is worth quoting this passage at length: What is at issue is a time that pulses and moves within chronological time, that transforms chronological time from within. On the one hand it is the time that time takes to end. But on the other hand it is the time that remains, the time which we need to end time, to confront our customary image of time and to liberate ourselves from it. In the one case, the time in which we believe we live separates us from what we are and transforms us into powerless spectators of our own lives. In the other case, however, the time of the messiah is the time that we ourselves are, the dynamic time where, for the first time, we grasp time, grasp the time that is ours, grasp that we are nothing but that time. This time is not some other time located in an improbably present or future time. On the contrary, it is the only real time, the only time we will ever have.
To experience this time implies an integral transformation of ourselves and of our ways of living. [emphasis added] No matter what our religious persuasion, as mortal beings we are always living in the end times, the time it takes for our time to end. But long before the final threshold where we pass into the time of eternity, time has not ceased to call into question the basis on which we form our identities as the subjects of our own thoughts and actions. Centuries prior, Immanuel Kant had already observed that Descartes’ famous Cogito – ‘I think, therefore I am’ – is neither tautological nor self-evident. Who is the ‘I’ that thinks and exists? The self can never truly be a unity, since we are determined by time and thus are forever split between the ‘me’ that passively registers the effects of time, and the ‘I’ that actively attempts to synthesize our experiences within time. Time ruptures us into irreconcilable halves; we are always divided against ourselves, whether we realize it or not.
But is this not expressly the time that belongs most fittingly to the subjects Karadi has elected to paint? Monsters and mad scientists, werewolves, zombies, and vampires, beast/man hybrids –they are all abominations in the literal sense of being ‘away from man’ (Latin ab homine). As outcasts and rejects, the disposable victims of experiments gone awry, they are paradigmatic of subjects who are the most estranged from society and from themselves, isolated in their monstrosity from any who might love, save, or understand them. According to Karadi, they are ‘naive, fragile, and sadly doomed in the end’. These are the wretched creatures who are most in need of salvation, to claim the ‘messianic time’ that will deliver unto them the fullness of being that they cannot help but intuit, albeit negatively. Each of Karadi’s paintings is like an apparition or afterimage that confronts us and demands of us, now, in their afterlife, the redemption denied them by the restrictions of the movie in which they ‘lived’; a redemption that Karadi has paradoxically attempted to fulfill, retroactively, through the very process by which her paintings were created. Her images are, in a way, a cipher for our most desperate yearning to be whole and complete within ourselves – within time, within our lives – and at the same time the mark of its impossibility. Indeed, while Karadi’s unheimlich compositions resonate with the supernatural themes of her sources, what is striking about her paintings is their utter lack of malevolence. They are, in fact, attuned to a profound sympathy for her tragic subjects, not only by the nature of their pathos as monstrous beings, but perhaps even out of admiration for their ‘rage, misfortune, or uncertain madness’ – qualities belonging to what Michel Foucault referred to as the ‘life of infamous men’. Known to us only through a few lines from centuries-old police reports, criminal records, and
juridical decisions, collectively these obscure individuals constitute an anonymous life, almost entirely forgotten by the annals of history if not for the brief moment in which they were seized and illuminated by power, sometimes for the most capricious of reasons. Herein, then, lies the genuinely ‘dark’ subtext of Karadi’s paintings. From Foucault’s investigations into prisons, madhouses, medical clinics, and other disciplinary institutions, he extrapolated the concept of ‘biopower’ or ‘biopolitics’, whereby political power extended its techniques of governance into regulating the biological life of individuals and populations (e.g., the regulation of health and welfare, sexuality and reproduction, etc.). At its negative limit, biopower can strip from us all the recognitions of society that define us as human, reducing us to what Agamben terms ‘bare life’. This is the life that was most horrifyingly manifest in the concentration camps; yet it could be argued that ever since then, this ‘state of exception’, in which the laws and procedures of government can be selectively applied or suspended in toto, has in fact become the norm – even and especially in ‘liberal democratic’ nations. Cross the threshold that power has defined by even one millimeter, and you may find yourself at the receiving end of an indefinite detention, ‘extraordinary rendition’, waterboarding session, or even a drone strike or targeted assassination.
This is both the warning and rejoinder of Karadi’s ‘monsters’: on the one hand, the so-called ‘rights’ to which we feel so entitled as citizens and human beings are really permissions that can be withdrawn at any time for any reason. The addition of unmitigated surveillance plus the state of exception has transformed us into creatures that are always potentially neither human nor quite animal, but the ‘abomination’ that is bare life. On the other hand, Karadi insists that this existence reduced to its essence is not a nothingness bereft of all qualities, nor is it a condition of pure victimhood; rather, there is in bare life a kernel of pure, ungraspable potentiality that continues to elude and resist any and all limits that power attempts to put upon it: biopower not as power over life, but become a power of life. In the 1970’s Hiroshi Sugimoto took a series of photographs of American movie theaters in which he left the camera shutter open for the entire duration of the film, the long exposure rendering the screen as an eerie, glowing plane of whiteness. Though certainly possessed of a force and originality in their own right, the photographs of blank screens testify to the erasure of time and effacement of the image that ultimately occurs under the regime of the camera’s lens. Karadi’s answer to the nullifying operation of the mechanical apparatus is the plenitude and subjectiveness of painting: for her, each bout of cinematically inspired painting yields far more than the ‘presence of absence’. With a lucid and unsentimental focus on the corporeality of her materials and techniques – yet concurrently drawing upon her thoughts, memories, and sensations – what is instead posited on the canvas is the presence of presentness, an invisible manifestation charged with a time of irreducible specificity, known only through the traces it leaves: ghostly auras, abstract visages, and an emanation of darkness more luminous than any white. It is as if the chronological time of the movie, fused with the time of imagination and experience, gave birth to a living being – neither of flesh and blood, nor a golem of clay, but a being born of pigment and canvas, transubstantiated into a singular, indefinite life whose monstrosity discloses a humanity beyond any given human.
The Ventana Gallery is open to the public, by appointment, Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and on the first and third Saturday of each month from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. To schedule an appointment, visitors should call the SAACA at (520) 797-3959. Advance notice of 48 hours is required.
A Window into Ventana’s Pubic Gallery
By incorporating the arts into their workplace, Ventana Medical Systems, Inc. employees experience an atmosphere surrounded with creativity, collaboration and innovation.
Ventana has included art in the workplace through a progressive partnership with Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance. Since 2006, the two organizations have made the arts part of the daily work experience for the 1,300 employees who work at Ventana.
SAACA teams with Ventana to produce quarterly exhibitions featuring art that spans a variety of media. The partnership has transformed the corridors of Ventana into visual art galleries, which are open to the public year-round.
Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance and Ventana Medical Systems, Inc. created the gallery exhibition series for established and emerging artists to present their work in a workplace environment and promote the creation and enjoyment of community art. The public may view or purchase art from the exhibit during the three month show.
The Ventana Gallery is open to the public by appointment Monday to Friday between 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and the first and third Saturday of each month between 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. To view the gallery, you must make an appointment a minimum of 48 hours in advance by calling the Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance at (520) 797-3959.