The L’étrangère Gallery is a contemporary art gallery that explores the ever changing flux of our times. Founded by Joanna Gemes in 2014, the gallery draws on the concept of liquid modernity. A concept, that according to Zygmunt Bauman, represents how modern man lives his life in a perpetual liquidised state — flowing from places, people, and cultural paradigms. Presenting art that mirrors the dualistic fabric of modern society, often working with artists that question political, social, and cultural status quos.
The gallery represents emerging artists in the UK and in Europe, and is currently presenting a series of collaborative exhibitions. Creating dialogues between two different artists, inviting them to explore common ideas, but with contrasting methods of executing. Their current exhibition features the works of Piotr Kryzmowski and Cédric Teisseire, juxtaposing their different aesthetics while at the same time observing the potential of heat and chance throughout the creative processes.
Austrian artist Anita Witek, whose work will soon be featured in a sprawling outdoor solo exhibition at Photo London in Somerset House. Her work contemplates on the often tumultuous relationship between reality and representation, creating mixed media colleges from a variety of sources, removing the subject from the source — leaving an emptiness with the remnants of paper left behind. Through the use of her own personal archive of magazines, advertising posters and books, Anita Witek creates a dialectic between the original and the reproduction, between authenticity and simulation.
Another highlight is London based artist Karen Tang, whose abstract sculptures and installations transport us to a world of sci-fi fantasy. Tang combines, fibreglass fluids, painted surfaces, and breathtaking coloured to represent sculptural forms in the emptiness of space — to marvellous effect. Here we can appreciate not just the final result, but also the complex processes involved in her work. Work that shows us the innate beauty in the process of creation itself.
Finally, Małgorata Mankiewicz explores themes of gender dynamics, in particular domesticity and our ever-changing societal roles. Her art comes by way of performance, sculpture, textiles, and photography — she is undeniably, an artist that continues in the tradition of feminist avant-gardism. Her soon to be released object-book, “Cook Book with Home Metaphors” explores women’s roles as home-makers, and the time-tested rituals that define traditional femininity. Whether it is cleaning, cooking, or any other method of creating the illusion of domestic bliss, each recipe turns these concepts around by becoming a trigger for action and reaction, inviting its readers to join the dialogue.
Words by Hannah Tan