Migratin in Your Own Home
Erik Pauhrizi has been known as an artist working with various medium. His body of works spans from drawing, painting, embroideries, video, photography, installation. While Erika Ernawan’s works ranges from painting, performance, photography, and also installation. In my eyes, this couple is typical contemporary artists who explores varius medium, from the conventional to the new media.
For artist, exploring different medium is not always easy. Each medium has its own characteristics, and it doesn’t always suit the artist’s personality, and will also form relation with the work’s subject-matter in a distinctive way. The medium explorations itself requires deep “dialogue”. And when Pauhrizi and Erika became a couple, apart from their physical convergence, their vision on arts also intersects. Pauhrizi and Erika did not merely intersect their artistic career after they became a couple, more than that, they concocted their artistic explorations, visions and perspectives on art, also on other subject matters, through a series of deep and intensive dialogues.
I observed how Pauhrizi and Erika influnces each other. Not only did they decide to create a collaborative artwork—a work initiated by their encounter, not their individual work—, moreover, they negotiate their personalities, tendencies and personal views in several differrent matters. Although both tend to explore various medium, when closely observed, Erika has a sort of “loyalty” to the discipline of painting. It is not about her keeping faith to the convention, but about her consistence in processing the painterly aspect of the work. Painterly is the quality of paint process, a distinct characteristic of painting. Erika is actually could be said as being disloyal to the convention, because instead of being comfortable in processing a canvas surface, she applies the painterly quality on a mirror surface or even metal, a “hard” surface and very contrast to the paint. The application of paint on such a “hard” surface creates a surprising impact. While paint on canvas looks at ease—the result of dialogue that has been established for centuries—paint on mirror or metal surface is the result of a new dialogue and it may not always be smooth.
Erika’s subject matters seem to be mostlu influenced by exploration on the formal aspects of the artworks, while Pauhrizi’s tends to be more figurative and thematic. Pauhrizi has a specific interest to post-colonial issues. His experience in studying experimental film/video in Germany, coincided with the era when Europe saw the arrivales of refugees escaping from war zones, such as Syria. The contrast between the historical-formal-caucasian European urban planning and the arrival of the organic-incidental-non-caucasian refugees unfolded before Pauhrizi’s eyes. This sight, in addition to his own experiences, with the Asian physique (which was not seldom received discriminative treatment in the white country), drove him to a series of journey of “tracing back the history”. He invited a number of his acquaintances to trail a cross-continent, cross-nation journey. A journey that was often bitter and life threatening. He recorded these experiences through a number of photographs, videos, and also performances.
Pauhrizi and Erika had experienced time together in Europe. Far in foreign lands, the urgency to recognize a foreign space, had brought them to several artworks with a strong sense of displace.
What truly makes one being in their place? Furthermore, how can an artist have a “home” in the span of their artistic career?
This exhibition of Pauhrizi and Erika weaves and reconciles the “dialogue” between the two as individuals, as a couple, also intertwines with the “small narrative” in the form of several perspectives of art, and then the perspective on the “big narrative” regarding the humanitarian issues. Pauhrizi and Erika as human beings, as a couple, as parents, living in a big world that is complicated and filled with stories. They then returned to their artistic explorations, drawing the “outside world” experience into the intimate and experimental personal space. Some of the results of this intimate and experimental “dialogue” are what you are seeing in this exhibition “Migrating in Your Own Home”.
Erik Pauhrizi & Erika Ernawan Exhibition
4 November 2017