Art Collaboration With Opse Project
The first collaboration with Opse Project run by Miltos Despoudis happened in 2020. The purpose of the collaboration was to give a space to individual artists to introduce their art practice.
The artist talks take place in front of a live audience, they are recorded and edited. Later on, the edited recordings are given to the artists at their disposal free of charge.
Artist Claudia Virginia Vitari, Invisible Cities, 20212, Janine Mapurunga Photography
photo© Opse Project, artist Luka Bunic
Over the time the Opse project grew and now it serves as a hub for various art-related activities, including gatherings, podcasts, workshops and in this year for the first time it had is own first group exhibition at the premisses of DSTRCT.Berlin.
The common theme among the selected artworks in this group show is the artists' determination to initiate discussions and raise awareness about contemporary issues. Many of the pieces focus on the image and the role of women in today's society, shedding light on this topic not only from a female perspective but also from a male standpoint.
photo© Ella Taub, Opse Project, artwork by Ella Taub, Together
Ella Taub takes us deeper into our exploration of human beings with her artwork. She presents several pieces, all of which delve into the subject of what we keep hidden inside and how we present ourselves to others. Ella hails from a deeply patriarchal background where her worth as a human being was measured solely through traditional female stereotypes like marriage, child-rearing, and domestic chores.
It doesn't matter who you are as a person; as long as you have a husband, children, and a clean kitchen, you're fulfilling society's expectations. Ella's artwork speaks to an environment where internal struggles and doubts are taboo, and you're expected to conceal them beneath a golden veneer to mask the corrosion of patriarchal norms.
photo© Opse Project, Karina Ivanova, Caterpillar
Challenging the patriarchal society is a central theme in the video art installation "Caterpillar" by Karina Ivanova and Olga Berg, part of the "Lace Parade" exhibition. The installation was loosely inspired by the historical female figure Joan of Arc, who transcended gender roles and became a military leader, gaining recognition in a predominantly male-dominated history.
photo© Opse Project, Alicja Pawluczuk_Hy_stera
(Hy_stera) Alicja Pawluczuk's artwork delves into another form of violence against women. Alicia, a research-based artist, shares her personal experiences within the medical realm, where women's pain during examinations and procedures conducted by male practitioners is often overlooked. Her artworks draw attention to the fact that female patients are expected to endure more pain simply because they are women.
photo© Opse Project,Vivian Epstein, Unicorn, 2023
Vivian Eckstein and her series of paintings depicts female figures wearing masks. On one side, you'll find a mask resembling the mythical, many-eyed creature Argos, meant to be the perfect guardian. But where does the line blur between knowing everything for the sake of protection and knowing everything for the sake of oppression through constant surveillance?
On the other side, you encounter a unicorn mask, representing yet another stereotypical expectation of how women should behave—happy, cheerful, and carefree. Society's expectations for women reduce them to mere mythical creatures, devoid of substance, expected only to look pretty and innocent.
photo© Opse Project, Miltos Despoudis
With that in mind, Miltos Despoudis' series of paintings titled "Women On Digital Filters." delves into how the unique beauty of every woman is gradually erased by various filters and almost disappears to conform to the prevailing standards of beauty primarily propagated through social media. These filters of reality and real people compel us to hide our imperfections in the unseen corners of shame.
photo© Opse Project, Thomas Thores Hyman
Miltos's series leads us to another set of portraits by Thomas Thores Hyman. His work explores the journey from photorealistic depictions of portraits into a more liberated space, inspired by a dreamlike landscape. It's akin to the feeling when, in a dream, you approach a familiar place or door, only to open it and discover something entirely different from what you expected or desired.
photo© Opse Project, Luka Bunic, Moonwalker
Continuing the theme of discerning reality from illusion, we move to the artwork called "Baroque Epoche" and "Moonwalker" by Luka Bunič. In the "Baroque Epoche" series, two large canvases are covered with hidden messages, visible only in the dark under fluorescent light. Here, the painting itself acts as a filter to a genuine human experience, cautiously concealed and accessible only to those with specific knowledge and tools.
photo© Opse Project, Emanuelle Crotti
The next series of artworks presents the fundamental building blocks of human beings by Emauele Crotti and his lockdown series Danse Macabre 2020, and Le Pendu. His pieces engage in a dialogue with Luka's "Moonwalker," drawing attention to the question of our origins and how equal we are as human beings. Is our existence solely a matter of evolution, or is there something more to it?
photo© Opse Project,Sofia Dimitrova, 3am Concept, 2023
Sofia Dimitrova.'s artwork, "3am Concept," brings us closer to an exploration of unfiltered humanity that emerges when we let our guard down. How much control do we have over our subconscious and our true selves in the middle of the night, safely tucked in our beds? To what extent must we relinquish control to discover our authentic selves?
photo© Opse Project, Byautumnlily, 2023
To complete the circle, the last artist is a self-portrait by Lily who captured the narratives of the human spirit through her artistic expressions. Her canvases, adorned with oil paints, serve as the canvas for a diverse array of individuals, each sharing their profound encounters with joy, sorrow, affection, and grief. Employing a palette of vivid hues, evocative brushwork, and symbolic motifs, she masterfully communicates the sentiments and recollections that shape their very essence.
These works not only offer insights into the image and the multifaceted role and expectations of women in today's society but also invite viewers to consider these themes from both female and male perspectives. As viewers engage with these thought-provoking artworks, they are reminded of the capacity of art to transcend boundaries and stimulate meaningful dialogue, ultimately contributing to a more informed and empathetic society.
Text by Veronika Hykova