Kristof Kintera: Symptoms of Nervosities
D+T Project Gallery
11 January - 16 February 2013
Review by Zdena Mtetwa-Middernacht
D+T project presents ‘Symptoms of Nervosities’ in Brussels, as Kristof Kintera’s first solo show in Belgium. Kintera explores the edge of contemporary sculpture, re-defining the place of things in everyday life. He gives a human face to objects, re-interpreting the world we live in.
At the entrance hangs the ‘Black Flag’ on a black tree that seems drenched in oil. Kintera challenges everyday perceptions of what we deem to be alive and beautiful, as if to announce that what appears to be dead may in fact be alive, whilst leaving space for interpreting the piece as what is left of that which used to be alive.
In the same space, ‘Private Planet’, reminiscent of ‘The Little Prince’ by Antoine de Saint-Exupery, shows a pair of the artist’s worn-out black shoes on a ball of tar. It juxtaposes the public life of an artist with his private experience, on an imperfectly round sphere that highlights this never-ending dissonance. The artwork uses the simple form to denote complicated notions of globalisation, consumerism, urbanism, etc. It portrays the critical investigations of the artist by asking public questions, with the shoes serving as a haunting reminder of the private critique behind these questions.
Kintera’s work is intentionally provocative, inducing thinking around the romanticisation of revolution. Viewers admiring ‘Private Planet’ are quickly disturbed by a loud noise behind the wall, where the artwork ‘Revolution’ is displayed. In ‘Revolution’, Kintera presents a young troublemaker constantly hitting his head against the wall. The resulting curiosity around the identity of the object suggests a seductive element that comes with anonymity in the revolutionary process. Kintera depicts the effects of mob psychology through one anonymous troublemaker. The artist juxtaposes meaningful revolution with useless protest, indicating how the latter generates self-destruction. This self-destruction can be interpreted both as an instant and a gradual process, indicated by the gradual break-down of the wall which the young troublemaker hits. The ‘Flemish Proverbs’ by Pieter Breughel (1525-1569) is seen as presenting an iconographic antecedent comparable to Kintera’s young rebel.
At the end of the exhibition, in a lonely corner, stands ‘Sculptulus fungis’, a surreal piece created with polyurethane, blanket and shoes. Its human element is both melancholic and schizophrenic. Its isolation is suggestive of the rejection and alienation of what is seen as unattractive or undesirable in society.
‘Symptoms of Nervosities’ reiterates Kintera’s ability to dichotomise ambiguity and conviction, the social and the personal, whilst all the time merging the object and the person. His art is inspired by reality and illusion. His portrayed conflicting meanings evoke feelings of disturbance, fear and worry. Through sculpture and the intelligent use of the space in which this sculpture stands, Kintera highlights the complexity of the human condition and the environment in which it exists.