From April 17, 2024 to 23 May, 2024

Reisingerstraße 6 Rgb, 80337 München, Germany

Zena Assi, Gargoyle #6, 2022-2023, Hand-built Ceramics with Glazing and Frame, 29 cm x 29 cm x 10 cm

"Like an architect of the strange, the collection flirts with the edges of the known civilized world as well as the wild, unconscious workings of the human psyche."

‘’The marvellous is the only guarantee that the reality of life can be stopped’’. A.B.

It’s the idea that the supernatural breaks through to help you endure the experiences of life, the limits of the mundane. Imagination is often used as a tool to escape, and creating magical worlds offers a breakout from the limitations of everyday rationality and social convention.

This new body of works dwells on how folk stories, mythology, religious beliefs, legends as well as superstitious tales tend to feed into one another. It reawakens a sense of the world around us as enchanted, a place of wonder filled with creatures of supernatural powers that co-exist with the human world. From the enchanted forest that holds uncanny stories to the watching eye of unseen goddesses and gargoyles, I wanted to create my version of a realm, filled with mysteries. These are rooted in traditions and cultural heritage where the ordinary encounters the supernatural, and where the social construct of identities uncover their undeniable link to myths and stories from ancient times. While some works revisit the power of storytelling, others can invert, and critique a given reality. Like an architect of the strange, the collection flirts with the edges of the known civilized world as well as the wild, unconscious workings of the human psyche. It revisits how recurring themes such as enchantments, transformations, wishes, and supernatural, mirror society’s belief system.

Presenting paintings of enchanted forests as scrolls held by fertility goddesses, ceramic sculptures of gargoyles and therianthropes, an animation experimental movie, and the installation of a banquet table hanging on the wall, the collection oscillates between the human and the otherworldly, the cycle of life and death, the protective and the beastly. It uncovers the subtle links and influences between different civilizations, converging into these shape-lifting narratives that are endlessly reworkable, keeping an ongoing dialogue with the past. They form a banquet that thrives within traditions of retellings and narratives that cross time, place, and culture in the eternal human search for identity and origins.

Zena Assi

Artists

Zena Assi