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Laboratory for internal experience

Mari Laaniste (1-2/2009)

Mari Laaniste writes about Maarit Murka’s solo exhibition in two Tallinn galleries (8.04-2.05.2009 at ArtDepoo, simultaneously at SooSoo)
 
At the heart of this show is a series of introspective black-and-white, photorealistic self-portraits in which the artist stands with her eyes closed in the studio as if listening to her own inner voice. The artist is attempting to explore the boundaries of her abilities through an inquiry into the role of the human senses. What can be eliminated without the result suffering? Her experiments reveal that getting rid of hearing does not change much; abandoning a brush results in a more exciting colour texture. Even painting with the hand proves more or less possible if the subject matter has previously been analyzed, developed. A picture produced under the influence of alcohol has a softer contour than the pure type, but is no less artistic. Identifying the relative importance of the sense of taste translates into licking a freshly painted painting, transforming it into swirls of colour. But ‘finished’ or ‘ruined’ are relative categories and even a ‘well-licked’ painting still has the appearance of art. An experiment designed to try to understand the ineffable nature of talent is similar in its fruitless perseverance to the old joke about throwing away a boomerang.
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