Modern-day Griots and tapped train conversations

Ayo, Kateřina Gabriel Konarovská
25.09.2020 - 18.10.2020

For as long as humanity has had access to fire and people have had the time and opportunity to tell each other stories around the campfire, storytelling has been an intrinsic part of culture.

When religion arrived, storytelling became even more prominent. –It is a way to share spiritual experiences with one another, by telling - often mystical - stories. With the advent of the internet and contemporary sources such as YouTube, podcast or modern encyclopedia like Wikipedia where anyone can add or edit a page, the transmission of stories from generation to generation, or re-inventing traditional storytellers like modern-day griots, storytelling becomes easier to disseminate and share.

Expoplu Experiment: Modern-day Griots and tapped train conversations is a duo exhibition with two artists that transformed the exhibition space of Expoplu into a sprightly, vibrant studio during a ten day working period. An experiment in which meeting, collaboration and exchanging each other's materials and methodologies are central. For this edition of Expoplu Experiment, Ayo and Konarovská’s shared fondness for collecting stories, both autobiographical and adapted, has been the starting point for an exciting collaboration. The artists have been given a free hand to create a new (collaborative) work within the walls of Expoplu.

Ayo investigates and proposes speculative alternatives to hegemonic forms of knowledge and materiality within cultural production. The triggering point of departure is often informed by personal narratives and memory rooted in social-political phenomena; resonating or slipping away from her lived experience and fascinations. Her process is unraveling these (his)stories isn’t linear or fixed; consequently the manifestation of her projects incorporate a wide array of mediums including but not limited to: sculpture, video, sound and performance.

Kateřina Gabriel Konarovská has always been interested in the form of communication, connection and misunderstanding between people and the inner and the outer worlds. The communication of invisible content and its expression is domain of the art itself. Her work is a guerrilla mission armed by repeating patterns of drawings in textile printing, natural elements or beauty of the forms she’s choosing, where she tries to smuggle darker content in an inviting forms discreetly breaking down binding norms and ideas about life. She’s balancing invisible experiences and dreams overlapping with ordinary or scary moments and social taboos. Like scary moments, social taboos, spiritual emptiness filled with consumerism, but also deeper spiritual experiences and dreams. Painting and tapestries are historically old mediums and at this time the artist considers it a modern way of balancing the speed of technology.