Deadly Kiss Me

The title of the exhibition by Meta Grgurevič and Urša Vidic is well chosen according to its content emphasis: the phrase, a paraphrase of one of the notorious noir movies from mid 50s, embodies an obvious erotic desire as well as a dangerous call of mortality (as if the moment when the first is driven till the extreme of melodrama and the pathos that goes with it, damnation is the only thing that can round it up and in a way complete it). The ambivalence hidden in the title-the passing between eros and tanatos, rising and falling-goes well with basic features of placement in Simulaker gallery: in Deadly Kiss Me, the authors deal with artistic reinterpretation or research of characteristic film noir esthetics. And we could say that film noir, which was in full bloom in the previous century’s 40s and 50s, in narrative sense gravitates towards the duality of two extremes: the erotic attraction embodied by femme fatale and deadly danger of the criminal underground, between light and darkness, day and night, dramatic action and everyday routine spiced up by whiskey…

The antique telephone, placed between shadow curtains in the center of the exhibition space rings and rings. Continuously. And nobody is answering. Who is even calling? The sound of telephone ringing is one of the central narrative and also psychological triggers; when the phone rings in a movie, the story can begin. But at the exhibition, the phone rings all the time, because in contrast to the movie fable it has no beginning and no end: Deadly Kiss Me offers a sensual experience that wraps the viewer in a curtain of mystery and lust, takes him/her directly into staged center of film noir, so he/she can become its protagonist. The story that is being told by the authors is a big city situation with femme fatales that expose themselves to the viewer in seductive dresses. Their theatre of shadows and light conjures up the world of good and evil, poetic romantics and hidden malice navigated by seductively dressed women, which are known to any movie fan. The thought-through spatial placement is marked by a strong psychological charge and thick atmosphere which is achieved with minimal means: with every-day materials and simple technological solutions.

Meta Grgurevič and Urša Vidic do not thematize the question of femininity in (pop) culture-like they did in their last exhibition in Ljubljana’s gallery Vžigalica (Flowers are Inherently Discusting; 2010) – and even though female characters represent an important segment of the exhibition, this time they are interested in research of a specific visual language, or the possibility of its relocation from a movie into visual art. Their newest collaboration again proves that their co-authorship is very fruitful and complete: the final result of their collaboration is once more a coherent whole in which the poetics of both authors unify in a new language-a new unique form that remains based on questioning the popular culture’s legacy. (Matjaž Brulc)

Photo by: Nada Žgang
Curated by: Matjaž Brulc
Simulaker Gallery, Novo Mesto

Production: Zavod Lokal Patriot, Simulaker Gallery, Novo Mesto