Medusa Offspace is a non-profit nomadic collective which aims to stimulate cultural exchanges and promote new emerging artists. Serving as a platform, Medusa’s main objective is to provide the fertile soil upon which new conceptions within the current cultural landscape can flourish. As Medusa strongly believes that artistic innovations emerge through dialogue, it places an emphasis on collaboration as a means to constantly evolve the discourse of artistic and cultural engagements.

Raphaëlle Bertran (Beaux-arts de Paris)

Artist statement:
The genesis of this series of paintings took place at the Kunsthalle in Hamburg when I saw a very small canvas by Bosch placed poorly in a passage between two exhibition rooms. It wasn’t the first time I had seen one of his works, but this surprise encounter crystallized in a flash all my aspirations in art: disturbing strangeness, grandeur and despair, ecstasy and abyss. Or as Georges Bataille writes it so well in The Inner Experience, my “spirit [moved] in a strange world where anguish and ecstasy are made up. »This series is also fundamentally based on reading Nietzsche, Bataille, Schopenhauer or even Blanchot, whose universes inspire me enormously. (…)

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Tristan Gac (School of Fine Arts of Angers, Brussels)

Artist statement:
“His plastic work seeks to transpose a sentimental and lyrical exploration, mainly through drawing, but also through sculpture. These images created with coloured pencil on paper bring on the same space of the sheet the artefacts of popular cultures, at the crossroads between rave and an updated form of Romanticism. Deliberately precious yet animated with violence and melancholy, the compositions play with a certain ambivalence of registers. Seeking to define a vision of the future, a fantasized and dreamlike speculation around the ruins of the party, late evenings where temporary ideals are eclipsed giving way to deserted landscapes. His work aims first and foremost to produce emotion, a form of dreamlike contemplation.”

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Dylan Van Roost (LUCA School of Arts Ghent, Brussels)

Artist statement:
Dylan Van Roost had always had the tendency to digitally archive memories and found imagery from the internet. His digital archives of collected, edited, and own photos support his work and are always approached as thematically cohesive material to summon. His archive is a starting point to create a certain ambiance of that time. Despite being a somewhat personal archive consisting mainly of people close to him, his work brings forward a sense of melancholy which remains accessible to outsiders through the combination of music, which plays as a dominant element to these emotions. Color, camera movements and use of found footage that he collects from different sources also play an added value to evoke his feeling to those memories.

Dylan considered his hard drive to be a kind time machine which brings him to places of the past. His work can therefore also be seen as a portal to a spirit of the past. This idea was further shaped by his young fantasy that once you got past the login screen, you landed in another world with new possibilities (to yet create another world inside of it through programs).

In his master degree at LUCA, Dylan created a portal to his hard drive. Users enter an environment furnished with data, images, music and files that have been extracted from his external hard drive. He brings physical objects from the ‘real’ world into this digital landscape, therefore interlacing memories within its digital architecture. You could consider it as taking a walk through his archive and exploring his interests and memories.

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Lena Kuzmich (Royal Academy of Art, The Hague) & Tony Wagner (Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna)

Tony Wagner (they/them) is a musician and artist whose work centers on radical soft explorations of sound, vocals and images with a big crush on experimental pop. As founder of the music label Tender Matter, co-founder of the event series The Future and member of the Sounds Queer? collective they are promoting and highlighting the work of queer and gender nonconforming artists in electronic music.

Lena Kuzmich (1998, Vienna) is a non-binary and multidisciplinary artist currently based in Amsterdam. Their work, a fluid remix of photographic and videographic fragments taken from pop and subcultures, sketches alternate visions of society. Imaginative landscapes, hybrid representations of bodies, and technology all become a portal beyond preconceived notions about the world and our identity in it. Once the narratives that shape our understanding of reality are laid bare, they become open for restructure. This is what Lena attempts as they seek to make sense of the chaotic and transformative forces of life.

 

XxA – Performance, 2022

XxA marks a quest into the underworld, the chaotic breeding grounds where selves are sculpted and identities moulded. It traces a place where friendship is magic, radical care a transformative force, and where hybrid bodies spawn queer joy.

With social expectations and personal stories of love, loss, pain ever-present, navigating this ambiguous world raises questions of being and becoming.

In XxA, where neither characters nor landscapes are ever fixed, we witness eternal metamorphosis. Is change this sore and tender planet’s only constant? Do we find ourselves within a spectrum where alleged opposites merge?

Direction, video & sound: Lena Kuzmich & Tony Wagner | Text: Lena Kuzmich, Tony Wagner, Lennart Horst | Concept for costume and stage: Lena Kuzmich & Tony Wagner | Costume: Rosa Wiesauer & Anna Schall | Construction of stage: Georg Hampe | Light design: Jan Wagner | 3D visuals: Cristian Anutoiu

With: Lena Kuzmich as Xena & Tony Wagner as Angel Galore

Image Rights: ©Bettina Frenzel

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Bin Koh (Sandberg Instituut Department, Amsterdam), Sumin Lee  & Alex Zeta (both Gerrit Rietveld Academie, Amsterdam)

Artist statement:
Tar For Mortar is a performative cooking workshop in which Dasik—a preserved dessert from the 11th century in East Asia—was prepared, serving as a mediator between non-fictional(prehistoric and historic) and fictional(present and futuristic) ideas. To link these two ideas, Comfort Ball(Bin Koh, Sumin Lee) repositioned Dasik to the polluted ruins of the aftermath of an anthropogenic climate disaster. They invite guests into their imagination when making Dasik and having a tea ceremony amidst the limited conditions and food shortages such a disaster would entail, following a journey of faded memories and polluted bodies. During the journey, they rediscover food as kinship, fear, respectfulness and sharing stories. The installation for Tar For Mortar is collaborated with Amsterdam based artist Alex Zeta.

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Prune (Académie Royale des Beaux-Arts, Brussels)

Artist statement:
Prune’s artistic practice is inspired by myths, legends, and all forms of tales narrating power, but more specifically, highlighting a feminine strength.She brings weaving into  dimension where it becomes sculptural. She creates organic and intriguing textures in volume and is constantly looking for technical processes that allow her to obtain a strong visual impact. This impression, she not only seeks in technical terms, but also through the use of unusual materials in weaving: generally rather humble materials, ennobled by the technique (such as, for example, inner tubes, plywood, etc.). This is how the ruse is articulated, by working with materials that are at first sight ordinary, sublimated by the finesse of the technique, and therefore taking on a character that is all the more “magical”.

She draws elements from the masculine field of war to appropriate them and considers seduction as a strategy, in the same way as the female warrior’s strategy. Accordingly, she subverts stereo-typical symbols of feminine seduction to transform them into weapons/armors. The mouth becomes the ring of the chain mail and invites as it dissuades. Her creations convey a form of empowerment, using an aggressive vocabulary, by sensuality/

sexuality and without compromise. The other is forced to confront it, as being (visually) imposed. Her pieces are placed between attraction and repulsion, an in-between tension. Everything is exacerbated and becomes dangerous: the nails, the hair, the teeth, the eyes… It is sharp and aggressive. There is no gentleness. It’s reptilian, it has weight and it’s anchored. It is about a monstrous feminine and even more, a masculin feminine, as all the curves become spikes that penetrate and pierce. Her figures are, one might say, allegories of anger or revenge. As if there were a will to emancipation that could only come through the destruction of the other, allowing no possible cohabitation.

 

THE SEMI-STIFF SWORD

My interests in the powerful female figures of mythology attracted my attention to the character ofthe female warrior. War has traditionally always been exclusively a male activity.  Women weave, men fight in wars. Women are said to be, always and wherever, the bearers of a pacifism marked by a holy horror of violence. This stereotype, nowadays still widely anchored, has overshadowed the existence of legendary and common female combatants. My warrior has never armed herself with masculine attributes. She draws her inspiration from it to

tease them and arms herself with those bestowed upon her: seduction and weaving. So how can tapestry become a warrior tool? I explored for ways to attack masculine symbols such as the sword, a phallic figure, a powerful male character per excellence. In “Le Politique”, Platon refers to the warp yarn as the masculine « stèmon », the stiff thread; and the other, softer and more flexible: the weft yarn, called « la krokè ». The interlacing of these two threads produces the fabric. The weaving is thus the manufacture of two units destined to intertwine, one masculine, the other one feminine. Here, the weft yarn suffocates the warp yarn, causing the sword to lose all its tension and strength and turning it into a totally useless tool. If you feel like it though, you can use it has a whip.

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