ARTLANTIS

a sculpture project by Alena Matejkova and Lars Widenfalk

Plato first described the Island in the sea –Atlantis, which disappeared! Talking about this fairytale island in his dialog between Timaios and Kritas. He describes its constitution and that it was ruled by a sovereign king. This kingdom was wealthy and fertile, as long as its habitants placed virtue before wealth; the island was the most powerful empire in the world. When its dynasty expanded towards Italy and Egypt, it was stopped by the more powerful Athens. When the immorality grew on Atlantis the island was struck by a catastrophe, the island sank in the ocean in just a few hours.

Behind the myth Plato refers to Egyptian sources referencing stories about an earthquake, which was caused by a volcano eruption in the Egeic Sea when a city on the island Thera (Santorini) was destroyed.

Many are the efforts to find the truth about this mystical island and its highly developed culture. Maybe it still exists somewhere on the bottom of the sea, with houses, streets and sculptures, for anyone to find if diving deep enough....

Like Atlantis our creations are submerged... they are in a state of suspension...dreams, encapsulated worlds waiting to be discovered....'Artlantis'. Each of the four aquariums that form the exhibition are 250 x 75 x 75 cm and became the frames for our imaginations.

Alena's choice of artistic material for her aquariums was natural; granite and glass. In each aquarium stands a house of granite. They all have different sizes and architectural styles and are realisations of her artistic fantasies and dreams.

All of Alena's work with in the exhibition is based on the theme of Dreams. Using a special glass that is mixed with uranium oxide, which glows intently when lit, Alena has created objects from her dreams that are installed in the aquariums floating above the houses. We see objects like Durman flowers, cucumber boats, dolls heads and three hundred glass pearls 'snowing' over the silent house.

Alena chose not to use live fish in her aquariums, unlike like LARS WIDENFALK who let the fish interact with his sculptures. In his aquariums Lars exhibits three granite sculptures, full sized human figures named; 'The diver', 'She who is waiting' and 'Two faced whoman'. The last one was inspired by the famous philosopher C.G. Jung speaking about Anima and Animus, meaning that every human has both a feminine and masculine part.. This is expressed symbolically by the sculpture having two heads.

The fourth of Lar's aquarium sculptures is a big human head made of red granite, named 'The dreamer'. On the top of this head are placed two small aeroplanes to prolong the dream and make it visible, connecting to Alena's theme of dreams and so uniting the work within the exhibition.

When working in granite, Alena and Lars usually stay on the west coast of Sweden where there are many quarries and a special workshop owned and run by a society of sculptors. Alena is casting her glass sculptures in her own workshop in Southern Bohemia.


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