Plato Sanat’s current exhibition Nature Morte discusses various notions and meanings of the nature morte in contemporary art. Bringing together nine visual artists, the show presents different disciplines, media, and techniques as well as ideas and concepts around this classic genre in order to reveal its meaning for today’s art world.
Since the 17th century, the nature morte is an important subject in the history of art. Due to its high aesthetic and decorative value, it became especially popular during Baroque and Classicism. Though, besides showing the craft skills of a painter, it also referred to the state of the world, as every object, liquid, animal, insect and groceries have metaphorical meanings about life and death. In this sense, the nature morte is a mirror of reality and metaphysics. At the same time, it reveals the interconnection between man and the things that he creates, uses and is surrounded by. Therefore, the nature morte is a reflection of The World of Things (Dingwelt). Though, this mirror is always blurred, because social codes and cultural layers cover its surface, and only allow a metaphoric perception. The mirror image’s iconography transforms every matter in the world into symbols that are loaded with multiple possible contents. This intellectual translocation of objects and the transformation of their meanings play a fundamental role in the history of modern art. The Ready-Made, and the art of the Collage depend on such an understanding of the world of things, and art movements like Arte Povera, Pop Art and Fluxus based their works to a large amount on artefacts, and everyday-items. Still today, this dimension of the nature morte influences the production of many artists.
In this context, with its actual exhibition, Plato Sanat contributes to the critical analysis of the meaning of things in our life, and to the review of the current validity of the nature morte as a genre of art that once had the power to transform matter into concept and objects into ideas.