Great Expectations

Virg — Intervention #14, 2007. Digital print, 22 x 31 cm, framed

Homo Sapien is the only animal, in the class of mammalia that hunts others without the need, just for a moment of pleasure. Despite being an animal, our relation with other species, our surroundings or our consciousness cannot even try to compete with, say, a wolf. The exhibition Great Expectations at Soy Capitán, presented by the artist Klara Hobza displays vigorous works dealing with the relation of human beings with animals, the nature. Artists Virg, Roman Signer, Benja Sachau, Leopold Kessler, Dana Sherwood and Neozoon examine the notion of beauty, say, the beauty of death and how we relate to our surroundings in general.

Videos, photos and installations are poetic as well as frightening. What is unexpected is seen, as the name of the exhibition Great Expectations would utter. In the video of Neozoon, Buck Fever (2012) YouTube videos of amateur hunters are assembled. Hunters show how to hunt and comment on the hunted animals. Their constant interpretation of ‘dead cows or deers, the repetition of the word ‘beautiful’  triggers one to say “there was a beauty when it was alive…” Now, it is a trash, a dead body. It is hard to watch without getting angry with their excitement.

Another appealing work is Intervention # 14 (2007) by Virg. The wings of dead insects were glued with glitter and placed in some cafés, libraries and bars. How would these glittered dead bodies be seen? Would they bother the ones having their breakfast in a café by their shine? The uncanny feeling attracts just like the photo of Dana Sherwood’s. Despite the fact that it is not alive, the certain compositions trigger one to admit there is a beauty in it. In this photo, Nights of Coyote and Cake (2013), there is a  ‘meat’ plate prepared for coyotes that the artist encountered. Layers of several meat types, posited in an elaborated way are waiting to be eaten by them. Strangely, none was touched, including the following days. Sherwood mentions the unpredictability of wild creatures. On the other hand, it reminds the perfect system of the nature: just hunt or eat as much as you need, not any more.

The precariousness when it comes to other animals, the hardness of anticipation is observed in Kayak (2000) by Roman Signer, as well. Instead of being on the water, a man in a kayak is hauled on a path by another machine. Cows near by, without knowing what to do starts to run along the moving kayak. The interaction between these two species is unexpected.

The melancholy and black humour in Klara Hobza’s own works are felt in the exhibition Great Expectations. The name itself conveys hidden messages, say, several perceptions of our world in many ways. The life-death dichotomy, the microcosmos in the world – the interaction between the things that are unlikely to happen – conceal an uncanny beauty. There is a pea under the mattresses, making the princess uncomfortable, just like in this well-known children story.


Dana Sherwood — Nights of Coyote and Cake, 2013. Digital print, 2 parts 27 x 37 cm each


NEOZOON — Buck Fever, 2012 Single channel video, 5:50 min


Roman Signer — Kayak, 2000 Single channel video, 5:20 min. Courtesy Galerie Barbara Weiss, Berlin