Oxygen as the Object of Pleasure

January 28, 2009

Oxygen (from the Greek roots oxys – acid, literally “sharp”, from the taste of acids) and -genes (producer, literally begetter) is the element with atomic number 8 and represented by the symbol O.’

mask.jpg

The most organic ambient artwork at Touch me Festival was made by young artist Ana Marija Pacek entitled Oxygen as the Object of Pleasure. Artist’s base is how the use of oxygen is treated through cultural spheres, medical appliance, and pharmacology.

Ana Marija Pacek (1985) graduated at Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb, where she is working at the moment on her MA (painting department). She likes to express herself mostly in the medium of painting, but lately she’s interesting in a variety of visual media. She has participated at one edition of Urban Festival within the project Academy as Laboratory (similar project but then under name ‘A capsule for fresh air’ set up as installation in shopping mall), and on many group exhibitions, too.

ox1.jpgPhoto: Kontejner (c)

Pacek has created a small lounge room like a hidden secret place which was inspired by American oxygen bars. She calls it lounge station. It’s a neon light oasis with few very essential tools: bottle with oxygen and mask; several plants and visitors’ guide; 2 beanbags and grass carpet.

By using low sideway positioned fluorescent light with walls constructed of black nylon, the atmosphere becomes moody and relaxed, but at the same time psychedelic with very hallucinogenic association when you enter in. You feel either relaxed either like you are plugged-in directly into scenery for some David Lynch’s film.

ox3.jpgPhoto: Kontejner (c)

This duality gets the perfect point of the essence of many meanings that oxygen usage has. The presents of guide, a girl that controls for how long you will breathe pure oxygen and isolated atmosphere itself, make you feel slightly involved into some laboratory experiment.

The author seems to give us several directions letting us to flow through it: the oxygen or the mind versus the oxygen = the mind.  Medical, symbolical or easy going could be terms to be applied in order to describe Oxygen as the Object of Pleasure.

ox4.jpgPhoto: Kontejner (c)

Because oxygen is colourless and has toxic and health characteristic the author can re-change the function of the installation in as many directions she possibly can. That’s the thing I actually like because the pure functionality of ‘designed’ artwork and its multiple traits is organic connected with chemical essence of the oxygen.

‘The bar I created in the framework of the art festival that raises issues related to hedonism is a soothing environment with plants (natural producers of oxygen), enabling the visitors to enjoy inhaling pure oxygen, in a medically safe environment. The level of inhalation is limited and regulated by special bottle regulators. This lounge station, in the framework of the exhibition, strives to refresh and relax the visitors exhausted by art. Possible hallucinatory effects are also welcome.’
Ana Marija Pacek

4 Comments
John
February 1, 2009 @ 8:57 am

Very nice. I’m a scientist, not artist. I enjoyed your post.
Regards, John

John
February 1, 2009 @ 10:57 am

Very nice.
I’m a scientist, not artist. I enjoyed your post.

Regards, John

February 16, 2009 @ 10:06 am

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