In Search of Lost Time
SPRING BREAK Art fair, Sept 7-12, 2022
UniX Gallery is pleased to present In Search of Lost Time, a solo booth of Flavia Junquiera who works in staged installation and photography. In Search of Lost Time (French: À la recherche du temps perdu), first translated into English as Remembrance of Things Past is a novel in seven volumes by Marcel Proust. Flavia Junquiera’s work is a reflection on time, history of the human civilization as seen through architecture and the fleeting essence of human life. In line with the theme of the fair – our booth will focus on the idea of Renaissances. Another synonym of the word Renaissance is Belle Epoque, and it’s one of the characteristic themes for Junquiera. She will present two bodies of work – one celebrating the joyous moments in human history with its ornate palatial glory, and another one highlighting the tragic sides of life – with a special focus on her photo series Gorlovka, from the Donetsk region of Eastern Ukraine, now mostly destroyed during the ongoing military conflict.
Flavia Junquièra signature element is the use of the real inflatable balloons that she brings to her set locations. After long and deliberate installation, she photographs them – reflecting the still history of the buildings, cultures, and the times past, while also capturing the moments of joy that light up our transient human existence. Renaissances and Belle Époques bring opulence and celebrate abundance, and these times of prosperity are almost exclusively preserved for future generations through art and architecture. We still enjoy the elegance of the Greek Parthenon and Roman architectural achievements, Greek classical sculptures, Roman frescoes and the vast artistic accomplishments of the European Renaissance. As history shows – every Renaissance is followed by the decline and degradation of all systems in the society, and is also reflected in art. These transitions can be either rapid – caused by wars and global catastrophic events, or slow and gradual -- and almost unnoticeable in real time. Rises and falls of the empires are most evident in Flavia Junquiera’s works. Ironically, both series of Junquièra’s photographic works feature cultural centers in Brazil and Ukraine. They are also on the extreme opposite spectrum of luxury and degradation. Some of the baroque settings of her Belle Epoque photographs are the opera houses in Sao Paulo. Her primary focus of the Ukrainian photographic series is the classical Greek portico building called “Palace of Culture” in Gorlovka, Donetsk region, Ukraine. Even its title is reminiscent of the times of the Soviet-era empire, when the so-called Houses and Palaces of Culture existed in virtually every small town throughout the Soviet Union. These buildings were the meeting points to socialize, dance, see performances and concerts, take various classes, etc. The Gorlovka Palace of Culture is photographed in 2011 – 3 years before the first military conflict started in Eastern Ukraine. Still, it looks like it was just hit by a bomb – that is the effect of the degradation, abandonment, deterioration, and general depression that has descended on many towns and locations in the post-Soviet era, when the time of extreme wealth accumulation, corruption, poverty, wild capitalism and extreme inequality left critical infrastructure systems in shambles. It also forced immigration among part of the population, and persistent nostalgia for the lost grandeur among others. This nostalgia, the allusions of grandeur, futile human attempts to hold on to memories and the very fleeting and fragile notion of every moment in life is something that characterizes Junquiera’s work and is highlighted in the booth.
Flavia Junquièra holds a Ph.D. in Visual Arts from the Institute of Arts of the State University of Campinas (UNICAMP), a Master’s in Visual Poetics from the University of São Paulo (USP), and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Fundação Armando Alvares Penteado
(FAAP). Select shows include Culture and Conflict, Palais de Tokyo, The World Bank Art Program; Kaunas Photo festival; solo exhibition Tomorrow I Will be Born Again at Cité Dés Arts; among others.