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Galerie Cecilia Jaime : Giannina Urmeneta Ottiker : We kept on dancing like it didn’t matter


De lumière et d’obscurité – Giannina Urmeneta Ottiker – solo exhibition ‘We kept on dancing like it didn’t matter’

Miss Prism replied in Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of being Earnest (2nd act) “Memory… is the diary that we all carry about with us”.

And Giannina Urmeneta Ottiker (1966) dives deep into her diary. Born in Peru, she still remembers the soldiers’ boots and tanks in the streets, the attacks and political violence – and the title of the exhibition seems to be the child’s strategy to survive in inhuman conditions.

I have been following Giannina Urmeneta Ottiker’s work for a while Her original work was dark, and together with the light, she is increasingly discovering a rich visual language of her own.

She shows us landscapes & people on the border of light and darkness, equally on the border of past and present. They are more impressions than observations, based on feeling rather than knowledge.

The people are agile interwoven bodies, stopped while struggling. They are dancers from the company Damaged Goods (is the name a coincidence in the context?) by Meg Stuart (born 1965 in the US- works in Germany and Belgium). Ottiker juxtaposes landscapes as a counterpoint. Here the raw power of mountain landscapes in Peru or the desert in Morocco, there an undefined urban landscape in Italy.

A discovery are her pen drawings raised with watercolour, where she delves deep into memories and gives us falsely childlike expressionist images dancing around reality.

A small exhibition by an artist in full development, and therefore worthwhile, add integrity & strong work and you have all the reasons to be motivated to visit.

John Devos


Giannina Urmeneta Ottiker   – ‘We kept on dancing like it didn’t matter’
15.04- 7.05.2023
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Cecilia Jaime Gallery
Kraanlei 55, 9000 Gent
T +32 (0)9 225 75 32
M +32 (0)476 645 557

Friday till Sunday – 2 till 6 pm. & by appointment
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