Dear visitors! For technical reasons, meeting with the organizers of the «Weeks of Conscience» postponed to  indefinite period. We apologize.

Ouka Leele: transgressive utopia

Ouka Leele.
Photography as a shield. 2006.
Gelatin silver print.
© Ouka Leele, 2014 Ouka Leele.
Self-portrait with “peineta”. 1979.
Gelatin silver print.
© Ouka Leele, 2014 Ouka Leele.
Mystery of the corners of the lips discovered by Leonardo. 2006.
Digital print.
© Ouka Leele, 2014 Ouka Leele.
Mildness. 2007.
Digital print.
© Ouka Leele, 2014

Ouka Leele. Photography as a shield. 2006. Gelatin silver print. © Ouka Leele, 2014

Ouka Leele. Self-portrait with “peineta”. 1979. Gelatin silver print. © Ouka Leele, 2014

Ouka Leele. Mystery of the corners of the lips discovered by Leonardo. 2006. Digital print. © Ouka Leele, 2014

Ouka Leele. Mildness. 2007. Digital print. © Ouka Leele, 2014

Moscow, 2.04.2014—18.05.2014

exhibition is over

Central exhibition hall Manege

1, Manege Square (show map)
www.moscowmanege.ru

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Curator: Manuel Romero

Project presented by the Embassy of Spain in Russia

Curator: Manuel Romero

Project presented by the Embassy of Spain in Russia

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«Coming out of the dark black night, having heard death’s call, I was at long last able to desire life forever». Terrible and profoundly enlightening words that will help us determine how to approach and try to understand, not just the work of this exceptional artist, but also her place in the world, her introspective gaze. She dives exquisitely into the limitations that marked her childhood, caught off-guard as a teenager by death and pain: «take this cup from me» (2) everything that happened afterwards was a generous torrent of sensitivity that has resulted in what professor and well-known critic Francisco Calvo Serraller defines as «The Never-ending Story».

In her recent exhibit, «UNPUBLISHED», which we’ve had the chance to see at Madrid’s Museo del Traje, she reveals herself to be an artist who has truly made a work of art out of her own biography. For the biographical traces left behind throughout the world by this artist and her characters are no less than art. Ouka Leele thus begins a complete phenomenology of the image that is charged with emotion and lyricism, recovered memories of her family and adolescence that bring with them an aura of fetishistic nostalgia. And in this process of essential enlightenments, as her need grew, she soon transmuted the real space reserved for her to codify her dreams into a blinding light, that is to say a utopia.

And so it was that, after desolation, searching for her «Prince Charming», looking at herself in the reflection of her «aquatic soul» and being wise to the fact that, «every inch of the earth’s surface is inhabited by angels and archangels», Ouka Leele, in a revealing act of humility, finally accepted her destiny as an artist. That is the day that she modestly wrote in her diary: «A ray of light has just shot through me», and began a series of exhibits and public disclosures, thus building a background in which each of her works, her photographs, is nothing more than the reflection of that initial introspection, the result of digging deep into her artist’s soul. This is the moment when, «illuminated» by that ray of light, as Barbara Allende tells us, already and forever more converted into Ouka Leele, she seems to have «known something about what’s in store for those who were called in her stead»

And so, she dedicated herself wholeheartedly to photography and we were able to enjoy her great projects: «Cybele», her giant Polaroids for Cartier and, more recently, «Octopus’ Boulevard». In these projects, as in most of the photographs included in the exhibit, the artist expresses a unique dichotomy between spirituality and carnality that is clearly visible in her work. Having set up permanent residence in the kingdom of photography, Ouka Leele, with her transgressive wisdom, seems to live up to the words of one of Sufism’s greatest teachers: «Make use of that which has been entrusted to you». Which corroborates the reasons why three years ago she merited receiving the National Photography award.

Madrid, December 2008

Embassy of Spain Институт Сервантеса в Москве


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