NOAR Nordic and Baltic contemporary art platform


Ona: Internal Project(ions), 2019

Mixed media

“I suppose every artist need to say something important, something that will matter, something that will change or point out to something greater than them. It was the same with Ona. First time I met her she was searching for that “something”. Author spent a lot of time seeking for a new young artist who is operating in the context of today. When she says today, she refers to the artworks that are dealing with the present issues. In her conversation with Ona, she noticed her utopian approach to certain things. Her discussion about the problematics of the educational system and art history overall did seem reasonable, but what she lacked was her inability of rightful self-expression and overdosed sense of reality. She was mostly occupied by her idea and project where she used her newest method. The method, as she calls it “anonymous panopticon”, refers to the capability to observe oneself from above while having the control to analyze different fractions that we possess in this day of age. To practice her method, she invented her own prison she named Ona Museum, where she used the panopticon design. Ona clearly established her own panopticon in which she became an “inmate” of her own prison as well as the “Watchmen”. In that case, she had the power to modify and observe her behavior according to her own rules. Thus calling it “anonymous panopticon”. “It was like an epiphany, it all came together, and I knew what I was doing. In the beginning, I was an inmate of my own prison. I had the feeling I was being watched but didn’t know by who. Only later, before my retirement, I realized it was me all along. That’s the reason I had to put my other personas (fractions) in the inmate cells next to mine. And then by combining our notes of the investigation, we realized who was behind. Only then I retired. Only then I was in power to shut everything down.” When she is speaking about “other personas” or fractions, she is referring to her four fictional sisters. Each sister represented one of her fraction, therefore inmate cell. As Ona was in charge, she was there to bring the content and then they would act upon it: “Yona is the youngest sister and therefore could not take seriously, her focus was collecting the data from other sisters and putting them all in Recycle Bin Notebook. Trying to show the real side of life. Wona is in charge of videos, claiming it was the only way you can attract someone’s attention. Especially if it’s short, amusing and not requiring too much work from the recipient. The third sister is Iona, she is working mainly with language, purification of ideas and exhibiting them in the original form, therefore idea notebooks. The last one is Eona, the sister that had a prominent future. She always wanted to be a conceptual artist. Dreaming of her own exhibitions and speeches, only finding out that nobody cared.” Curator’s word As her curator, the whole project was presented as a live installation of Ona’s personal table, where she exhibited books and notebooks of each fraction along with the personal laptop. In the final presentation of the work each visitor was able to sit down and go through her stuff. Since such installation is hard to present through “one image” application, the whole concept kind of lose its true essence. Nevertheless, she decided for now to at least present their official website of the museum where you can see most of the artworks they did along with the artwork she uploaded in a form of a PDF. The paragraphs above are taken from the project’s written point of view which is also a main part of the artwork.

“Internal Project(ions)” file on the website: As her curator, it is still hard to summon up the overall theme of her artworks. Maybe it’s not up to me to decide how to label it. In the end, I am only a mere objective curator which opinion turned out to be primarily subjective. As it always is. What you will see are primarily the notes and materials that Ona and her sister gathered while being in the “imprisonment”. It is merely proof of her voyage presented through the eyes of an anonymous artist.