“The project Nachtluftschlösser (‘castles in the night air’) examines the construction of thoughts and realities and the perception of hidden dimensions. The desire to recreate a holographic house from a dream serves as a framework for visual thought constructs in the form of images, installations and projections at night. The inspiration for the project was a vivid nightmare: In the dream, I found myself inside a curious home when the walls suddenly became transparent. As I walked through them to the outside, I entered another dimension where nothing else existed. There, only the translucent outline of the building was still visible, glowing like a hologram. I feared: if I lost sight of this house, would everything I know cease to exist?
During the residency, ‘Silence Awareness Existence’ at Arteles in Finland, I set out to reconstruct this haunting yet elusive experience of the dream. Starting off with the creation of simple cubic forms, the complexity of the process grew with multiple (re-)construction steps and the combination of different techniques such as analogue and digital photography, collages and animations, as well as projections, models and installations. The project thus interweaves multiple layers: 2- and 3-dimensionality, light and darkness, illusion and reality. The holographic house becomes a metaphor for the mind, a complex system of interconnected building blocks, both concrete and fleeting. “If each thing one knows depends on other things one knows – isn’t that like castles built on air?” Marvin Minsky asks in his book The Society of Mind. Is the world we know like a house, solely constructed by our minds? And can we look through the walls of reality?” – Dora Lionstone, 2022
Dora Lionstone (b.1986, Potsdam, DE) is a visual artist and photographer who graduated from the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in 2020 with a BA in Photography and has previously worked as a Software Engineer in Germany with an Msc in Media Informatics. Her work has been exhibited at FOAM and Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, among several other exhibitions across Europe. She was selected as FRESH EYES European Talent 2021 and GUP New Talent in 2021 and received the Artist Start grant from the Mondriaan Fund for 2022. She is based in Amsterdam, NL. Her work is driven by a fascination for ambiguity, logic and the surreal. She challenges the clear-cut perception of reality with multiple coexisting and often contradicting perspectives while searching for deeper layers beyond the surface. Influenced by her background in software engineering, Lionstone sees the image as a system that is waiting to be cracked, taken apart and reassembled differently. This continuous (re-)construction of reality is explored by the artist’s use of collages and other image transformations. Her process involves a combination of various techniques such as analog photography, digital manipulation and animation next to the creation of installations and text. By using multiple methods and points of view, she aims to extend the boundaries of the rigid binary world, merging fact and fiction, science and art.
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