Abstract Muscle




Installation made out of individual works, mixed media, 2019


By combining a documentary approach with poetic imagery, Luiza Margan’s practice investigates the socioeconomic aspects of everyday life, and their manifestations in public space and in art production. Behind the delicate elegance of her work lies engaged observation and analysis of the historical and political context of spaces and the labour conditions embedded in them.


As a person who grew up and was formed by two realities - that of socialism and that of developing capitalism, she explores the relations and tensions related to both. In her new body of work, Abstract Muscle, Margan continues her quest and interest into the various forms of labour representation, the wider legacy of labour movements and their historical implications, and the way in which all of this is rationalized into contemporary art. Historically, these forms are strongly linked to design, architecture and public space.


This is particularly evident within the context of modern housing communities and everyday life, largely propagated by the vision of new social values and egalitarianism (especially following the World Wars in Yugoslavia after the liberation from fascism in 1945 or even in the buildings and reliefs of the Red Vienna project in the 1920s).



For Luiza Margan, revisiting this part of the historical legacy has particular relevance, especially today, when democratic values are being challenged by the growing nationalistic movements, across Europe. In today's post-industrial, service and information oriented society, the relation to work, one’s body, personal time, and use of public space, are all subject to rapid commercialization, whereas manual labour is often being performed by the most vulnerable and precarious social groups, such are migrants and women.


Abstract Muscle includes several objects, spatial dividers, assembled from concrete plates and found pieces of a façade emblazoned with mosaics. These elements choreograph the space and in the same time serve as a backdrop for other collected and made objects; partial copies of reliefs, workers’ gloves or black plastic buckets with lurking faces of grotesque faces (also found on the same facades). Their ludistic presence speaks of the joy and sadness of being the other, the unknown, the nomad, the worker, the migrant, but also of the pure joy of foolishness and laughter, or a place from which art occures

© Luiza Margan 2019