The Blue Labyrinth, or “Know Thyself”

The Blue Labyrinth, or “Know Thyself”

by Artrit Bytyçi

Enter, Meet Yourself by Likana Cana is an exhibition that complements her Fluxus-inspired artbook, This is a Mirror.

The blue of the tulle textile that spans the event and exhibition spaces will undoubtedly be the first thing to strike you as an audience. Like an ether of a spirit frozen in time, it will invite you to follow it as it makes its twists and turns throughout Autostrada Hangar, leading you to the pièce de résistance — the installation reminiscent of a labyrinth.

What, pray tell, will you find there? The experience will be different for each of you.

At the gates, perhaps some of you might hesitate. “What blue magic might this be,” some of you could say. Others, as you blink, your eyes might betray you as you’d swear that you read the inscription leading to Dante’s underworld — “Abandon all hope, all ye who enter here”. And with good reason, for our daily lives have become so overburdened with thoughts so heavy, Dante would’ve had to invent a new circle just to classify the maladies of the modern human condition.

But fear not, brave (exhibition) visitor. Imagine you are in ancient times, and you have come to meet the oracle. Imagine that you are in Dodona or Delphi, and the inscription at the gates is “Know thyself.” Except that, you are your own oracle. You will be doing the hard work, and reaping the sweet rewards of your labors.

The meaning you will be leaving with after this exhibition is custom-tailored to you, by you.

Yet, it still is a quest, akin to that of heroes of old.

The blue labyrinth through which you will pass might as well be the folds of your own brain, shaped by your own experience.

The event scores you will read — like the ones found within the pages of This is a Mirror — will be subject to your own interpretation, action, performance, and healing. They will be a reflection of you, just like with a mirror.

This is the place where you will meet yourself. The first step towards knowing yourself. The first step towards seeing your own true reflection. The first step towards healing yourself.

On this journey, you may scream, or break an object, or even stare at something for a long time. For, figuring out yourself is like traveling through a blue semi-transparent medium — it is concrete and abstract at the same time. Both tangible and intangible. You can touch it, yet it escapes you like ether.

Reading This is a Mirror could often feel the same. It can feel blue.

Enter here all ye who still hope and want to know thyselves.

Enter, Meet Yourself is an exhibition by Likana Cana that complements her Fluxus inspired artbook, This is a Mirror | edited and curated by Artrit Bytyçi | produced by Autostrada Biennale.

Enter, Meet Yourself

Enter, Meet yourself

by Likana Cana and Artrit Bytyçi

This is a Mirror is not just like any artbook — it can only exist if the audience interacts with it. It can only exist outside the pages, if the audience participates and engages with it.

The purpose of the Enter, Meet Yourself exhibition is to pay tribute to this book’s participatory nature.

This is a Mirror book is a Fluxus artwork that consists of event scores — performance art scripts that were widely used by Fluxus artists to convey the merger between art and life. The scores exist at the intersection between the playful and the philosophical, contemplative and ritualistic, with nuances of hope, care, and, in the case of This is a Mirror, they stress the importance of psychological processing.

Just as with the Fluxus movement, the participatory nature of works in This is a Mirror and its sister exhibition, Enter, Meet Yourself, create more space for the audience. The consumption which characterizes society nowadays, adds to our mental mess… It is the opposite with these works — instead of filling your mind with the content clutter, they free it up by exploring the possibilities of the mind, through our interactions with the planet and the universe.

The title This is a Mirror over a blue background suggests the power to reflect back on your soul; it reflects the unseen version of you back to yourself. More literally: if you stand in front of a mirror, you will see yourself; if you don’t, it reflects back an empty space. So, with This is a Mirror, you need to stand in front of it, to open it, to read it, so that the rhythm of your mind, essence, and soul, can be reflected back to you.

The mind has infinite dimensions, and the color blue speaks the language of infinity. It opens a portal where the seen and the unseen — the conscious and the unconscious — merge. Blue lives in both planes of existence. Blue makes the invisible visible by giving the object it surrounds an immaterial dimension.

The presence of the color blue in the installations of Enter, Meet Yourself invites you to enter a portal where the material and the immaterial, the conscious and the unconscious, the seen and the unseen merge. It gives the exhibition space an ethereal dimension and invites the audience to open their minds through event scores so that they can take it all in.

The transparent blue tulle as the most prominent material used in this exhibition serves as a medium at the intersection between the seen and the unseen, material and immaterial. Since the fabric is so soft, so transparent, the installation is both here and not here. Its impermanence gives rise to a liminal space between the physical and the spiritual.

Blue is a color that invites contemplation, introspection, stillness, and being in the present moment. It ignites a hope that things beyond the visible spectrum are possible and are all around us. 

Enter, Meet Yourself is an exhibition by Likana Cana that complements her Fluxus inspired artbook, This is a Mirror | edited and curated by Artrit Bytyçi | produced by Autostrada Biennale.

Launch Event of “This is a Mirror”

On March 1st, Autostrada Hangar hosted the launch of “This is a Mirror” an art book by Likana Cana and the exhibition curated by Artrit Bytyçi and produced by Autostrada Biennale.

The night began with a conversation between Likana and Artrit, followed by attendees exploring the exhibition and closing the event with selected music by Arbër Salihu & Likana.

We are more than happy and grateful to have Autostrada Biennale support this celebration of literature, art and music.