Ania Hobson Channels a Determined Dream in “The Social”

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Ruttkowski;68, Paris // December 10, 2022 – January 15, 2023

There is an escapism to Ania Hobson‘s work, the sort of fantasy meets reality that you can recognize and actualize but can’t quite reach. There are friends and the moments in the night where the plans have changed, or the in-between moments of sharing gossip and intimate conversation that leave you in a state of ponder. In a way, The Social is about what we think of being social and yet it never quite equates. It’s beautiful and almost other-worldly depictions, and that Hobson is painting woman in what previously is the male gaze, it feels fresh and a completely new experience. Familar but never-seen. 

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What is always obvious in Hobson’s works is the face of determination. To where the characters are going, where they have been, what they are talking about. At times, it feels like the viewer has interrupted these woman, as if they had to stop their conversation, their night, their plans, to address the disturbance. It’s a wonderful play with the viewer, a sort of dance of trying to remain passive but actively wanting to engage. The woman (and some men) may not always be looking you in the eye, but they know you are there, and they are not here to perform for you. —Evan Pricco

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