A very agile director of the Art Gallery in Split, Branko Franceschi continues in progressive style: Gallery presents two contemplative artists – Damir Babic and Mirjana Vodopija. To paraphrase curators Stipsic-Vukovic and Krpasic, Nature and Cosmos serve the artists only as an inspiration to record the other, thought and spiritual states, thinking about the core values and the meaning of human existence, which are often triggered by intense experiences of nature, as an “ecology of the spirit” and “cosmic symbolism”. (29.09. – 25.10.2015.)
Damir Babic exhibits his opus/cycle “Where silence begins?” (2010-2015). After the forest landscapes from the cycle “Who expelled the silence? Hearts vein” he painted three separated forest landscapes (“Are decisions really taken within the mind”, “Everything is the way it has to be”and “What happens in the space of possible reversal?”), while the third cycle relates to the whole landscape of the sea. Nature serves to Babic only as an inspiration to record the other, thought and spiritual states, thinking about the core values and the meaning of human existence, which are often triggered by intense experiences of nature.
Damir Babic falls into the small but special class of artists who deal with “ecology of the spirit”, in that group of artists who are not offered consolation placebo to decrease the feeling of having no perspective of existence, but their creation embodies the hope of a happier existence. In his “search for the miraculous” (Uspenski), he offers us a meditative polygons, leaving a strong impression of pulsating energy and the knowledge that at the present time, when a person is preoccupied with material values, there is a spiritual sphere.
Mirjana Vodopija was born in Zagreb in 1963. She graduated in 1987 at the graphic department of the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb, in the class of Professor Miroslav Sutej. Since 2007 she has worked at the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb, currently as associate professor, where since 2012 she has served as vice dean for education and students. He lives and works in Zagreb.
In determining the aesthetic starting points of creativity Mirjana Vodopija often emphasizes the focus of the works on research design and the possibility of autonomous artistic medium. This concept of art includes the exploration and questioning of art, movement within its immanent possibilities, without reference to the socio-political context or even the sphere of everyday life. But the author is deeply involved in existential themes, as she refers precisely to what makes us human – it is the sphere of questioning the possibility of seeing, feeling, imagination, thinking. Is that not the true area of human existence, the art of comfort and hope, the expanded vision? In her works Mirjana Vodopija finds cosmic symbolism, universal themes that connect us and unite, encourages contemplation.
Awakening the elementary level of reality and our consciousness, looking at the perception and experience to their sources, the feeling of being, presence of lighting – these are the quiet basics of Mirjana Vodopija, she always returns to in her art. Great photo prints, video projections and environments provide a rich and complex visual experience, encouraging the active involvement of the viewer rather than passive viewing, invoking powerful emotional and spiritual experience. Thus the permanent artistic task is realised – make things visible, touch the aura of the contemporary.
(Kornelia Krpacic, the text in the exhibition catalog)
Curator: Kornelia Krpacic
(Translation by Media-Via)