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P74 Gallery

Isidora Todorić / Inja Bauman

9 February – 2 March 2021
P74 Gallery

>exhibition view @P74 Gallery

Isidora Todorić: In Some Places

The exhibition In Some Places is the first presentation of the work of Isidora Todorić, a representative of the youngest generation of visual artists. Her works are accompanied by a constant questioning of the (ontological) status of art. Perhaps her constant change of media and the various forms of materiality she exploits are also directly related to her self-questioning about the status and identity of the work of art.

Her works, especially the latest projects, can be understood in terms of content in the context of specific issues (e.g., ecology), but the pieces are not directly engaged or critical. She asks herself questions to which she has no answers, and she is all the time accompanied by her contemplations on the purpose of artistic activity. The final form of the creative process is often seemingly simple, ordinary, or as a reproduction of models of relations present in everyday life and reality. The early work White (2017/18) is an eloquent example of dealing with the medium of painting and materiality. It consists of white canvas dipped in white paint. What is a painting? The basic combination of the two materials that make it up – canvas and paint. Before we combine them, they are fluid, flexible, and then they become a solid object. Wet and coloured canvas was exposed in different ways, in different final forms. All give the impression of softness and emphasize the fluidity of the material. Exteriors (2017/18) is a project that can be placed on the transition between dealing with the media itself and opening up broader issues. It is about sculptures, objects of irregular shapes made of masonry plaster. These are casts of the interior of cracks that appear in the ground. On these casts, the author left the soil that remained on them during extraction. Under the right conditions, plants can grow on these sculptures, turning them into an active, living organism. From this point on, Isidora Todorić is intensively devoted to mapping spaces, or documenting nature (plants) in selected spaces in her works. She puts herself in the role of an observer. Just as in the beginning she observed mainly the medium and its laws, now she observes space and its specifics. She selects and archives what she finds worth preserving. In her latest project, Herbarium (2020), she creates an archive of the life of the third landscape – she collects plants that grow in spaces that are excluded from the human community and inhabited by nature (for example, a construction pit). In doing so, she also observes herself in the role of the artist and what her gestures, made in the context of art, mean. How can we translate everyday activities into art and how do they affect the real, in themselves or in the context of art, if at all? She is interested in the ways in which she can, through systematic documentation, collect what has the potential to later turn out to be the only possible reference to something that was an (artistic) activity or an (artistic) intervention in everyday life.

Isidora Todorić (1995, Ljubljana) completed her undergraduate studies at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Ljubljana, at the Department of Painting, course of Video and New Media. She also studied at the Political School for Artists, BLOK, Zagreb (2018), Creative Critical Laboratory: Feminist Theories and Practices, Academy of Fine Arts, Zagreb (2018), 10. Curatorial Platform: Performative Case Studies, KNAP, Zagreb (2018), Kunst Marx Seminar, Academy of Fine Arts and Design, Ljubljana (2019). She participated in the 2nd International Student Biennial, Osijek (2017), where she received the first award, and in the exhibition of the award-winning works of the 2nd International Student Biennial, Zagreb (2018).

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Inja Bauman: A Quiet Expression of Being

Inja Bauman belongs to the youngest generation of visual artists and the exhibition in the P74 Gallery is the first presentation of her artistic work. The majority of her works are created on canvas, using assemblage, watercolours and pastel. She pays great attention to the selection of material, as it is closely related to the content. The author expresses concern for nature, she approaches it in a personal, even spiritual way.

Most of Inja Bauman’s paintings are created on raw linen which gives them a special organic undertone. She uses natural pigments, linseed oil, and clay. The main building blocks of relief paintings are various elements she picks up from the forest ground. She later combines these with recycled and/or manufactured materials that act as a counterweight. In the painting Preserve the Ice Land (2020), we see arranged cones and bark on the canvas to which a knitted wreath and colourful nets containing bird food are added. The cones are surrounded by a simple drawing, minimal strokes indicating wings and turning the cone into an insect body. The pieces of bark, sewn on the white-painted surface, become human in a similar way, and the net becomes a fishing net. We associate lace in the shape of a bear and a penguin with the title of the work and the issue of global warming.

What initially looks like a playful, minimalist, and abstract image develops into a story illustration through closer observation. The work Shine of a Mist in a Flower (2018) includes, in addition to natural materials, the paper flowers on wire, glass-wire beads, a bird made of paper and polyvinyl. The gesture of priming the canvas, sewing on it, folding paper in the origami technique, weaving a wreath and stringing beads shows a special affinity for handicrafts and the material itself. Gathering in the forest and investing in handicrafts – the author makes the lace herself – can be understood as a gesture of attention, care, even love that accompanies her creative process. We sense meditativeness, the process of healing, cleansing oneself and, above all, the earth.

Circular shapes are often seen in Inja Bauman’s paintings and drawings. The circle is an old, semantically rich symbol that represents unity, perfection, the universe, balance, wholeness. Marko Pogačnik is the central Slovene reference in contemporary art who is intensively involved in the healing of the Earth in his projects. He sets up geopuncture circles in stone which are supposed to balance the energy flow of space and develop a dialogue between man and the Earth. It is also interesting to compare the shape of the collected pieces of bark in Inja Bauman’s paintings with stone sculptures which are an integral part of Marko Pogačnik’s geopuncture circles. In both cases, these elements represent guardians of nature.

Inja Bauman (1994, Maribor) completed her first level of painting studies at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Ljubljana, where she continues her studies. She mostly creates in the medium of painting, but also deals with drawing, illustration, video, ceramics, and creates Artist Books. She is interested in nature protection, preservation of culture and art as therapy.