LIQUID TRANSCENDENCE

 

Year: 2016. – present

Dimensions: 40cm x 50cm

Technique: Ink jet print

English:

Liquid Transcendence, (2016 – now)

The photography series Liquid Transcendence can be read through a couple of different aspects. By photographing almost identical photographs where the main difference is the location, I explore my own animalistic nature, different acts of release, tribal rituals, as well as vandalism and “inappropriate” public behavior.

“Liquid Transcendence is a work in progress. The author, with a hint of irony, instead of tourist photographs from travels, brings photographs of roads and paths, always with a double urine stain in the central part of the composition. The location and date, apart from being in the name of the photographs, are completely irrelevant, the photographed place is deprived of its identity, but at the same time represents a territory marked in an almost animalistic way. Urinating is an act of vandalism at the same time – in the sense of coming back to one’s primary urges and as an act of release or relief. In this context, that act symbolizes a breakthrough out of the restrictive, socially conditioned, being untethered and acting on a natural impulse, but also is an interesting visual image.”[1]

It is also important to mention that the act of urination in society and art went through interesting changes throughout history. In a 16th century painting by Lorenzo Lotto, Venus and Cupid, we can see Venus lying down while Cupid is standing next to her and urinating on her genitals. In this case, urine is a replacement for semen and symbolizes fertility. During that time, urination was a symbol of transformation, fertility, even something holy and magical. In the 19th century, after public toilets came about, urination becomes a private act and as the result of that, artist use the act of urination in a more aggressive way because now urination has the power to shock and disrupt. For example, James Esnor, a 19th-century painter sends a message to his critics with the painting The Pisser, where he depicts a man who urinates on the wall that has “Ensor est un fou” (en. Ensor is a madman) written on it.

During the 1960’s, Vienna actionists go a step further and use urination in different performances that have the purpose of attacking current culture and society, especially conformism and materialism. Otto Muehl does his work Piss Action where he urinates in front of the audience, and later gets banished from Germany. Günter Brus and other Vienna actionists also include urination in their performances. During the 70s, depictions of urinating, like in the Robert Mapplethorpe photographs, speak about sexual freedom and fight against the injustice as a part of the LGBTQ movement at the time. Mapplethorpe’s depictions of urination, like Jim and Tom, Sausalito are particularly interesting because they present BDSM culture where urination is one of the fetishes and is often used in power games between a dominant and submissive partner. We can see something similar with Andres Serrano work Leo’s Fantasy (part of the History of Sex series), where an anonymous woman urinates in the mouth of a man. It is also important to mention Piss Christ, which was considered to be very controversial by some.

We can conclude that urination is a symbol of fighting against different types of oppression and redefining the boundaries and social norms, and that is certainly an important aspect of the Liquid Transcendence series. Although the act of urination is subtly shown, it is still very much present and symbolizes freedom through transcendence.

[1] Josipa Bubaš, Libertine exhibition catalog, Galerija Događanja, Zagreb

Croatian:

Serija fotografija Liquid Transcendence se može pročitati kroz nekoliko različitih aspekata. Fotografirajući kompozicijski gotovo identične fotografije kojima je jedina razlika mjesto fotografiranja, istražujem vlastitu animalnu prirodu, različite činove otpuštanja, plemenske rituale, te vandalizam i „neprimjereno“ ponašanje u javnom prostoru.

„Liquid Transcendence svojevrsni je rad u nastajanju. Autorica, s dozom ironije, umjesto turističkih fotografija sa  putovanja donosi fotografije ceste i putova, uvijek s dvostrukim mrljama od urina u centralnom dijelu kompozicije. Lokacija i datum, osim što su navedeni u nazivu fotografije, potpuno su nebitni, fotografirano mjesto lišeno je identiteta, no  istovremeno predstavlja gotovo animalno obilježeni teritorij. Uriniranje je istovremeno čin vandalizma – u smislu povratka primarnim nagonima i čin otpuštanja, olakšanja. U ovom kontekstu, taj čin simbolizira iskorak izvan restriktivnog, društveno uvjetovanog, čin nesputanosti prirodnog impulsa ali i zanimljivo likovno rješenje.“ [1]

Također je bitno spomenuti kako je čin uriniranja u društvu i umjetnosti doživio zanimljive promjene kroz povijest. U slici iz 16. stoljeća, Venera i Kupid, Lorenzo Lotto, možemo vidjeti Veneru kako leži dok Kupid stoji kraj nje i urinira po njenim genitalijama. U ovom slučaju je urin zamjena za muško sjeme i simbolizira plodnost. U to vrijeme, uriniranje je bilo simbol transformacije, plodnosti, čak i nečega što je sveto i magično. U 19. stoljeću, nakon što su se počeli pojavljivati javni wc-i, uriniranje postaje privatni čin i kao rezultat toga, umjetnici čin uriniranja počinju koristiti na jedan agresivniji način zato što sada uriniranje ima moć da šokira i remeti. Tako James Esnor, slikar iz 19. stoljeća odgovara svojim kritičarima s djelom The Pisser, gdje prikazuje čovjeka koji urinira po zidu na kojem piše „Ensor est un fou“ (hrv. Ensor je luđak).

1960-ih, bečki akcionisti odlaze korak dalje i koriste uriniranje kao dio različitih performansa kojima napadaju kulturu i društvo, ponajviše konformizam i materijalizam. Otto Muehl izvodi Piss Action gdje urinira pred publikom, a kasnije biva protjeran iz Njemačke. Günter Brus i drugi bečki akcionisti također inkorporiraju urniniranje u svoje performanse. Sedamdesetih, prikazi uriniranja u umjetnosti, kao u fotografijama Roberta Mapplethorpa govore o seksualnoj slobodi i bore se protiv nepravde kao dio LGBTQ pokreta koji je u to vrijeme uzeo maha. Mapplethorpovi prikazi uriniranja, kao što je Jim and Tom, Sausalito su posebno zanimljivi zato što prikazuju BDSM kulturu gdje je uriniranje jedan od fetiša te često se koristi u igrama moći između dominantnog i submisivnog partnera. Nešto slično možemo vidjeti i kod Andres Serrana, u Leova Fantazija (dio njegove serije Povijest Seksa) gdje anonimna žena urinira u usta muškarca. A bitno je spomenuti i Popišanog Krista od Serrana kojeg su mnogi smatrali iznimno kontroverznim.

Stoga možemo zaključiti kako je uriniranje simbol borbe protiv različitih opresija i pomicanja društvenih normi, a to je bitan aspekt serije Liquid Transcendence. Iako je čin uriniranja vrlo suptilno prikazan, on i dalje vrlo prisutan i predstavlja slobodu kroz transcendentnost.

[1] Josipa Bubaš, Tekst za katalog izložbe Libertine u Galeriji Događanja, Zagreb, 2018.

POPUP EXHIBITION OPENING – STORY OF THE “I”

SOLO EXHIBITION “LIBERTINE” (Galerija Događanja, Zagreb 2018)

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