HUMAN FALL, solo exhibition by Kristina Pirković, curated by Biljana Jotić, April 2018, ArtforAll gallery, Belgrade
In April 2018, at the Art for All Gallery, Biljana Jotic, an art historian, opened an exhibition of drawings by a young artist with a suggestive expression and an epochal theme, Kristina Pirkovic. Being acquainted with the work and thematic preoccupation raises the question of whether the Fall of Man happened at a certain time or does it constantly happen when a man succumbs to his weaknesses ?, asked Biljana Jotic, who is also the author of the text in the catalog:
After only a short period of acquaintance with Kristina Pirković and her works, and given her short life experience, I am intensely asked what is the thing that makes her work so powerful? In the process of observing and thinking, thoughts lead me to the fact that it primarily has a need for art, visible not only in expressive sense but also in cognition. When dedication and focus, expressive sensibility and tireless work are added to this fact, then the digested feelings transposed into artistic expression surely cannot leave the viewer indifferent. In this unrest, stemming from expressive sensibility that implies cognitive curiosity, we can find the first characteristics of her artistic personality. Suggestiveness is what we perceive as strong, a trait that arose from the continuous confrontation with truth, the struggle of the subjective creator and witness of the objective world and reality, synthesizing the problems of human nature.
For almost two decades in the 21st century, a time with the prefix post in all domains of social, technological, industrial, scientific and cultural achievements, the continuous struggle of the present between the past and the future, between the virtual and the real, the production of subjects of society and individuals, the global and internal in general local character, deconstruction of the system and construction of the individual, spirit and matter. Within this time frame, Christine’s artistic personality matures, defying the numerous discoveries of humanity that she is indifferent to, focusing on nostalgia for the spiritual, striving to discover the distant reasons for the spiritual decline of man with all the accompanying human traits. It is no wonder, then, that in her artistic compositions, everything flashes in the vivid struggle of permeating reality and clashing with original feelings and inner need for virtue.
In this youthful fighting spirit we can find the need for epochal themes, as is the case with the title of this exhibition The Fall of the Man, whose theme is the backbone of the verse of Danil Kisch, Psalm 44: “Each one at least added nails …” and formal visual quotes from the Christian history of the sufferings of Christ after the judgment of Pontius Pilate, pointing to the problems of condemnation, guilt, distress, sacrifice, suffering, the sense of pain and the problem of responsibility. Symbolic drama is enhanced by the presence of a decapitated dove and individual scenes in scenes, such as in the work of Ponitius Pilate and the Jew’s pointed finger, then in the Scene of Pontius Pilate with Christ there is a noose, and the presence of figures of Renaissance masters (a character from Michelangelo’s Sibyl) and the like.
Although contemporary times are at odds with visual poetics, Christine’s artistic expression could be characterized by the poetics of magical (epic) fiction, focusing on content, form in the service of matter, and matter in the service of symbols of mental restlessness created by the fall of man. The artist deals with the epic theme in a specific way, the composition is characterized by an indifferent relation to space and time, live and twisted moves of a restless spirit in the service of narrative, and technical unity in the synthesis of immediate emotion visible in a spliced move and intellectual conformity with the whole of the composition. The works produced for this exhibition show the maturation of the expression in a more refined form and color, which leads to better communication with the observer.
The comparative method in art criticism can be manipulative and ungrateful for interpreting artistic individuality, but if it were to look for echoes in Christine’s art, they would be primarily contained in matter filled with a sense of spiritual restlessness expressed in the visual elements of various poetics, from the post-impressionist Vincent Willem van Gogh. then the expressionist Chaïm Soutine and the modernist Anselm Kiefer, or in the domestic terrain of the Medial phenomenon, and I dare to go one step further to the Gothic dynamic. Motivational restlessness and internal necessity represent the boundary between rationalism and metaphysics, which defines Christine’s artistic expression as an echo of the restless metaphysical suggestiveness of the world and technical intelligence.