Kindly invited to the opening of the exhibition "Happiness in Nikšić" by Jasmina Grudnik, on Monday, 31st March, at 8pm, at the Alkatraz Gallery. The exhibition is curated by Anabel Černohorski. The guided tour (in Slovene) will be held on Thursday, 19th April, at 7 pm.
In her work Jasmina Grudnik engages in memory, past moments and the time, inevitably related to (self) reflection. In her work Happiness In Nikšić she is trying to transfer the moment, captured during her travelling in Montenegro into the Alkatraz Gallery – the moment of some sunlit summer day in 2015. It's one of those moments when we are completely overwhelmed with bliss and contentment, a moment in which we would just love to press an imaginary button and stop the time.
Her eyes – capturing the sceneries like a camera – and documenting them in as drawings in her sketchbook. It’s the drawings that later on arouse in her the feelings of those moments and being one of the sources for the spatial placement in the gallery they represent an additional bond with the original experience.
A human being does not observe only with eyes, but engages in it the entire body: the warm air on the day felt on the skin, the odour of tobacco, rakija liquor, dry leaves, and something more that we cannot exactly spell out. The ear catches the sounds of a kafana (a local, traditional inn or café in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Serbia), where people rejoice; chatting about their daily chores, telling each other stories, singing old, traditional folk songs sucks them into a moment in which they get lost, a moment of aloofness from the world, the moment she denominates: »the moment of happiness«. Her look through the window is attracted by the trees along an avenue fading in the light. In this very moment of rapture she lifts herself up above the trees, steps out of herself and immerses into it – she simply is. She becomes aware that she is, in this very moment – by some invisible ties – allied to the space, people, nature, the time, giving meaning one another.
When the artist sets off, leaving Nikšić for the Montenegro coast, the sea, she is – during the coach journey – still experiencing and simultaneously reflecting on the experienced. The feeling of a kafana is somewhat intensifying. The familiar feeling of melancholy emerges. It’s pleasantly painful, reminding us that each beginning already bears within its end, and that after each moment a new one follows, another one that will slip away any time and give way to yet another new one, and that at the end, we are left with an assembled succession of moments we call life.
The artwork Happiness in Nikšić is an attempt to capture a piece of life and show its fluidity. It’s about a reflection of the world, as is forwarded to us by the artist, and in the way she herself has experienced it. Restriction to one single medium or dimension is not sufficient for the communication of something as complex as perception of the world around us and the emotions that the environment provokes in each individual in a specific moment, therefore she is trying to set her experience into a space. Her utilization of drawings on translucent paper and the brightness of the light shining through singular artworks of the spatial placement allude to the immateriality, intangibleness of the content that the artwork expresses and is trying to show, despite huge reluctance. Her placement consists of a sequence of singular drawings on translucent paper, symbolizing the fleetness of moments, replacing one another, and moving from the lowest point in the (gallery) space up to the heights and continuing their voyage beyond the frames of the visible.
There’s nothing about telling big stories, as life is composed of a multitude of moments, packed with feelings, haunting us, delighting us, saddening us – but most of all – enriching us! The meaning of life is inherent in each of them.
Jasmina Grudnik (1989) is currently completing a master's degree in painting under the supervision of Asst. Prof. Zora Stančič MA and Assoc. Prof. Žiga Kariž MA at Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Ljubljana.
Her work has been presented in several group and solo exhibitions at home and abroad: in February this year at Kino Šiška (solo exhibition entitled TEŠ), in March at the Historical Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Sarajevo. In 2014 she exhibited at the International Graphic Triennial in Belgrade and Media Nox Gallery in Maribor (solo exhibition entitled Jovana). In 2015 she participated in the 3rd Triennial of Young Artists in Celje, in Graphic Spring at the Museum of Modern Art in Maribor and Centre of Graphic Arts and at the exhibition held at the Academy of Fine Arts in Sarajevo. From 2014 she works as a set designer (cooperation with Academy for Theatre, Radio, Film and Television in King Lear theatre performance at Cankar Hall, Ljubljana).
Translation from Slovene: Lili Anamarija No.
Photos from the opening: Sunčan Stone.