Tina Drčar: Head Through the Wall
You are kindly invited to the opening of the exhibition Head Through the Wall, by Tina Drčar. The opening will take place at the Alkatraz Gallery, ACC Metelkova mesto, on Friday, 25th October at 8 pm.
The exhibition entitled Head Through the Wall represents a retrospective of the creation of mural paintings of the artist Tina Drčar. Regardless of the formal gender equality, there are certain, strength-related things, still in the domain of men. Nevertheless, the female artist has gone ‘head through the wall’ and created monumental paintings; decorating buildings, roofs, and facades of the Autonomous Cultural Centre (ACC) Metelkova City.
In 2004 the artist graduated from the Arthouse - College of Visual Arts with her artwork Graffiti and Graffiti Painting with professors Marko Butina and Tanja Mastnak. For a decade she has been creating at and for the ACC Metelkova City. Tina’s studio - that she has renovated in the Hlev (Stables) building – is quite modest, yet just big enough for her to create and store her works in. When we enter into this intimate world of hers, we get a feeling we are entering into a Cabinet of Wonder where we find various objects, pictures, materials, and everything required for creating, arranged around the place. Her creative space offers her the opportunity for making art, for the realization of her conceptions and ideas. Her creations reflect the richness of her micro-cosmos, closely connected with the continuously changing and continuously uplifting of the urban integral artwork of ACC Metelkova City.
Tina’s (visual) artistic exploration/journey draws from the abundant historical treasury of graffiti art, street art, and mural painting. The characteristics of her works are flatness, emphasized contour lines as well as colourfulness, which can be linked to naïve art. The artist has discovered her painting interest very early, trying to invent the most adequate, fresh means of expression to convey her topics. In her images we can see the intertwining of socially-critical topics with impulses of the inner accompaniment of states and rational perceptions of space and time. Her images stem from a grotesque theatre that the artist transforms from the real life into her world of visual art.
For her, a painting is a means of communication to express her inner and outer vibrations, states and realizations, while releasing her deepest feelings. ACC Metelkova City has played a key role concerning the orientation of Tina’s painting; in her painting we can feel this urban pulsation and stimuli of the city, structuring the contemporary existential rhythm with its communicational criss-crossing.
The work, marking the beginning of the exploration of mural painting, is the painting of the atrium of the former Mala šola (Preschool), entitled Aquarium, and created at the time when the artist was working in a tandem with Bine Skrt. This painting also represents Tina’s degree thesis. In the mural Aquarium we can sense this uniform fusion of two creative worlds. The mystical and magical world of colours casts a spell upon the viewer, creating a mystical ambience, trapping the emotions that cannot be rationally interpreted, but only anticipated and intuitively perceived. The murals Dance of Death (Mrtvaški ples) on the building of Garage, Apocalypse, the roof of Gromka club, and the Stained Glass on the roof of the Stables building, were also created by the tandem. At the first exhibition of the tandem, entitled Blackandwhiteworld (Črnobelisvet), we could see painting-wise as well as colour-wise plentiful collages, grotesquely-caricaturized, humorous and witty artistic interpretations.
From the very beginning Tina has taken part in the project of Urban Projects of Visual Art (Urbani likovni projekti); artistic interventions on the buildings and public spaces of ACC Metelkova City. Almost all her public murals were created within the frame of this sequel: A Blanket from Šutka (Deka iz Šutke), Pavillon – Fan (Paviljon – Pahljača), Windmill Sail – Dragon’s Rose (Vetrnica - Zmajeva roža), The Fence of Rajc (Rajčeva ograja), Fireplace for Stane (Ognjišče za Staneta), and It Has Got a Bathroom (Kopalnico ima). It Has Got a Bathroom is a mural on the public toilet in the Stables building.
The murals Pavillon – Fan and Windmill Sail – Dragon’s Rose are her latest projects, created in 2013, in collaboration with Edvin Dobrilović and Rajko Miladić who contributed their work on the idea and the making of the metal construction. Pavillion - Fan is a painterly continuation of the project The Fence of Rajc with sign-like motifs, form-wise resembling the world of the drawings of Keith Haring. The concentration of power is found in the lines and geometrical patterns emphasizing the clarity of visual observation. In the patterns there is some sensible intertwining, and the line with all its simplicity creates signs and symbols; stylised forms, giving the impression of non-objectness. In the mural Windmill Sail – Dragon’s Rose the artist continues with colour ornamental patterns, so characteristic for the backgrounds of her pictures. It involves the principle of composing of singular ornamental units, repeating like in mosaic decorations. Tina has, with the vivid and sensually saturated colours, breathed life into the cold metal construction.
Blanket from Šutka was created in 2010 when Tina carried out a 3-month workshop with Roma children in Šutka in favour of the renovation of the Ramiz in Hamid primary school, Šuto Orizari, Skopje, Macedonia. There were stencils crated, and the children at the workshop created them themselves. The following year Tina used the stencils to graffiti the entire wall of the Pešci (Pedestrians) building. With all these public interventions we can notice that the artist has developed an exceptional feeling for connecting other artists and craftsmen, integrated in her projects in team work.
Tina Drčar transmits her artistic interpretation into other media; ranging from classic paintings to manufacturing of aesthetically useful objects such as a footstool, a table lamp from recycled material, used in the Svetlobna gverila (Light Guerrilla) project, and production of unique posters at the Defonia project.
Within the 14th International Feminist and Queer Festival in 2012 she exhibited a photographic installation for ten black and white photographs and the To Die for Life (Umreti za življenje) torso. Tina carried out the conceptual approach of the project, designed the costumes and scenery; the author of the photographs was Ilija Terah, and the torso was created by a sculptor Boštjan Novak.
The photographs act as journal entries of similar and repeating photographic motifs with Tina Drčar as the portraitee, where we find the cast of the artist’s torso standing at their side as their antipode. The photographs are fitted with golden-kitsch frames, intentionally creating a contrast between reality and what is beyond. All this is intensifying, provoking the feeling of grotesqueness in the viewer. In the photographs we can observe the transformation of her own body and awareness about herself. »Reality is elusive in photographs«, explains the author »but a fact is final, it’s about life!«
Tina remains loyal to the plenteous world of colours and forms. Her images, ornaments, are personally experienced and interpreted signs, the means for pronunciation of the painter’s phantoms, solving dilemmas, retrieving memories, they represent the place desire settles in, and the present transforms into. Simultaneously they belong to the speech of personal imagination and fantasy as the field of the imaginary, related to the social awareness, the collective body as the locus of images, composing cultures and their myths.1 These are the images that individual images of fiction, of the unconscious, of visions and dreams, that, taken in again, in cycles, return into the collective - are summoned from.
The retrospective exhibition at the Alkatraz Gallery wishes to expose Tina Drčar as an artist written with a capital A. With regards to the extensiveness of her opus she can be placed among the female artists that never lack either passion or ideas, and are driven by the will power and the desire for creation of new visual imaginaries. These are the distinctions of daring artists!
Photos form the opening: Sunčan P: Stone