Coherence of The Moment
Nina Šperanda knows that Landscape recognizes Memory. The recognition of reality is left to the the fragile touch of transparent foil. Relationships controlled by the power of memory. The author allows the Motive to become blurred. Positive and negative as an equilibrium of values. The light becomes an ally. Shadows appear. The clear path mists over. It is unclear if shadow or form takes precedence.
In her project, the artist, Nina Šperanda presents an exhibitionary chain of seven multi-part compositions and one video [record]. Each work consists of two photographs and a written record. It is obvious at first glance that the elements aren’t randomly chosen and that the observer must immerse herself in this artistic musing. The pieces of this exhibition demand an effort on the observer’s part. This cycle of work is no easy read. Elements captured by the author’s slide bear the markings of confessionary sincerity. The author turns the motives before us into atypical clusters of meaning.
The poeticness of the graphite writings in tandem with the records made in light, left to the landscape or the body, seduce the artist. She uses them to intervene, searching for meaning without and within herself. Impressiveness and sensitivity accentuated by modes of simple action: aligning frames with written form. Relying on remembrance and the courage of confession, the author evokes the links between memory and location. The memory of a location causes pain. Memory, a companion to pain upon its great sojourn. Or rather - does pain influence/define the localities remembered? Leaving the question of Time, and how it affects the pain. Does pain lose strength over time, or do we simply become accustomed to it? The artist comes to understand, that the spareness of choice better satisfies the immediate- pulling one over on Time. Irresolution takes a toll. Insecurity delays decision. The thought of the distant and yearned-for, remains a gossamer dream. The torrent of existence hijacking our Self. Only at times recognized as a hint of identity. A sign, that one day, we might land somewhere, happy. The path of introspection and finding one’s Self is indeed long and brambled. Many remember their youth as a time of turbulent growth, trying to be “their own person”. A daunting task presents itself before young people trying to conform to the shape and form desired or expected from them by their surroundings. Often the extent of upbringing, by good or bad parents alike, is restrictions and parables of compromise.
Bearing her own baggage of memory, Nina Šperanda, peers into painful sentiment. Dark clouds induce a hazy shrouding. The transparent foil becomes a field of recognition for the inner state. Pain is present on the foil-covered nipple and the penetration of light through the forest canopy. The pain of growing is evident in the worn wooden floors and the rickety chair, as well as the naked form wrapped in foil. The spasm of insecurity is captured in a coil of synthetic material snaking around the willow tree and the coiled body in fear of predetermination. New blades of grass grow from the leaning body. Its innocence obverse to the nude form. A technological crucifix, challenging dogma. The transference of matter initiating the female crucifixion. The integration of complementing opposites and the journal-like writing induces the formation of the art object itself, inner-world logic combining the separate parts into a whole. Shrouding the rough material of the body itself, other, more subtle realities are hinted at. Leaving the work of art without cause, only the power of effect.
A segmented chain leads us into a surprising perceptive state binding us to this chain, using our own impressions - drawing us into the discovery of inner turmoil. The work leaves us questioning and seeking answers, immersing us in the author’s narrative. The pieces show, but do not talk of specifics. A commentary, a suggestion of what might be, rather than firmly setting what is. Even slightly gossiping, retelling the experienced. Telling us of what was, and more of what could be. An installation of photography and graphite devoid of heroic, idealistic or aristocratic connotations. A project that is based on very personal, rather than general situations. The Artist transforming the Personal into Archetypes.
The “White Cube” space, usually an independent space, separated from outside factors is also used by the author in tandem with her personal fascinations in the selected frames. Associative situations, captured by photos and brought to light in a gallery setting. The boundaries or neutrality of each space is tested by the artist by leading them into each other. One real, the other surreal. One has qualities of captured moments and the other is a laboratory. Guided by the desire of giving sense to the ephemeral, combining set-up photos with casual and accidental motifs of objects and landscape. The scenes complement one another and create a sense of drama.
The confusing text next to the photos is only such at first glance. It’s scraps and parts of the author’s diary. She transfers them from her journal and lays them bare for the observer onto the gallery walls themselves. Subjecting the “White Cube” to the personal and intrinsic once more.
Nina’s documentary confessional cycle seems to be made in one breath. A string of surrealistic images bears a uniquely familiar ID code: the inbuilt experience of the author. The nature of the motifs reveal themselves in the sequence, and present the artist as a sensitive participant. Nina Šperanda, like a seismograph, registers her stance and relationship with that without. Mercilessly marking psychological moments, she speaks of herself. Her liberty of expression, gives us a testament and invites us to witness personal truths and doubt the well-established and proper.
Nina makes corporeality congruent with the landscape. In our memories, the familiar places often stand for a sense of peace and security that we once felt, but just seemingly so. With time we realize it is not true shape and form but an open, empty frame - for we have passed through it already. And so we come to know that personal space always travels with us. Taking the nomadic approach, relieves us of the need to be defined. The project itself builds around metaphoric locations. The difference in motifs represents a freedom that comes from not being bound by a defined space. With this crux, the story begins and comes to an end. A deep breath of anticipation. A calm before the storm. Time demands new spaces, but does not pass by counting years and minutes. It is but a part of the change itself. The inarticulation of things imposed and demanded of us to respect, is turned into a lie. The beauty is in the peace that comes upon us completely after a struggle.
Although autobiographical in nature, this is indeed a mature and well thought-out project. A union of sincerity, supreme poeticism and Craft. The author offers us her musings of evaluating things based solely upon shape and general meaning. She breaks tradition with a transmission of value of insight and the motif in her focus. The seriousness of the end-result more than hints at a thought out strategy. Nina Šperanda addresses the observer from an instinctual plane. She makes us witnesses, letting us come very close to the nexus of her experience. She uses the usual social interaction between artist and observer, the exhibition, as a confessional and as confrontational ground both.
A conceptual, visual primal scream.
Spontaneous doing resulting in an honest piece of art. Some elements of the work seem almost regressive. As Hesse says:“Loneliness is the way by which destiny endeavors to lead man to himself.”
KALEIDOSCOPE OF DREAMS
In my work I have always been interested in subconscious and imaginative as I consider this to be the essence and basis for any act of creation regardless of its social, political or critical motive and orientation. This stimulus is an elusive element which artists and art historians tried to capture for centuries, since the birth of the conscious thought. Through the creation of my previous works I have been consistently using self-portrait and auto-reference because we all perceive the world around us through our own prism and that is the only way of representing my vision of the world that surrounds us. I used my body as an aesthetic element of my photographs but in this series that auto-reference transcends to a different level, to the subconscious one, as I am trying to create a kind of “mental self portrait”, a reflection of a dreamlike vision.
This work was deeply influenced by the aesthetic of surrealism, psychoanalysis and cinema, also the artistic experiments from authors like Magritte, Dalí and Buñuel. Dreams are the core of different psychological interpretations and subject of many surrealist works. But there is an important biographical fact which combined with these influences and was the overriding stimulus for creation of these photographs. My consistent sleep deprivation and problems with insomnia triggered the formation of this artificial dream sequence. I was trying to find a substitute for “real” dreams, as if I was creating an “alchemical experiment”, a “potion” that will, if not, cure insomnia at least play the role of an adequate substitute.
By the cinematographic and photographic means of expression and by interchanging the faceless figures with the fragments of the space I tried to depict to the viewer the experience of a lucid dream. Technically, I used digital technology supported by an old Meopta’s Flexaret camera mat focusing board (the TTV technique) which played the part of “projection canvas” for the scenes I constructed in front of the lens and made them more somnolent. These dream sections are representing fragments of memories, vague visions of faceless characters and spaces which we encounter; they are symbols of unconscious fluctuations of the human mind. They are reminiscences of the day, of the childhood and our short-term memory. I wanted to explore, to “capture” that elusive déjà vú moment in which everything we see and experience seems so familiar. As we already lived through that same scenario. Although strange and uncanny, we are aware of the “freshness” and actuality of the experienced and through our eclectic memory we find adequate interpretations. By re-examination of pragmatic experiences and by subtle play with spectators’ senses, I wanted to explore the mechanisms of the human sub-consciousness and make them read through the layers of their personality. By invoking subconscious currents we might find the underlying pattern in this random and accidental imagery.
This body of work offers insight in just one possible dream version, a scenario subordinated to changes... It is without possessor, it floats freely throughout the hypnotic universe of reveries. Maybe this time it is mine, some other time it will be yours, somebody’s, everybody’s...
Nina Šperanda, IV. 2010.