Recycling Conscience (Consciousness)

Ivanka Vana Prelević
August 23rd - 30th, 2012 > Opening August 23rd, at 19h

The exhibition at the Belgrade O3ONE Gallery is bringing together the works of Ivanka Vana Prelević from her series: Paralactic Landscapes (2004), Paralactic Landscapes (2008), Shadow Reflection (2009), and Flags (2010).

The common idea of these series is the visual expression based on artistic refinement and the concept of open and outstanding environmental and social commitment.

The works of Ivanka Vana Prelević exhibited as part of the project Recycling Conscience (Consciousness), represent a turning point compared to her previous preoccupations but they also keep a part of the artistic sensibility present in her earlier, more intimate works. Through a series of objects, the artist builds up a discourse on a highly current issue – the relation to ecology – through which she enters the sphere of socially engaged art. Unlike other artists who are completely absorbed by commenting on social circumstances, Vana Prelević does not subordinate the work’s aesthetic function to social engagement. These works show the effects of experiences acquired through her being engaged in applied arts and stage design.

Environmental engagements of artists have been present and known in the art world since the moment our planet, due to uncivilized human behavior, became endangered. The subject of ecology has become a priority to such an extent that it is not considered anymore in its primary meaning but is experienced as a disease of conscience of modern society.

Evident is the hypocrisy of attitudes towards ecology in Montenegro as well as beyond: on one hand there is the omnipresent rhetoric about the “ecological state”, “pearls of nature”, “tourist paradise”, “wild beauty”, and on the other hand visible are countless examples of pollution, neglect, unnecessary exploitation of nature, lack of basic public awareness, destruction of natural resources in pursuit of profit which makes the care for ecology appear merely as phrases and words on paper. The artist has an ironic approach to ecology and sets images of flora and fauna elements, landscapes side by side to symbols of pollution and destruction of nature. That contrast is the idea which connects these works into a well-thought-out exhibition entirety: the photographs by Lazar Pejović, which represent some of the most famous landscapes of Montenegro, are printed on vacuum cleaner dust bags; surgical masks with applied images of plants and insects are connected in a web; plastic bags, which are tied to rubber boots with red, are used to project images of landscapes…

How and in what manner can an artist help and contribute to the struggle for recovery and rescue of the global homeland? The selected procédé of Ivanka Vana Prelević entitled Recycling Conscience (Consciousness) directly refers to the only possible answer of an upset individual.

A critical attitude towards the informative system which reveals or blurs the truth makes sense if it is focussed on the awakening of our conscience and raising our consciousness to the level of harmonization of the individual and the collective.

The attitudes presented can be read from Vana’s visual language and cannot be completely translated into a verbal expression. However, one can sense the powerful ethical and aesthetic effect of the artworks exhibited which are carried out in extended media.

Installations, objects, ready-made, colleges create a natural environment. When this is organized and conceptualized with a profiled artistic attitude it gains in outstanding credibility and power.

Such are the ambients of Ivanka Vana Prelević.

Natalija Cerović