December 1st - 10th, 2017 > Koče Popovića 9
Gently, but also thoughtfully, by observing the overall atmosphere of the Earth’s globe and living world, academic painter Marija Maša Jovanović rounds off cycles belonging to her author’s project “The Extinguishing World”. In exploring her artistic expression, with a decent dialogue of black and colored ink, that is, classic drawing and transparent aquarelle effects, she builds drawings, in addition to monumental proportions composed of equal segments of the global form. These fragments, on their own, but also united as a whole, correspond with archetypal performances that recall the eternal mythical projections of the Earth Heaven, presented through all the epochs and cultures that have reached a high civilization level in the world’s history. Since we living under the pressure of globalism that, on the one hand, offers pseudo-equality, the availability of information to everyone and everywhere on this planet, instead influencing the growth of cultural emancipation, it happens opposite, destroying of the individuality, natural and social milieu and ultimately, the most delicate – subtle connections and balance between the world of man and animal is destroying. One of the contrasts of the modern age is also the presence of ecological activism campaigns and the promotion of artificial park projects in which the grass is replaced by plastic and instead of natural canopy shade, which is replaced by artificial ones. By defining the challenge of achieving material values, the humankind at the same time deepened the barely bridging gap with nature and in the outcome – with ourselves as the part of nature. The era of climate change, extremely aggressive politics, which created recent wars and the true reason for human migration. It is as entire cities and villages are moving somewhere for something far enough, where they will “live” free from misery, fear, and lack of the future. In essence, the eradication from the natural and social environment leads to even stronger estrangement and a carefully designed downfall of humankind. In the focus of her cycle “Arcadia”, Marija Maša Jovanović sets the fauna of exotic landscapes – lemurs, zebras, elephants, giraffes, implicating the insensitivity of the humankind to the drama of own exitance and the vulnerability of the “Other” both spatially and ethnically distant. Works like Colonies, Migrations, Zebras, Requiem for Elephants metaphorically points to the migrations of the living world due to the difficult living conditions and human destructive activities that lead to the absolute destruction of the certain species.
When she shows the multitude of animals of one kind, the artist doesn’t suggest to drama or to the feeling of horror through an art representation, but only by tracking shapes and colors, which express her empathy by conveying it withdrawing action that doesn’t tend to the actualization of certain segments of the picture – but only by tracking shapes and colors. Performances, or more precisely, chimeras of animals do not confront. In the individual displays of figures, in the acts of Zebra, No Mans Land, the African Elephant, the Solitude, and the Per Aspera ad Astra, it looks like one animal speaks in the name of entire species, raising ahead towards the Creator, looking for solution beyond Nature, hoping for better, maybe for the big return of Heaven.
The absence of the human figure on the artist’s drawings indicates that we don’t belong in some parts of the planet and that we are the cause of the “unfortunate accident”. The pictures of the Zebra in Arcadia goes even further, alluding to the metaphor of the relationship between man and woman for which the separation is the only constant. A man is presenting the victim of an aggressive process of self-destruction. Even when we are dreaming of some kind of “our own Arcadia”, the fear of finding happiness and its possible loss makes us more lonely and distant from the “others”. Maša Jovanović through the authentic “patchwork” formulation suggests that the beings are fragmented and disoriented, made by the will of some unknown Creator, without the internal trigger.
The visual metaphor is crystal clear. Nevertheless, the Arcadium cycle is an artistic chimera, that is, an ideal projection of resolving the contradiction. Because of its absolute harmony, magical and surreal at the same time isn’t this “personal Arcadia” the embodiment of one of the most important purposes of art, the transfer from banal to magical, imaginary, eternally happy file of the lost Paradise!?
curator, Historian of Art
Marija Maša Jovanović (1983)