Alkatraz Gallery, Ljubljana: Eve’s Second Nature

Nataša Ribič Štefanec

Eve's Second Nature

29. May – 21. June 2013

Nataša Ribič Štefanec, Jezni otrok

Alkatraz Gallery kindly invites You to the opening of the exhibition: Eve's Second Nature by Nataša Ribič Štefanec, on Wednesday, 29th May, at 8pm at Alkatraz Gallery, ACC Metelkova Mesto.

Nataša Ribič Štefanec, who knows very well how to find her way round the drawing and graphics disciplines, is, at the Alkatraz Gallery, presenting to us a cycle of her latest paintings. The canvases are filled with faces of women, encompassing all the power of the portrait expressivity, and partially also of the figuration. The distinguishing features of the portrayed women’s characters stand out from the images – ranging from youngsters’ to elderly women’s faces. Topic-wise the author touches frustrations, mental conflicts, the questions of life and death, dysfunctional relations, growing up, integration and non-integration in a social system, etc.

The portraits that she paints represent a kind of spiritualized animations of a female face, reduced to the very nature it represents. The topics that she depicts relate to the entrapment and the tempo of the existence here and now.

The female painter attempts to depict all these in a simple, caricatural, understandable-to-the-eye manner, with a tinge of humour and irony. Eve’s Second Nature as a series, therefore reveals the dark side of us, that which is hidden to the eyes, that we do not like to face. That’s why she has consciously decided for a stylisation of portraits, humorous exaggeration, and disproportions of the portrayed ones …, all with the intention to de-taboo the mental conditions that we, human beings, do not like much.

The exhibition Eve’s Second Nature can be understood in a Greenbergian notion as an antipode to the real, unconscious in the Freudian manner. The artist therefore unveils the absurdities of today’s existence and Being in front of our eyes, where we are often the prisoners of our own life absurdities. Today, a human being has lost her/his own individuality, ever more resembling a number, or in the best case a computer file. There is no end to this path of identity constitution; it always ends up in chaos, caused by man himself. The artist has explored the absurdity and grotesqueness of the human Being, in this case a female, already in her artistic project entitled ‘Happy New Year’, painting-wise upgraded at the present exhibition. “Being is the nearest. Yet the near remains farthest from the human being.“ (Martin Heidegger) To transform remoteness into closeness is the task of art; to change absence into presence in a way which never reveals its finality.

The exhibition Eve’s Second Nature reveals to us the »passion of real«, where re-location occurs when we come too close to the desired object, as this attraction turns into travesty and grotesqueness of the human Being. The painting is composed of stories as well as the description of what was experienced in time. Without time passing, no story can be told, and it is exactly at this point that an absurd situation emerges – the pictures are frozen in a moment. However, it is exactly the fictitious inability that opens a new world, originating from the interpretation of the viewer, the one who is always actively engaged in the interpretation of the story, concealed beyond the logic of the strictly visible world.

Jadranka Plut

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