The international exhibition of tapestries of dreams woven with desire and hemp called ‘The Female Thread’ will open on 25 May at 8.22 p.m. and will last until 12 June in Radionica in the Creative District – Radionica (location 11), BIRO (location 13), and Atelje 61 at the Petrovaradin Fortressas part of the Heroines programme arch. The working hours of the exhibition venue are every day from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
The exhibition will be opened by the world-famous artist Aiko Tezuka.
It is as if Arachne herself, whom Athena, jealous of her skill, turned into a spider doomed to weave forever, interfered when back in 1961 in Novi Sad a tapestry workshop was founded, ‘Atelje 61’, which is still the only institution of its kind in the region. Between then and today, the thread has become the bearer of the impulse around which the thought is amused by the search for numerous ways to solve the mystique of weaving. The threads of warps and wefts intertwine in many ways, creating a unique handmade work of art. The threads woven into the tapestry convey the thoughts of the artist, tell a story and tickle the imagination of the observer. They serve as a code or cypher. Thus, tapestry has crossed the path from functionality and interior decoration to an inspired way of creating and expressing yourself. It has undergone various changes and modifications, in order to become a modern, visual-aesthetic object, adapted to the times and way of life. The tapestries slowly stepped into space, without disturbing our experience, ‘left’ the surface of a wall and began a ‘conversation’ with us, the observers. Whether it is wool, hemp, cotton, wire, leather or plastic elements, with professional, meticulous work, ‘Penelopes from the fortress’ as well as the authors themselves, weaved a story, emotional, direct, full of strength and freshness. Inspiration with the matter, which is only a consequential product of the spiritual and contemplative in the artist’s aesthetics, is the ubiquitous constant that significantly defines the tapestry. Irrational, imaginary, intuitive, subconscious. The whole gives ‘authority’ to the detail, and the detail sacrifices its ‘autonomy’ in favour of the whole. That way one becomes all, and all one.
This multimedia exhibition, which problematises women’s creativity and the female principle in art, is not accidental. The works of artists of all generations, of various aesthetic and artistic sensibilities, as well as different artistic concepts and tactile qualities, are exhibited, presenting their creative achievements in the field of textiles, scenography, painting, and graphics.
Leonora Vekić opted for new tendencies in tapestry aimed at the ‘new key’ and the use of plastic material, which made the concept of tapestry extremely fluid. Exploring the mutual relationship between positive and negative space, her authorial work transformed space into a visible-invisible labyrinth. Her works are a synthesis of her attitude towards life, memory, female identity, status, and something that we carry within us, and are constantly looking for it.
The myths of the Balkans, mythical beings and their habitat in nature were the starting point for the motif of the sketch for the tapestry of Senka Ranosavljević, and the composition was created as a result of research and the relationship between valeur and planes. The atmosphere is as dominant as valeur, while the figures are in the fog and in the background, although it seems that the main motive for their position still hides their true meaning.
Does Ulrikka Mokdad, like Sigmund Freud, distinguish three factors in a person’s psychological structure? Along with the notions of the unconscious, censorship, repression, sublimation, and the hypothesis of the role of sexuality in human life form the framework of her view. On the one hand, it is a centre of rational awareness and effective activity, and a source of moral regulations and instructions on the other. In that situation, the ego seeks a way to bring these different pressures into harmony, so it satisfies some, and rejects others.
Tamara Jelača expresses tension, nervousness, pronounced emotional charge, and repressed or expressed anger by multiplying the motif of ‘The Mouth’. Her work is based on an idea that comes as a product of rethinking the things that surround her every day. It can be a headline in a newspaper, TV news, books, music, or a conversation with friends. But it is also about what preoccupies her from within – her personal feelings and experiences. As a textile artist, Tamara feels that textile materials and threads give her work the necessary texture and fullness of expression.
On the other hand, the effective yarn and golden thread of Dušanka Botunjac give her the opportunity to experience the motif again. For the artist, embroidery is a kind of meditation.
Ivana Kosanović‘s tapestry emphasises the female body as a central instance that alludes to a biologically determined norm viewed through the cultural values of society. By objectifying the subject, Ivy points out the problem of implementing one’s own identity in modern society, projecting the internal state in a divergent way – from the projection of one’s own expectations to the projections of society’s expectations.
Both as a person and as an artist, Milica Mrđa Kuzmanov was a woman of strong expression in an extremely traditional environment that didn’t favour artistic experiments, especially those performed by female artists. An artist who opposes false seriousness to unconventional, somewhat ludicrous, certainly subversive, excessive, experimental artistic practices. Her works are marked by the increasingly intense presence of performative procedures in which she begins to explore complex interrelationships: artist – art – society – myth – reality – consciousness – subconscious – past – present – future. Through the manic speed of execution, she reaches the labyrinth of ‘collective unconsciousness.
With spiritual eyes and ‘earthly’ hands, Maja Žižakov elaborates the leitmotif of her art, the Garden of Eden and the Spring of Life. It evokes peace, beauty and divine paradise, and reminds us of the eternal, omnipresent fear of transience and death, as well as many challenges and redemptions.
The artist, traveller and observer in Vera Zarić presents her experience of the world that surrounds us and that makes up our civilization. And in it, all the creatures of the Creator. So transient, and so eternal, small, and necessary in the chain of life. In Vera’s work, existence itself becomes a kind of journey. As the poetics of Gordana Šijački‘s personal, intimate approach and distinct colour travels, in a wide range from mosaics and paintings to tapestries…
Being an artist is a great responsibility, just like dealing with art in any of its interpretations. Through their expression, they actively reshape traditional forms, primarily through an impressive treatment of themes and materials. They erase the division between the traditional and the modern, the past and the present. The artist today must be a specific reporter of everyday life, capable of extracting creation from every, even trivial element, the result of which would be their uniqueness, originality, sublimity, layering, and enigma.
Admission is free.
Erste Bank is the partner of the Heroines programme arch.