Seeing Voice, Alia Zapparova and Ivana Pegan Baće
26.5 – 7.7.2022.
Artistic director Mia Ćuk
The exhibition is imagined as a dialogue between Alia Zapparova and Ivana Pegan Baće, contemporary artists who expand the field of photography, intertwining it with the language of experimental poetry, written fragments, dialogue and speech.
Is writing always the other life we don’t have? That other half of the day?1
I start writing a text, but it is always a hesitation, starting is a hesitation in which the materiality of writing is translated into gestures of referencing the immediate space – a room, other text, an image.
I look around the room, examining the inventory of the desk: a cup of chilled coffee, a newly opened notebook still without a character, bundles of paper / perhaps important bills, several books by Irena Vrkljan (“Marina or a biography” and “Stepping Through the Room”), a small LP – the work of Ivana Pegan Baće “Mindness” and within it a thin booklet with almost transparent photographs from her Dubrovnik interior. A woman with a cigarette in the backlight of the room, a shadow of a philodendron, a coat hanging on the window. But my room contains other rooms; I also see in it gray Berlin interiors, objects of long shadows, a steel sky through a window pane – a visual preface to silence, room, waiting. This seemingly coincidental constellation of objects allows me to move through the text connecting geographically and temporally distant realities, to appropriate and think them through my own intimate landscape, as Irena Vrkljan intertwines her own memoire with the fragments of biography of the poet Marina Tsvetaeva.
Through fragments of language and photography Alia Zapparova’s “Gray Book” depicts everyday life to which she does not belong. Her gaze (or voice) moves from the wall to the window, and further, to the landscape, moving or still, in order to return inside, to the interior not of that same space, but of time. Her relationship with the states of disquietude, emptiness or uneventfulness in the room is deeply intimate, almost existential.
Locating the interspace between language and image takes place through the decipherment of female identities that are always unsettled, fragmentary, quoted. Listening to the voices coming from Ivana Pegan’s audio work “Lead Me”, one can hear translinguistic incantations invoked by Alia.
Izdahni…mene, pohrani…mene, otisni…mene, bewege…mich, kenn…mich, nascondimi, staccami…
Internal dialogues become travelogues that need to be archived, always remaining on the edge of language, on the edge of form. The inventory of objects, photographs, records and sounds in the gallery is an attempt to stay on the edge of an exhibition, more precisely, to soften the exhibition and turn it into a sensibility or an illusion, to imagine that “second half of the day” which we do not have.
Excerpt from the curatorial text by Mia Ćuk
1. Irena Vrkljan, Marina, Or, about Biography, Večernji list, Zagreb, 2004
Alia Zapparova is an artist and writer. She was born in Moscow, studied philosophy and photography in the US and UK, and currently lives in Berlin. She makes books, small-scale installations and occasional performative gestures composed of text and images. Her work is a search for strategies and poetics of transformation through the everyday.
Ivana Pegan Baće is a multimedia artist who lives and works in Dubrovnik. In her work she uses language, writing, speech and voice, expressing herself through art books, poetic objects, audio and video works. Through diary entries, fragmentary texts, poetry, short stories and grammar plays, as well as through visual and sound works (spoken word), she examines in her own voice the ways in which the subject is constituted, focusing on the emotional, mental and vocal potential of transcending social conventions and established borders.