Nemirne vode / Troubled Waters
at November Gallery, Belgrade, 2020
Excerpt from the text about the exhibition Troubled Waters
Author of text: Maja Kolarić
The works presented within the exhibition Troubled Waters were conceived during the pandemic crisis and the recent quarantine, when more frequent trips to nature provoked the artist to re-think the landscape. The aforementioned series is dominated by landscapes of the rivers and river flows that have recently been in the spotlight with regard to the speculations revolving around the erection of micro hydropower plants in Topli Do. By a tenacious activism of the locals, the rivers, environment and unique natural setting of the Balkan Mountain range were defended. Troubled Waters, as the title of the exhibition, strikes us as a paradigm of the time we live in, accompanied by unrest, fears and turbulent events. In the sea of uncertainties, to go with the flow means to become fluid, flexible and adaptable, but also to learn how to ride out the storm. Nothing is solid and stable, including the spatial drawings by Nina Ivanović. Regardless of being made from armature, iron and copper wires, the forms and shapes become dematerialized in space, while in the contemporary cultural context they stand as visual records of time, of our relationship to nature and its developments.
By treating the gallery walls as empty pages of a sketchbook, we present Nina Ivanović’s landscapes of different scale and drawing media with dominant motifs of rivers, mountains and forests. Each landscape acts as one record – a note – and one sentiment. For the first time, the artist uses copper wire of different tonalities and thickness by means of which she tints her landscapes. The spatial drawings on view are complemented with paper drawings, which are stylistically and visually different from those made of wire; the perspective drawings on paper stand for the flatness of the spatial ones while their tonal shading fills up the abstracted forms of the linear structures and the wire sculptures’ cavities.
Even though Nina’s approach to drawing is minimalistic, every line carries its function: it divides the space, defines the shape and delineates the contour. And while the Swiss artist Paul Klee was the one to give the best description of the line defining it “as a dot that went for a walk”, the spatial drawings of Nina’s landscapes move us from the observer’s point of view and within the semantic field of linear transcriptions of the seen, experienced and sensed, the presented works are offered to us as visual notes, excerpts, documents and records from nature but also as reflections of humanism.
Photographs: Marijana Janković