Intimacies in One Room

Intimacies in one room

 It was the end of the nineteenth century when one woman enjoyed the landscape in front of the all-male university. A crusty guardian approachedher,  and suggested that she needed to leave the place. She moved to the library. With extreme regret because the ladies are allowed to entry only if accompanied by a university teacher or with letters of recommendation; another door was closed. Finally, she attended a lunch at the university and watches with the admiration the beauty of delicious meals. The same lady dined that same day at a women’s university. With a plain, unimaginative soup Virginia Woolf thinks: “If she wants to write, a woman must have money and a private room.” Many years later, when we allegedly opened the door for womens aesthetic enjoyment, quality nutrition and knowledge, on some more unstable geographical coordinates, nine Bosnian artists made a ​​room from Collegium Artisticum lined with interesting and diverse visual messages and issues.

Although in the foreground as the theme of this exhibition is set the role of women in history, which was apparently dropped with a skilled male hand, I have to mention that there are quite strongly developed other topics, and that their work does not stop in lamenting the longtime established subordination. On the contrary, from every single corner of Collegium Artisticum originate a complex social enigma that loose the traditional tools forged binary opposition. Thus, through the use of diverse materials and techniques there is achieved very conscious, tense and captivating game between the viewer and the artist, based on the constant questioning of knowledge about the relationship between what we mean by a norm and its undesirable opposites. Although created by different art media, exhibited works still speak a single language. It is primarily a joke, but unnaive speach about the world through the eyes of women of different artistic and aesthetic affinities. Therefore, the quality of this exhibition is based on shades of emotions which this art is manage to cause: just when you walk through with melancholy besides works of Irena Sladoje, there is a witty berth of Lana Čmajčanin. Even on the individual level some works quite are successfully reducing and increasing the emotional wise. After the surrender seismic story of the old lady on the video projection of Adela Jušić, a sudden wave of laughter may undermine and jeopardize the original grief. That’s how it usually happens in our bedrooms, living room, work rooms.

Intimacies often touch debates about the thoughts of superior and inferior, where the relationship between these two kinds of thoughts (mostly, but not only) in the key studies concrete relation of male and female minds. These artists are very aware that (as Virginia Woolf says) women has no strong artistic tradition that she could be relied upon. In wich way to think in this imposed order? Or even worse: how to present your own thoughts? While some artists like Leila Čmajčanin decided to clad woman in male attire, Lana Čmajčanin through the aesthetics of female manual labor involved in the fight against imposed order. Words and thoughts that were unfamiliar to women for centuries, Lana Čmajčanin engrave in the decoration that measures integrity, and thereby relieve the historical buildup of anger and unsensed life deposited in the female spirit. Exposing impasse inferiority in these works is achieved through deautomatization of perception, through rotation of content and form in which it is incorporated, through cuts of different intensity and different aesthetic effect. Exactly this technique is usng Emina Kujundžić to bind her “diptych.” Putting anxiety metal versus sensuality, expresses a unique comparison of differences in effect an particular analogy. Using the analogy is not far off other participiants of the exhibition. Borjana Mrđa through an act of interference and fraying hair in traditional female hairstyle sets out two principles of action and possible exemptions: man versus nature. Besides direct visual analogy, artists use those deeper, intrigant and semantic analogies and visual manipulation. That is why the work of Iva Simčić is putting the traditional form of female “facilitate” by fortune-telling with beans opposite the strip like narrative structure. Also, it is important to underline a quality and effective collaboration of visual and verbal information as it is in the works Adele Jušić, Leila Čmajčanin, Borjana Mrđa.

The story of Intimacies beyond my feminist reading of their segments becomes simply a unique example of the differences, the social stereotypes about the consequences of their humorous and shocking disclosures. Female body  and Art Gallery under the shadows of shackles (in the work of Nela Hasanbegović) cease to be unambiguous fragments ripped out of phenomenal reality. On the contrary, they become allegories, everything what was so intimately becomes universal. So is the story of Adela Jušić is perhaps for centuries passed over someone’s mouth, but only suppressed. Or worse: forgotten. While the old lady covers the grade “witnesses” of the truth in her story, I certainly hope that we will never forget how we can lock the library, but no one can lock the spirit of freedom!

Elma Hodžić

Intime u jednoj sobi

 

Bio je to kraj devetnaestog stoljeća kada je jedna žena uživala u pejzažu travnjaka ispred muškog univerziteta. Prilazi joj namrgođeni čuvar i sugeriše da treba da se udalji, nakon čega ona kreće prema knjižnici. Uz izrazito žaljenje što je damama ulaz dopušten samo u pratnji sveučilišnog nastavnika ili uz pisma preporuke, zatvaraju joj se još jedna vrata. Naposlijetku, prisustvuje ručku na muškom univerzitetu i sa divljenjem posmatra ljepotu slasnih jela. Ista dama je tog dana večerala na ženskom univerzitetu. Uz običnu, nemaštovitu juhu Virginia Wolf razmišlja: “Želi li pisati, žena mora imati novca i vlastitu sobu.” Mnogo godina kasnije kada smo navodno otvorili ženama vrata estetskog uživanja, kvalitetne ishrane i znanja, na nestabilnijim koordinatama geografske mreže, devet bosanskohercegovačih umjetnica je od Collegiuma Artisticuma napravilo sobu obloženu zanimljivim i raznolikim vizuelnim porukama i pitanjima.

Mada se u prvom planu kao tematika ove izložbe postavlja uloga žene u historiji koju je očito ispisala vješta muška ruka, moram napomenuti da se sasvim prodorno nameću i druge teme, te da se njihov rad ne zaustavlja na lamentiranju davno utvrđene podređenosti. Naprotiv, iz svakog ćoska Collegiuma Artisticuma izviru kompleksne društvene enigme koje rasklimavaju tradicionalnim alatom skovane binarne opozicije. Tako se kroz raznoliku upotrebu materijala i tehnika postiže vrlo svjesna, napeta i zavodljiva igra između posmatrača i umjetnica, zasnovana na konstantnom propitivanju znanja o odnosu onog što podrazumijevamo pod normom i njenim nepoželjnim suprotnostima. Iako stvorena različitim tehnikama i medijima, izložena djela ipak progovaraju jedinstvenim jezikom. To je prije svega šaljivi, ali nimalo naivni govor o svijetu vidjen očima žena različitih umjetničkih i estetskih afiniteta. Prema tome, kvalitet ove izožbe počiva na iznijansiranim emocijama koje u posjetitelju uspijevaju izazvati: baš kada sa sjetom prošetamo pored radova Irene Sladoje, nailazimo na  duhoviti vez Lane Čmajčanin. Čak i na individulanom nivou pojedini radovi posve uspiješno snižavaju i povećavaju emotivne kazaljke. Nakon što se predamo potresnoj priči stare gospođe na video projekciji Adele Jušić, iznenadni val grohotnog smijeha može narušiti i ugroziti prvobitnu tugu. Baš kako to obično i biva u našim spavaćim, dnevnim, radnim sobama.

Izlozba Intime se često dotiče rasprava o misli superiornog i inferiornog gdje se odnos te dvije vrste misli (najčešće, ali nikako jedino) proučava u ključu konkretnog odnosa muške i ženske misli. Ove umjetnice su posve svjesne da (kako bi rekla Virginija Wolf) žena iza sebe nema jaku umjetničku tradiciju na koju bi se mogla osloniti. Na koji način misliti u nametnutom poretku? Ili jos gore: na koji način vlastite misli predstaviti? Dok pojedine umjetnice poput Leile Čmajčanin odlučuju zaodjenuti ženu u muško ruho, Lana Čmajčanin se kroz estetiku ženskog ručnog rada uključuje u borbu protiv nametnutog poretka. Riječi i misli koje su ženama stoljećima trebale biti strane, Lana Čmajčanin ugravira u ukras kojim se mjerila čestitost, te se na taj način oslobađa povijesne nakupine bijesa i nezabilježenog života nataložene u ženskom duhu. Razotkrivanje ćorsokaka inferiornosti se u ovim radovima postiže kroz deautomatizaciju percepcije, kroz obrtanja sadržaja i oblika u koji je inkorporiran, kroz rezove različitog intenziteta i različitog estetskog učinka. Upravo ovom tehnikom je Emina Kujundžić uvezuje svoje“diptihe“. Stavljajući tjeskobu metala, naspram putenosti izrazava se jedinstvena usporedba različitosti uspostavljana uvijek na određenoj analogiji. Upotreba analogije nije daleka ni ostalim učensnicama izložbe. Borjana Mrđa kroz čin uplitanja i rasplitanja kose u tradicionalnu žensku frizuru postavlja dva principa mogućeg djelovanja i oslobađanja: čovjek versus priroda. Pored izravnih vizualnih analogija, umjetnice su skolone upotrebi onih dubljih, intrigantnijih i skrivenijih značenjskih analogija i vizualnih manipulacija. Tako u radu Ive Simčić tradicionalna forma ženskog „olakšavanja“ kroz proricanje sudbine grahom, stoji naspram stripovne narativne strukture. Također, važno je napomenuti izrazito kvalitetnu i učinkovitu  suradnju vizuelnih i verbalnih informacija kakva je u djelima Adele Jušić, Leile Čmajčanin, Borjane Mrđe.

Priča o Intimama prevazilazi moja feministička iščitavanja pojedinih njenih segmenata i postaje naprosto jedinstveno svjedočanstvo o različitostima, o društvenim stereotipima, o njihovim šaljivim razotkrivanjima i potresnim posljedicama. Žensko tijelo i Umjetnička galerija pod sjenama okova u radu Nele Hasanbegović prestaju biti jednoznačni fragmenti istrgnuti iz pojavne stvarnosti. Naprotiv, oni postaju alegorije, a sve tako intimno postaje univerzalno. Pa je priča Adele Jušić možda već vijekovima prelazila preko nečijih usta, ali je samo potisnuta. Ili još gore: zaboravljena. Dok stara gospođa prekriva sijede „svjedoke“ istinitosti svoje priče, toplo se nadam da nikada nećemo zaboraviti kako nam se može zaključati knjižnica, ali niko ne moze zaključati slobodu duha!

Elma Hodžić

“INTIME / Intimacies” is now open daily (except Sundays) at Collegium Artisticum in Sarajevo, until the 20th September. A catalogue, with texts by Branka Vujanović and Jon Blackwood, is available.

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