Vasja Nagy-Hofbauer about Eva Petrič

Presence Illuminated by Infinity

Walter Kootz, Eva Petrič and Vasja Nagy-Hofbauer

Let’s think of illuminated manuscripts for a moment, the ornate parchments bound together in volumes which we regard today as one of the oldest forms of a book. These manuscripts were regarded as illuminated, because of the use of gold which seemed like a source of inner light. Together with the images, that aren’t simple illustrations to the text but are almost independent from it, they indeed act as light illuminating the text to cast kaleidoscopic shadows into the imagination of the viewer.

Walter Kootz and Eva Petrič

Manuscripts were made slowly, by copying old texts on eternity and eternal matters and meticulously constructing the painted images. In comparison to that, Eva Petrič’s book could be called an illuminated steno script – though the main text is based on a quick, direct expression of thoughts while disclosing archetypal clichés about human emotions and, above all, it presents dealing with the acceptance of the emptiness in one’s life, the void. In this sense the email addresses reveal the duality of body and soul (juan.corpus@ and Body is thus represented as a shell, empty vessel, yearning for the spiritual content – the power of life.

Walter Kootz

The @pple girl story is based on two of Eva’s previous major works. The first is her study on emotions and her invention of the periodic table of emotions and shadows that we can see in her monumental book Gr@y Matter – Language of Shadows … built up with black and white photographs of shadows of a body in various poses. And the second one is her book of the pH table of emotions (E@motions) built up with colour photographs of a body in various poses, situations, places and playing with various objects to create a metaphorical image, an allegoric composition.

Eva Petrič

There are 3 leading threads running through the book:

  1. Linear – the little girl story where the names of Emotions from the periodic table appear as the emotional states of the protagonist and are as well collected at the end of the book in the table of pH levels of emotions.

2. Non-linear collage of photographic images, composite images of the photographs from both books, the black and white photographs from the Gr@y Matter – Language of Shadows and colour photographs from the Shadows and Puppets –  Language of E@motions REacting. Although on all images the artist uses her own body only to cast the shadows of particular shapes or as a model, a puppet without its own will. They are not self-portraits, but enactments to create an allegoric composition, symbolic expressions in visual language and metaphors.

  1. So, what about Juan and his constant yearning? His story seems like a potential linear set of his messages, but not necessarily. It seems like a diary-like copy-paste of parts of a real online conversation. Anyone could be fooled. I was, I am anyone. His story serves as a catalyst for the awareness about a cliché of a real romantic love, based on distance, idealising, the unknown, …

Dr. Leo Kager and Eva Petrič

This book is a beautiful intertwining of literature, poetry, photography, diary, and science to mention only some of the technical approaches, but not only. One of the major qualities of this book as an artwork is in how it deals with already mentioned romanticism and transcendence itself. Firstly, with ease and almost unperceivably. The triple spiral (kind of an upgrade to the DNA, isn’t it?) of the leading threads, of which we don’t really see neither the beginning nor the end of, is simply floating in timelessness and is therefore standing for infinity.

Walter Kootz, Eva Petrič and Vasja Nagy-Hofbauer

Somewhat peculiar in our contemporary society and the current art world that is so strongly focused on projects and other deadlines, isn’t it? The inclusion of infinity and timelessness accentuates the performability of the book, so brilliantly observed by Olga Čeh, even if only imagined, it introduces the idea of carrying out rituals through the awareness of emotions we experience in everyday life and that in human generations of the past perhaps hadn’t existed and may as well disappear with the next one.

Walter Kootz and Eva Petrič

Vasja Nagy-Hofbauer

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