Nina Bešlić / Cross dissolve II - Blendings
Cross dissolve II – Blendings
In the event of her thirteenth solo exhibition, Nina Iris Bešlić presents to us two works; previously exhibited Cross Dissolve – Transparent Spaces II, and Cross Dissolve II – Blendings, devised specifically for Salon Galić. It is a complex artistic concept deserving of a deeper analysis, however, for the needs of the catalogue I will merely outline some of the aspects the author deals with, as well as the ways they overlap with contemporary society.
According to psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan, the moment subject discovers he/she can be regarded as an object, they enter state of anxiety because they lose a certain degree of autonomy. This is closely connected to his mirror stage theory, when a child, standing in front of the mirror, realises he/she possesses external appearance.
While there are a number of synonyms for the word view in English language (glance, sight, gaze…), in Croatian a single word (pogled) is used for all of these nuances. Therefore, its meaning can be interpreted in many ways: as directedness of one’s eyes towards someone or something; eyes reflecting a spiritual state; means of evaluation; place whence one observes; things revealed to the eye, a scene; way of looking at something, opinion, understanding, attitude, belief.
In the context of visual culture, the most frequent English equivalent to ‘pogled’ is ‘gaze’. This is a concept primarily related to Michel Foucalt and Lacan, applied to the film theory by Laura Mulvey in “Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema” essay. According to her, there are three types of perspective in cinematography: camera perspective, audience perspective and protagonist perspective… Their complex interaction is specific for film. Similar type of interaction occurs within Nina’s boxes.
Today we live in a society of control and surveillance cameras where public space is becoming increasingly rare phenomenon. Consequently, the problematic of observation and perspective assumes completely different meanings. Absurdly, every viewpoint is ideological, except for the one coming from surveillance cameras that clinically and objectively take note of everything happening in their field of vision.
Jurgen Habernas’s ‘public sphere’ model is founded on the idea that there are two separate spheres, public and private, based on traditional conceptions of gender and race, therefore on exclusion. In reality, there are many public spheres that overlap and exist simultaneously: working class, religious, feminist, nationalist public spheres…
Today, more than ever before, the ideas of public and private are almost inseparable due to politics of late capitalism, which purposely erases boundaries in order to pursue its own interests, turning private persons into consumers and political followers. As public space disappears, the idea of privacy fades out as well in the time of electronic, virtual reality.
Photography employed by the artist, especially photographs of her friends and family members, is the closest thing to ‘snapshooting’; photography used by masses as means of documenting private ritual moments, deeply interwoven into most intimate social relations – family, leisure time, private memories, personal vanity (Don Slater). It is a consumerist and fetishist type of photography so it is not strange that central motifs are reserved for family and leisure time, frequent targets of consumer capitalism. This kind of life and photography that documents it is conventional, passive and harmless.
It seems Nina uses complex optic play in an effort to make such idea deeper and multi-layered, and avoid traps put before us by surrounding images/simulacra. Opposite to their hyperrealism (depicting reality more realistically than it is), Nina creates hallucinatory, shapeless, fluid scenes that move away from the sober perception of reality. In contrast to simulacrum, Nina’s work is warm and inclusive.
Nina Bešlić completed her secondary education at the School of Fine Arts in Split (Industrial Design Department) and graduated in Painting from the Academy of Fine Arts, University of Zagreb, in 2004. So far she has exhibited her work in thirteen solo and twenty nine group exhibitions in Croatia and abroad, and has participated in various artistic and professional workshops. She has won one award and received support for artistic production on several occasions. Since 2006, alongside artistic work, she has been engaged in socio-pedagogical activities held via educational programmes in partnership with non-governmental organisations, colleges and artistic associations. In 2008, her work was included in Kaštela Town Museum’s modern and contemporary art collection. Using the principles of recycling, in 2010 she has started her own project “Recycle and Wear” presented through art, design and creative workshops. She is a member of Croatian Association of Artists (HDLU), Croatian Freelance Artists Association (HZSU), Croatian Association of Artists and Art Critics (HULULK) and RADIONA, association focused on developing ‘Do It Yourself’ culture.
Selected solo and group exhibitions:
Tradition in Contemporary Context – Greta Gallery & Farof Gallery, Zagreb
THT – MSU – Contemporary art award, Cross Dissolve, Zagreb
Forgotten Places II, Cekao Gallery, Zagreb
4th International Visual Arts Festival Kranj – ZDSLU 2015, Slovenia
Non-places –Paris – Zagreb artists’ group exhibition, Greta Gallery, Zagreb
Design Week-Lauba- R&W project presentation – fashion show, Zagreb
Forgotten Places, Dešković Gallery, Bol
Transparent Spaces II – Cross Dissolve, Nano Gallery, Zagreb
3rd Croatian Biennale of Self-Portraits, Identities, Prica Gallery, Samobor
Moving through Elements, Greta Gallery & Gornji grad Zagreb, international group exhibition, HDLU, CreArt
First 7, (& Željko Uremović), Lanškroun Town Museum, Češka
Transparent Spaces, Kiosk Gallery, SC, Zagreb
Defragmenting Personality, Koprivnica Town Museum, Koprivnica
Divergence of Picture 3, Događanja Gallery, Zagreb
Divergence of Picture 2, Nano-Artenativa Gallery, Zagreb
Dematerialisation of Space and Dematerialisation, Exaltation of the Holy Cross church crypt, O.Gornji, Trogir
Dematerialisation of Space, CEKAO Gallery, Zagreb
Dematerialisation, Solin Town Library
Divergence of Picture, Vitturi Museum, Kaštel Sućurac
Fona 6, New Art Festival, MMC Rijeka & Rikard Benčić’s T- objekt, Rijeka
Test 7! Sacred and Profane, SC, Zagreb
40th Zagreb Salon, Synergies, «Reinvented functionality», Glyptotheque, Zagreb
PRINT TO ART, MMC Luka, Pula
City Light, SC Gallery, Zagreb
UNICA – Amateur Film Festival, Belgium
Video and Audio Media Festival, Momjan
Luxury Film Festival, Krško, Slovenia
Mostar Film Festival, Bosnia and Herzegovina
TEST 6! Disclosure, SC, Zagreb