Alma Božanić Čače & Kate Mandarić Erceg / Drawings
The exhibition “Drawings” presents the works of Alma Božanić Čače and Kate Mandarić Erceg, their drawings made with ink and acrylic in small (A3, A4) formats (Mandarić Erceg), and acrylic on natron paper, medium fortmat cca 50×50 cm to cca 120×120 cm (Božanić Čače). Preparing the exhibition, I have posed a few questions to the artists, and here I convey (due to limited space) only a part of the conversation conducted on two occasions during March and April:
T: How did it come to this joint exhibition?
A .: It was completely unplanned – we’ve been hanging out for years, and the idea was spontaneous. We wanted to see how our different approaches to drawing communicated within the same medium
K: We’re kidding that there will be more visitors at the opening, because mostly friends and family visit the openings, and now that there are two of us, there should be at least twice as much people
T: How do you contextualize the drawing within your own endeavors?
A: I usually try to “clean up” the drawing – to reduce it to that which is meaningful, basic … On the other hand, I am burdened by the fact that drawing is necessary to make a living, which is an unstable surface of life, while drawing is also necessary to come to the depths of one’s self – a permanent source of constant broadcast, so these two experiences of the same thing seem rather contradictory …
K .: The drawing is not demanding.
A: Cheap paper relaxes – it makes space for a mistake.
K : I found canvas to be “more fitting” for me, but as I did not have appropriate working conditions, I started exploring drawings. I feel these drawings are a preparation for something that has yet to show. Some sort of transition is taking place.
A.: I agree – it is very important to be continually in the process and wait for that “click”. Although you can be inside of “something” for years, without ever experiencing it, I would never give up. There is some totally blind trust or perhaps just a hint of hope, which is never withering.
K .: I try to work independently of what is happening “on the outside”. I’m interested in withdrawal, purity, atmosphere in the drawing; some particular motif … – maybe deep inside I recognize my red accent thread which is present in the drawing, but first of all I’m interested in the purity of lines and the possibilities that this line offers. I’m always challenged when I find myself in front of an empty sheet of paper. The past and lived are in the second, third plan. That is why I see these drawings as sketches in the way as unimaginable as life is. I do not like repeating and reviews. I am interested in what is ahead of me and the way that all my feelings and what is “commoting” inside me can be expressed by lines and forms as clear as possible, if it is possible by the freedom of thought. I follow a personal reflex which I do not encumber by meaning. It is probably due to my dislike of “pleasing” the audience, and because I fear the quaintness of the platform of dialogue in any context. More precisely, I a afraid of people who communicate at this level.
A: I’m interested in layers, plans and overlaps. The blue color that “follows” me and a “naked” composition reduced to simplicity by a line of horizon. Sometimes, expression emerges as sketchy (whatever the format), and sometimes it erupts like magma, leaving traces on the surface. When that impulse goes, I do not know how to stop, but I’m glad because I would rather “make a mistake” and be consistent with that impulse, than calculate – the drawing is an extension of my life and the way I live it. I use different “samizdat” (self-made) brushes that I use for various invoices, textures and experiments. Sometimes I play with them, and I tend to over-experimenting.
T: How much does a location define you?
A: A lot. My drawings often display island docks and of course they are never the same, because of atmosphere depends on many factors (time of the year, time of the day, meteorological conditions etc.), and my experience also shifts as it is correlated with the intimate life circumstances in which the experience is taking place. Thus, my own work is shaping me as well. It is a strange interaction I feel is very important and I try to follow it.
K: I’m pretty closed to the world. Location is not so important for me.
T: How would you, without thinking, “tag” your own efforts in drawing?
K: Chaos or what it is, splitting: red.
A .: Peace or something that I strive for, although I’m not calm myself: blue.
The particularity of this exhibition is lies within the fact that these works are of almost completely different author poetics, and are presented within the same medium, so the range of my experiencing their conflict ranges from the edge of the introversion to the edge of the extraversion, from lyrical and abstract to expressive and almost figurative, at the border of recognition. Is it possible to establish harmony within these extensions – it is yet to be seen in once the exhibition is set (a process which, at this moment, is not entirely clear, but it is not of crucial importance because, as the artists said themselves, the atmosphere is always determined by a moment and the error is an integral part of the whole story). Both in art and in life. Hence, the possible breaks are more used as a trigger for establishing possible directions of movement (seen as a kind of experiment) directed towards some new horizons and challenges. Drawings, in this context, are a kind of inventory, an anxious synchronicity of collecting accumulated time and space – time that has always vanished from every attempt to keep it, and space of freedom of living and working, that is always re-conquered and which is a luxury, if not a utopia, within the narrow boundaries of everyday life. Encouragement? Surely
Kate Mandarić Erceg was born on 28th October 1978 in Split, Croatia, where she graduated from the University of Split Academy of Fine Arts in 2003. She is a member of Croatian Association of Visual Artists (HULU) and Croatian Association of Artists (HDLU) and has participated in numerous group and solo exhibitions.
Alma Božanić Čače attended the School of Fine Arts in Split, and she graduated from UMAS in Split (Department of Fine Arts and
Restoration) in 2001. She has conducted several art workshops, participated in fourteen group exhibitions as well as fourteen solo exhibitons. She is a member of HULU Split, and holds the status of a free artist. She lives and works in Split.