Ivana Rod / Between the lines
Ivana Rod decided to work with book media very early, during her student days. Since the end of the 18th century, especially during the 20th century and even in the 21st century, this hybrid medium attracted many artists, despite the increasingly dominant new technologies and ways of communication.  Perhaps it is due to the ‘enthronement’ of computers and smartphones as the predominant platforms for downloading and consuming various content, and their redefining of roles and forms of books, magazines and other prints in general, that artists recognized the importance of research and visual forms. The basic motivating premise for Ivana Rod’s selection is the possibility of immediate, personal and intimate connection between the author – subject – observer. 
At the beginning of Ivana’s art book design, her work was dominated by a lush, expressive drawing inspired by literary content (graduate thesis: Snake Book – Little Bit of Love, inspired by Pablo Neruda’s poem, Twenty Love Poems And a Song of Despair, 2014). Still, the artist eventually came closer to reduction, that is, the deformation of the drawing, as well as the placement of the printed word, whether she was printing herself or taking over already existing prints. Her work focuses on words and the interpretation of the content through the process of rendering and reprogramming it.
The starting point of one of the cycles presented at this exhibition is the book by the French author Marguerite Duras – Ljubavnik (Lover), more precisely its 28 pages, which here represent Ivana’s 28 years. The artist selectively concealed the existing content on selected pages, leaving the parts that she identifies with, thus creating her own story. Through this process, she doubled the complex role of the narrator (the narrator in the novel and herself), whose monologue is formed in a tense process of detection and denial.
The meaning of a monolithic statement is therefore reflected equally in what is (left) visible, and what is erased, unsaid or censored. By methodical analysis and placement of testimonies in her collages, Ivana Rod awakened the formation of an individual within the framework of the narrative, which is made up of micro moments of everyday life. In addition, Ivana highlights her voice in her lapidary diary records generated during daily train trips. Inner impressions shift from positive to negative through the process of layered transfusion, and the abstraction of words and their meaning is further enhanced with the addition of abstract prints.
The monologue, which is the main topic of the mentioned cycle, is primarily following Ivana’s dialogue with Marguerite Duras and with herself, encouraging the dialogue of each of the following observers, that is, the readers of Ivana’s art books and collages. The discovery of ideas is realized through meeting with the individual achievements but also with the whole, which is subtly filled with the transmission and the development of already recognized postulates and codes of the artists’s action.
I recognize the creative process and the aesthetic outcome within a constant tension between the intuitive moment and the elaborate design of the book structure. The artist is not satisfied with just one form but she carefully chooses different forms, in accordance with the content and the symbolism, as well as with the dynamics of the subject. For example, in the pamphlet binding [Prozirna (Transparent), 2016], she layered plastic folders filled with cutout words, achieving ludic dynamics of new and different discoveres of thoughts and fables with each turn of the page. Some of the solutions were taken for the following book, but each time there is a shift, a deviation from the one that has already been achieved. This is, in fact, the pledge of her further discovery of the creative potential of the art book and its associated collage medium.
 The beginnings of this medium are recognized since the time of William Blake and William Morris. Historical avantgarde artists pay special attention to the medium. More: Artists’ Books. Available at: <http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/articles/a/books-artists/>, viewed on Feb 12 2017.
 See: Rowan Watson, The Art of the Book. Available at: <http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/articles/a/Art-of-the-Book/>, viewed on Feb 12 2017.
 Compare interviews with local and foreign artists: Artists’ Books: Interviews with Artists. Available at: < http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/articles/a/artists-books-interviews/>, viewed on Feb 12 2017. Tihana Bertek, Irena Frantal: Zanima me intimni odnos čitatelja/ice s knjigom. Available at: http://www.voxfeminae.net/cunterview/kultura/item/9115-irena-frantal>, viewed on Feb 12 2017.
Ivana Rod was born in 1989 in Zagreb. After graduating from the School of Applied Arts and Design, she graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb (Graphic Department), in the class of prof. art. Svjetlan Junaković.
She is actively exhibiting at group exhibitions in Croatia and abroad: Sketchbook Station (2017), 36 Mountains, HDLU (2016), 4th Artistic Hall / Artum, Umag Museum (2015), International Miniature Show (2015, 2016), Art Book, ULUPUH Gallery (2015), 1st International Student Triennial Drawings, Rondo Sztuki Gallery, Katowice, Poland (2014), Sketchbook, SC Gallery, Venientes 3 – Oni koji dolaze, KD Vatroslav Lisinski and the First International Student Biennial Drawings, Sofia, Bulgaria (2012). So far, she has realized three solo exhibitions, Eros I Thanatos (Eros and Thanatos) in Ante Kovačić Library in Zaprešić (2015), Između redaka (Between the Lines) in the gallery of ULUPUH in Zagreb, 2017 and Monolozi (Monologues) in the Voltino Library in Zagreb, 2017.
She is also active in the field of applied art (design, illustration). In 2014, she received the Academy of Fine Arts Award for successful work for her studies and graduate thesis. In 2015, she became a member of HDLU (Croatian Association of Artists). She has been researching the book arts media for the past three years, and in 2016 she started the BookArt Sesija Intenziv under the auspices of Irena Frantal (MA Book Arts), which greatly modified her approach to the book as a media creation. She lives and works in Zagreb.