Robert Maloić, Mirna Kutleša i Emilija Duparova / NETWORK / multimedia trilogy
NETWORK / multimedia trilogy
‘Everything happens as if a great stream of consciousness penetrated into matter, brimming, like every consciousness, with a vast array of mutually pervading virtualities. It pulled the matter back into organisation, but its movement infinitely slowed down and infinitely divided.’
Creative evolution, Henri Bergson
At a superficial level, three authors jointly exhibiting at Salon Galić do not have a single thing in common except for their personal acquaintanceship that came as a result of their geographic, professional and academic coordinates gravitating towards the city of Rijeka. With regard to the selection of individual artistic expressions, Emilija Duparova mostly works with multimedia installations and projections, Mirna Kutleša’s spatial works derive from her painting experience, and Robert Maloić deals with applied art, installation and photography, using only organic materials. Given the fact that these painters have long been affirmed in their original medium, and the conceptual foundation of their works, it is impossible to deny the existence of mutual common places evident in their inherent organic, ambivalent, spatial and transcendental poetics. The exhibition becomes a convergent point of three intertwining personalities and artistic expressions that shape a unique ambient experience.
Network refers to a system within which individual and universal physical, associative, mental and metaphorical categories are located. Its fundamental characteristic is the fluidity felt in dialogic approaching and distancing of the cognitive levels of the organic (Maloic), mental (Kutleša) and energetic (Duparova); in the comparison of descriptive physiological attributes of works, for instance capillaries (Maloić), plasma (Kutleša) and membrane (Duparova); in the duality of interpreting space as an ambient or a place of critical discernment between the inner and the outer; in the complementary relationship between different media , including drawing (Maloić), painting (Kutleša) and technology (Duparova). The complexity of relations within this multimedia trilogy creates an illusion of constant flowing, growing, branching, moving, twitching, titration and circling.
The function of the integrating darkness (almost an independent medium at the level of the exhibition) is to be disturbed, primarily by the ‘movement’ of Maloić’s ramose, site-specific installation, made up of broken, accumulated and wedged organic materials, which are outlined all the way from the entrance to the depth of the exhibition space. It is a scenographic process that, despite being physically static, gives the impression of conscious and active penetration of the installation into the space, establishing adhesive contact with other works. Always using natural material anew, in a practice reminiscent of Italian Arte Povera conceptual artists, Robert Maloić creates a series of associations, reminding on the categories of ephemerality, i.e. (non) durability and the very value of physical phenomena, whose significance and usefulness is estimated through a human perspective.
Mirna Kutleša’s experimental laboratory is a continuation of the author’s recent practice based on the extension of two-dimensional media such as paintings and drawings into spatial installations, resulting in the creation of an unusual and ambivalent ambient comprising multi-layered shapes and meanings. The author builds a system resembling a conundrum or a trap, simultaneously leaving and concealing evidence useful for possible interpretation, and creates a sense of certain mobility and tension. Work In the Eyes of the Spider (2017) consists of several objects placed in the central gallery area. They are used to project shades and reflections via simple optical systems of light, lens and mirrors. Projections on the walls are partially static and partly dynamic images (the reflection of the water on the wall is the result of a constant, slow dripping of the water from the bottle on the ceiling to the vessel through which the light is directed). Mostly abstract, with sporadic allusions on figuration, they also evoke the mental process and the principle of viewing through elements of contradiction. Furthermore, they undermine their own logic and explore the notion of an image through its semantic complexity, which, as the author herself says, takes on different levels of meaning where it can act as a reflection, image, afterimage, or shadow.
At the very end of the gallery space, the exhibition is rounded off by video works and sound installation collectively entitled Autopoiesis (2017) by Emilija Duparova, a multimedia author who has been preoccupied in recent exhibitions by the loop as the basic ‘method and motif’ of her personal artistic expression. The Hat (2017) is a snapshot showing the remarkable motif of a summer straw hat with dots of light breaking through its surface layer. Duparova uses an extremely simple process in the form of continuous rotation of the photograph to achieve the effect of peculiarity and distance the viewers from direct references to the motif shown. The video work belonging to its namesake group, Autopoiesis (2017), is a horizontal projection of a continuous circular motion represented in an auto-therapeutic abdominal massage process. This area of the body, along with its own centre in the navel, is an important point in viewing the body as a set of energy forces and a bearer of many spiritual meanings, especially in Eastern cultures. Along with physicality and intimacy, which occupy a special place in Duparova’s entire oeuvre as the semantic upgrading point towards the transcendental, sound installation The Impassable Thought (2015) in a seemingly monotonous rhythm of the author’s voice interprets the concentric flow of spatial-temporal loop through continuous arrangement of the mental categories of concepts and syntagms.
Finally, although the very phenomenon and symbolic nature of the loop represent an essential key to the interpretation of each of Duparova’s recent works, at the same time, thanks to its continuous circular ‘logic’, it causes a tautological emptiness that ‘centrifuges’ the observer’s position towards reflecting on the whole exhibition. If we add to this the spatial impressiveness of Maloić’s organic structures that are in capillary and uncontrollable movement disappearing between the inner and outer aspects of space and Kutleša’s visual experiments as a virtual space between reality and its projection, the exhibition is finally revealed as a fluid system of diverse meanings in which the individual author’s artistic entities determine and are being determined by space.
 Branko Franceschi, ‘Loop’ exhibition foreword, Museum of the Fine Arts, Split 2016.
 Term not synonymous with, but much closer to ‘ostranenie’ or defamiliarisation from Sklovski’s 1917 essay ‘Art as Technique’ than to Brecht’s V-effect, which is sometimes interpreted as synonymous to this concept.
 Anita Zlomislić wrote about this in the foreword of the ‘Autopoiesis’ exhibition held at the Vladimir Bužančić Gallery in Zagreb in 2017.
Robert Maloić (Varaždin, 1983) graduated in painting from the Academy of Applied Arts in Rijeka. His artistic production, besides painting, involves site specific projects, photography, video, installation, ambient and land art. He participated in three solo and numerous juried group exhibitions in Croatia and abroad.
Mirna Kutleša (Rijeka, 1980) graduated in painting from the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb in 2004. Since then, she has exhibited in numerous group and solo exhibitions. Her works can be found at the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Rijeka and Erste Foundation art collection, as well as many other private art collections. She is a member of Croatian Freelance Artists Association. Since 2014, she has been working as an external associate at the Academy of Applied Arts in Rijeka.
Emilija Duparova (Split, 1967) graduated in painting from the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb. She works as a full professor at the Academy of Applied Arts, University of Rijeka. Besides painting, her artistic strategy includes multimedia projects, ambient art, installation, photography and video. She realised more than 50 solo and participated in numerous group and juried exhibitions in Croatia and abroad. Her artistic and professional work was recognised with international and national awards and acknowledgments.