Izložba Hortus Femini, Luna Jovanović
KCNS, Likovni salon
Katolička porta 5, Novi Sad
Izložba će biti otvorena do 18.
“That which is not of this world may be nothing but a garden”
The association of a woman’s body with a garden or field dates back to the ancient cultures of the Middle East and the Mediterranean. In the Greek tradition the hortus conclusus or ‘enclosed garden’ was associated with a depiction of the garden as a metaphorical seat of female sexuality and fertility. Hidden from the eyes of others; one that protects against the unknown. The space that feeds both body and spirit.
Hortus Femini is a deeply ambivalent garden. Through a series of underlying spatial and object suggestions it simultaneously affirms and negates itself. As a diversified presence that vibrates and disintegrates. Surprises and sensations are everywhere, but there is no concrete exit. Nothing leads to nothing: everything is interrupted. That which was familiar all of a suddenly becomes uncanny, withholding a double element, male and female.
Questioning her own beliefs, the author blurs the distinction between object and subject. By nurturing and enriching her own garden, she becomes a protector. A careful analysis within the enclosed garden – hortus conclusus draws a clear line where She ends and He begins. Questioning ones own feminine principle becomes the main node of the work, and its value here is archetypal. This mysterious habitat is a much needed oasis where ideas are born and safeness is granted. Source that feeds the spirit, like the unconditional love that is felt from the first sip of breast milk. Thorny road to the fragile structure of woman’s emotional life, drama that leads to the world of melancholy.
Photographs that form the Hortus Femini exhibition are grouped into three triptychs that embrace the single, centrally mounted photograph. The symbolic and mystique value of exposed works is comparable to colossal richness of Hieronymus Bosch’s triptychs. The eruption of colors and a multitude of characters in the works of Bosh are here reduced to a symbol, movement, posture. The artist discolors her garden, leaving behind the white, the black and the deadly gray. Although symbolically synchronized, photographs stand in stark contrast: outer and inner, hidden and revealed. Cacophony on whose foundation rests the delicate balance between subjugation and aloofness. Lack of geographic determinants; garden, which can exist in any space and at any time. As a heavy frame surrounding the shadowy part of the memory, it enters into the experience of whole generations. The motives that overleap on the inside are both personal and universal – they concern the fate of the female principle.
The characters in the photographs are present, but their faces are hidden. Their anonymity expresses the collapse of form and identity. They helplessly point at the cyclicality of life path: a simultaneous acceptance and rejection of one’s own being. It all begins where it ends; the garden is closed to the most secure form – the circle. From the hidden interspaces hands protrude, the disobedient part of the corporeal that asks and begs, seeking the magic door to a place that holds the key to transcend itself. The hands that move and dance to the rhythm of fear – fear of punishment. Their movements connect the extremes of Nature, allowing the transformation and purification within the microcosm of the garden.
Destiny resolution of the revealed is contained in the central photograph of the exhibition – smaller than the others, as the monolith it observes the scenes that surround it. Arrogantly turning her back, the protagonist, a woman whose face we cannot see, carries only a single raisin behind her. Raisin, harvested in some hidden corner of the garden known only to her. Distinctly round and dark, as the point where the Male and Female finally met. Trapped between the tips of her fingers, the raisin becomes the forbidden fruit, an unfathomable mystery. Like the evil that follows behind her, the shadow that envelops anyone who enjoys her.
“The deepest experience of the Creator is feminine, for it is experience of receiving and bearing.”
Rainer Maria Rilke
Nemanja Popadić, exhibition curator