Jelisaveta Rapaić
I will build a wall only to hide u inside

24/05—
22/06/2024
LOCATION
RAVNIKAR GALLERY
Vošnjakova ulica 4
1000 Ljubljana
CURATOR
Lara Mejač
PHOTOGRAPHER
Mario Zupanov

STATEMENT
          Jelisaveta Rapaić’s textile installations and space interventions are often characterized by the examination of ‘high-pressure contemporary culture anxieties’, such as wellness, wage making, mental health and womanhood, as well as individual and collective coping of the pressing issues. In this process, she is interested in the mechanisms by which we individually and collectively cope with current pressing issues, and the ways in which different systems of care are established and function.

          With new textile works in the exhibition I will build a wall only to hide u inside, she presents a different chapter in her artistic practice and begins exploration of the discourse that has recently revolved around textile art, as well as her own ambivalent relationship to its role. Her research in material revolves around the question of whether textile art can transcend its historical associations and ever be fully understood as an empowering feminist practice. Textile art seems to be gaining more attention in the visual arts in recent years, but this raises the question of whether it can also be freed from the Western view of textile and fiber art as crafts, women's work or indigenous artistic practices in this new context. Through her work, the artist questions the ways in which the textile medium can be used to build new narratives and contexts, which she suggests by framing textiles in a deliberate and playful way that literally distinguishes them from craft and places them in the context of ‘institutionalised art'. In a distinctive manner, she also subtly weaves personal stories and feelings into the critical exploration of fiber art, which is potentiated in the space below, where she shares her thoughts through voice messages and sheds light on the process of creating the works.

          The central motif of the wall, which represents a solid, enclosed form, is subverted by embroidering this motif in the soft textures of the textile medium, while also exploring the false sense of security we often associate with walls by subtly adding some of the personal motifs and helping tools. By playing with the double meanings of safe, stable, walls, which hide things that are precious to us, but also represent limiting structures, she also questions her own precarious position in the world, navigating through limiting patriarchal and traditional structures, and at the same time addresses her mixed feelings towards fiber art and the clichés associated with it.

          By highlighting and hiding some of the distinctive elements in the exhibition space the artist is playing with double meanings, ambiguous definitions, secret spaces and safe corners, while confronting us with questions: what lies within these walls and how to disrupt the existing patterns and break free from these seemingly unbreakable structures?



          Jelisaveta Rapaić (1997) is an artist and an independent curator from Belgrade. She has gained her Bachelor’s degree of design at the Textile Design department of the Faculty of Applied Arts, in Belgrade (2019) and her Master’s in Fine Arts at the studio VVV of Intermedia at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava (2021), during which she participated in a student exchange program at KASK & Conservatorium / School of Arts Gent (2020) at the Media Kunst and Performance studios and she took part at BAK (basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht) Summer Winter School in Bratislava (2019), WHW Akademija in Zagreb (2023) and is currently part of a temporary collective Question Me and Answer in Vienna (2024). At the beginning of the pandemic (2020) she opened a traveling pop-up hair salon where she offered hair-cutting therapy sessions in exchange for goods and services, titled We Are Open. After finishing her studies she took part at the Cite Internationale des Arts, artist residency in Paris (2021). Some of the exhibitions she took part in are Salon Jelisaveta: true hell comes from within, PAF Gallery, Olomouc (2023), Its Okay to Cry, Organ Vida Festival, UGM, Maribor (2023), Whoever Settles in a Perfect Home Will Have to Move, Glassbox Nord, Paris (2023), Dizzeyland, Medium Gallery, Bratislava (2022), My Tenderness Is My Biggest Weapon, Apart Collective, Bratislava (2022). Up until its recent abolishment, she worked as a public program curator and PR for Kunsthalle Bratislava where she has, more notably, curated The rotten smell is you (2023) and co-curated …and they lived… (2023)



            S tekstilnimi instalacijami in prostorskimi intervencijami Jelisaveta Rapaić v svoji umetniški praksi raziskuje “anksioznosti pritiskov sodobne kulture”, kot so med drugim zaskrbljenost zaradi delovnih pogojev, duševno zdravje in vloga žensk v družbi. Pri tem jo zanimajo mehanizmi, s katerimi se individualno in kolektivno spopadamo s trenutnimi perečimi problematikami ter načini, kako se vzpostavljajo in delujejo različni sistemi skrbi.

            Na razstavi I will build a wall only to hide u inside z novimi tekstilnimi deli predstavlja drugačno poglavje v svoji umetniški praksi in začenja z raziskovanjem diskurza, ki se v zadnjem času vrti okrog tekstilne umetnosti in lasten ambivalenten odnos do njene pozicije. Na razstavi se namreč sprašuje, ali lahko tekstilna umetnost preseže svoje zgodovinske asociacije ter ali jo je sploh mogoče popolnoma razumeti kot opolnomočeno feministično prakso. Zdi se namreč, da tekstilna umetnost v zadnjem obdobju dobiva večjo pozornost v vizualni umetnosti, vendar se pri tem pojavlja vprašanje, ali se jo tudi v novih kontekstih lahko osvobodi zahodnih pojmovanj v kontekstu rokodelstva, ženskega dela ali staroselskih umetniških praks. Skozi svoja dela se umetnica sprašuje, na kakšen način se tekstilni medij lahko uporablja za grajenje novih narativ, kar nam sporoča tudi z okvirjanjem tekstila, ki ga namerno in igrivo dobesedno ločuje od obrti ter postavlja v kontekst institucionalne umetnosti. V kritično raziskovanje tekstilne umetnosti subtilno vpleta tudi osebne zgodbe in občutke, ki se potencirajo v spodnjem prostoru, v katerem umetnica obiskovalcu preko glasovnih sporočil osebno pojasnjuje svoja razmišljanja ob razstavi in osvetli sam proces nastajanja del.

            Osrednji motiv zidu, ki predstavlja neko trdno, zaprto formo, ruši z vezenjem tega motiva v mehke teksture tekstilnega medija, hkrati pa s subtilnim dodajanjem intimnih motivov in pripomočkov za soočanje z anksioznimi situacijami prevprašuje tudi lažen občutek varnosti, ki ga pogosto povezujemo z zidovi. S preigravanjem dvojnih pomenov varnih, stabilnih zidov, v katere skrivamo nam dragocene stvari, hkrati pa predstavljajo tudi omejujoče strukture, Jelisaveta Rapaić prevprašuje tudi lastno nestalno pozicijo v svetu, navigiranje skozi omejujoče patriarhalne in tradicionalne strukture ter hkrati naslavlja ambivalenten odnos, ki ga ima do tekstilne umetnosti in klišejev povezanih z njo.

            S poudarjanjem in zakrivanjem nekaterih značilnih elementov razstavnega prostora se umetnica poigrava z dvojnimi pomeni, dvoumnimi opredelitvami, skrivnimi prostori in varnimi kotički, hkrati pa nas sooča z vprašanji: kaj se skriva v teh zidovih ter kako porušiti obstoječe vzorce in se osvoboditi teh navidezno nezlomljivih struktur?



            Jelisaveta Rapaić (1997) je umetnica in neodvisna kuratorka iz Beograda. Diplomirala je na oddelku za oblikovanje tekstilij na Fakulteti uporabnih umetnosti v Beogradu (2019) in magistrirala iz likovne umetnosti v studiu VVV of Intermedia na Akademiji za likovno umetnost in oblikovanje v Bratislavi (2021), med katerim se je udeležila študentske izmenjave na KASK & Conservatorium / School of Arts Gent (2020) v ateljejih Media Kunst in Performance, poletne zimske šole BAK (basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht) v Bratislavi (2019) in WHW Akademije v Zagrebu (2023) ter je trenutno del začasnega kolektiva Question me and Answer na Dunaju (2024). Na začetku pandemije (2020) je odprla potujoči pop-up frizerski salon, v katerem je v zameno za blago in storitve ponujala terapevtske seanse striženja las z naslovom We Are Open. Po končanem študiju se je udeležila umetniške rezidence Cite Internationale des Arts v Parizu (2021). Med razstavami, na katerih je sodelovala, so: Salon Jelisaveta: true hell comes from within, PAF Gallery, Olomouc (2023), Its Okay to Cry, Organ Vida Festival, UGM, Maribor (2023), Whoever Settles in a Perfect Home Will Have to Move, Glassbox Nord, Pariz (2023), Dizzeyland, Galerija Medium, Bratislava (2022), My Tenderness Is My Biggest Weapon, Apart Collective, Bratislava (2022). Do nedavnega zaprtja Kunsthalle Bratislava je tam delala kot kuratorka obrazstavnega program in za odnose z javnostmi, pri čemer je med drugim kurirala razstavo The rotten smell is you (2023) in sokurirala razstavo ...and they lived ... (2023).

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