I want to hold you closer
October 02 –
October 18, 2019
Prešernova ulica 10A
1000 Ljubljana
Piera Ravnikar

Teja Kosi
            Human figures are a central part of the creations of visual artist Mina Fina, who through sketches, drawings and graphic design explores women’s bodies as the building blocks of our identities and emotions in a materialistic form. Roughly sketched faces, bodies with no clear details, wrapped in black and white contrasts, with elegant strokes and soft dotted lines, just like blank spaces, tell a story and offer a view from “another’s” body. The context of the creation immerged from the artist’s early works, painting images of women from pornographic magazines from the 80s and 90s, which acted as visual instructions for how one must look if one wanted to appear attractive, successful and happy. This was followed by the creation of (auto)portraits that pose the following question to the viewer: How to find oneself in a world full of internalised norms and social patterns. Instead of the body being an unfinished project that needs to be made as desirable as possible, the artist thus emphasizes the importance of perceiving the world, womanhood, the media and evaluating it all with respect to society and its values.

            The title of the exhibition Samo to veš, da moraš (The only thing you know is that you must) was borrowed from Tomaž Šalamun’s poetry and shows the openness and indeterminacy that Mina Fina translates into a visual poetic confession. Central to the drawing is the primary, most personal and sincere record, which the artist says aims to stop the fleetingness of seemingly insignificant moments and thoughts that make up everyday life. The momentary outlines of the figures, this time taken by the artist from retro erotic magazines and contemporary fashion and beauty magazines, hang in a vague zone time and space and resemble mere shadows. Instead of a clear narrative, this is how the visual landscape opens up, breaking the tension between the poetic, the intangible, and the mundane, the real, at the same time offering us the opportunity to imagine entirely new worlds. Next to the soft, blurred black lines, we are equally strongly addressed by the white, empty space. For all the empty corners, the artist swiftly adds: “It is better that the gaps are seen as gaps, rather than trying to fill them up in an artificial way.” Emptiness is not only synonymous with incompleteness and emptiness, but can also represent the possible and the unlimited. Persistently solid and at the same time fragile fragments of bodies, each with their own character, are also created in graphic technique, where the artist is attracted mainly by unpredictability and “mistakes” in the artistic process. Through self-reliance and loyalty to her own style, she found a personal and creative dwelling place, isolated from changeable trends but still strong enough to respond to actuality. The body, as a bridge between our inner and outer worlds, thus acts as a sketch of the position of women that gives us a sense of the other symptoms of society: treaded path of repatriarchalisation, conservatism, the forgetting of past struggles and, consequently, bodies that seem to be in the way or remain engulfed in generality. Mina Fina translates passion and immersion into apathy with a debt of change and an active posture of bodies that miss obscenity, work with love, but do not romanticize life, transform evicted hope into playfulness, and harmonise all internal contradictions. In other words, the only thing you know is that you must.
           Mina Fina (1978) graduated in 2002 from the Department of Visual Communication at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Ljubljana. During her studies, she received two awards for typographic excellence from TDC New York. She also received the ALUO Award for Excellence for her final degree piece, as well as the Brumen Award. Lately, she has been exploring drawing, animation and video. She has released several original artistic publications, zines and artist’s books. She is a member of the Ee design group, as well as the YGT (Your Gay Thoughts) audio-visual collective and Riso Paradiso self-publishing project. She lives and works in Ljubljana.