Mirjana Vodopija


“The Wind” is a part of the series “Irreversible, futile”. Papers, borne by the wind; arrested in mid-flight so we cannot tell if they are flying away or landing, scattering or re-grouping. Our efforts are sometimes in vain: we make a pile, and the wind blows it away; in spite our attempts nothing ever changes, only a distance is travelled. Are all efforts futile and is progress only an illusion? “Linen”, “Papers”, “Feathers” and “Leaves” are a part of the series “Freedom in falling”. Just as scarves, leaves, feathers and paper fly in the air carried by wind, without consciousness, will or power of control, we are in the same way left to the whims of time without any control over it. The only thing that gives us the illusion of control is our will to choose among the possibilities we encounter. “I had a dream I was flying above the hills at dusk. There were groves, fields and villages with lights spreading across the valley passing bellow me. Something dark which wanted to grab and destroy me – some terrible animal or several of them – was running on the ground. I could not rise higher, but only maintain altitude and only when I was entirely calm and at peace. Fortunately, as I was gradually losing altitude, the landscape beneath me gently descended towards a valley. Reconciled with the fact that the valley has to end somewhere and that it was where I would meet my inevitable demise, I revelled in the beauty of the lights, the space around me and the wind. “ “Ice” is part of a triptych “Possibility, will, decision, action”. The photograph where the footsteps in the snow end at the edge of a frozen lake pointing to my presence and the travelled distance, project the possibility of taking action through an animated drawing of me standing, and beginning to walk across the ice. “I had a dream I I was climbing at night up a hill, along ancient weed-choked temples and further amongst low vegetation. I came to the peak, and behind the peak there was a light so strong that I could not see a thing. It was marvellous, supernatural and entirely overtaking me. But I was afraid of walking further. I turned around and got down to the valley, where there were my friends and some other (drunk) people.” It takes courage and determination to walk across the ice. The footsteps in the snow do not reveal with certainty whether I have returned or left.


2006 -2012 The light is the creator and the destroyer of the visual: it enables visibility, but in its excessive intensity the image gets lost in the whiteness, and if it is lacking, the image disappears into the darkness. Human eyes adjust to the light intensity and the range of an acceptable light intensity for an iris openingin its static condition is not large. Some of the works in this series examine the situations of marginal light where the portion of the content is lost beyond the boundaries of the visible. The photographs show the wild-grown plants as they were encountered. Their independence and wisdom frees me of responsibility and the need to evaluate. However, I could not acquire enough knowledge about the scene by taking photos and observing. Only through the process of drawing I could investigate and understand what I saw. The drawings on transparent sheets overlap with each other and, depending on the viewing angle, merge with the photographs, singling out the figures of plantsas a rational window through which it is possible to observe the world of nature. A moving panel has been set over some of the photos from the series which enable the viewers to pick a frame of their choosing so that the second part of the scene is blurred or, by using a shiny transparent panel, to introduce their own reflection into the scene. In addition to the light which is the basis of the photographic medium, in the works “Lull” and “Breath” I also deal with the perception of time. I order to emphasizechange in relation to the unaltered state, I combine photography and video within the same scene. A static image in one part of the scene becomes mobile while the rigidness of arrested motion in the photo is released in a series of successive images – captured by a video camera – which mergein our minds giving us the illusion of movement. The wind is the energy that fuels the movement of plants. I associate windwith the breath of human life. According to one of the texts in the Upanishads, which tells the story offive internal powers called “the breaths”, each of these powers has a corresponding external “deity”: vision is paired with the Sun, hearing with Spatial Directions, breath with the Wind, spirit with the Moon and the word with Fire. After death, they are reunited with those deities.

City Officials

2001 The photographs in this series follow the luminous reality of the city in its interiors and exteriors. Voyeuristically captured photographs of the lighted interiors document the spatial and the luminous reality of the city. The captured interiors are the personifications of people who live in these spaces. Every interior is an organism with its own state of mind, but together they make up an internal organism of the city. The lights in the interiors are colourful and often strange, but static, as are the habits of people who live in these spaces. On the other side of the windows, ever more powerful floodlights illuminate the public spaces of the city. Darkness gives way to the streetlights, the lighting of roadways and intersections, receding in front of illuminated ads, city-light posters and billboard spotlights, in front of the hypertrophy of urban lighting. The apartments whose windows overlook large traffic intersections or public squares are never covered in darkness. At dusk, the daylight gets replaced by an intense and aggressive halogen lighting of public floodlights. The last photo in this series comes from an installation “Lamp to Photo”, where a table lamp illuminates its photo. This installation is a part of a triptych “Lamp to Lamp”, “Lamp to Mirror” and “Lamp toPhoto,” which deals with the levels of visual manifestations. The photo of a lamp is only its visual content captured at one point in time, from a single position. The figure of a lamp in the photodoes not emit nor reflect enough light to illuminate the surrounding space.