The interactive light-sound installation displayed at the Museum of Fine Arts is a recent work by the multimedia artist Vana Gaćina. The artist’s approach is the result of her education and work experience in many fields, so we find elements of engineering, electrical engineering, music and science in her works. Interactive ambiances with the existing formal dimension, the examination of drawing and painting forms, and usage of technology, become a platform for sovereign perception as well as questioning of space, material and form, and the very function of the artwork. In her work, nothing is left to chance so we can assume that manners of creative thinking faithfully follow the internal logic of the artist herself, who is inclined to extened preparation and concentration, eventually resulting in the synchronicity of individual elements and a meaningful integrity of the whole.

In her recent work, the artist uses an abstract pencil drawing as a starting point, which is then replicated on light boxes and connected to the computer with electric coils. The approximation of coils creates the energy needed to activate a flash. The constantly changing energy alters the intensity of light that optical sensors then process into sound changes. This approach to lighting and sound enables insight into the drawing’s very pores, whereby its smallest details come to the fore. By transforming the gallery space into a complex interactive system that functions between human body – sensor – light – sound, the artist creates situations in which the observer contributes to the articulation of their possible meaning by communicating with the works.

Most of Vana Gaćina’s works, as does this one displayed in the Museum, indicate a tendency towards interaction and combination of experimental procedures in visual arts. They are not finished with an artist’s action, but they need an audience in order to be completely realized. Her works allude to the engagement of each individual as they attempt to understand movement and changes that occur as a consequence of an intervention of body/act in space. The engagement of each individual thus becomes the central element of perception, by which they become aware of their actions and changes they cause.

Incessant examination of visual media leads to the conceptually interesting and aesthetically and representationally innovative and good works, in which Vana Gaćina shows organic growth, blending of genre and combination of media, that demonstrate her understanding of art as a fortunate amalgam of technical and visual-spatial creativity, a process in which medium and content attempt to be broken and remade again for each new work. Such an approach almost always opens new dialectics, interpretations and questions.

Marija Stipišić Vuković

After graduating with a BA in painting from the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb, and wanting to make her paintings move, Vana Gaćina discovered video art and enrolled in a master’s programme, in the department of video and new media at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Ljubljana, where she had an opportunity to explore different possibilities offered by the combination of art and technology. She started working on multimedia installations that connect classical art with modern technologies. Her primary interest is the examination of classical form and its reproduction using analogue and digital media. She is currently exploring the possibility of reproduction of form using video and sound. In that process, she creates instruments, most of which she connects with the viewer. She participated in numerous exhibitions in Croatia and abroad. She is a member of the Croatian Association of Visual Artists and the Croatian Freelance Artists’ Association.

On view till 6 January, 2019