Mentored by:
dr. sc. Vlasta Žanić, Associate Professor. (ALU)
dr. sc. Josipa Alviž, Senior Assistant (FFZG)

The process of questioning one’s identity also signifies the process of distancing oneself from problems, which constitute each person's being. Analytical instruments such as introspection or retrospection make it possible to plunge into the waters of one’s subconscious and to find the causes of one’s destructive mechanisms. This process of comprehending our subconscious mechanisms is inherent to every human being and Martina Ištvan is presenting her version of the immersion in the subconscious within the framework of her multimedia work Vertigo. Made up of two sculptural installations, one kinetic sculpture and a separate video, the exhibition captures moments of the artist's personal fragmentation from different periods of her life and the methods by which she self-critically grapples with the emerging fragments of her subconscious.

In her work Skok u sebe, the artist projects herself onto detached legs that appear from the top of the ladder. The legs appear as if they are about to jump into the abyss of her subconscious, represented by a pool full of wigs floating on its surface. Their disintegration reflects the internal processes of the artist's own disintegration. The motive of the jump is to be viewed as a self-exploratory act that enables the artist to transition from a state of consciousness to the unconscious in order for her to find the underlying causes of the different states of her mind. The mirror placed above the pool enhances the impression of a declining consciousness, but it also symbolizes the artist's self-reflection on the state of her consciousness.

In the kinesthetic sculpture titled Vrtnja, the artist inserts herself into the frame of the installation through a pair of clasped hands gripping a rotating handle. The motion of the turning hands in the artist's work is meant to be interpreted as a sort of spinning around in circles due to unsolved problems. The sudden, continuous revolving of the hands around the handle simulate the dizziness of entering the subconscious and the repairing of repressed traumas that can result in either establishing a stable life rhythm or a nonsensical dynamic of spinning around in circles over one’s problems which ultimately leads to (auto)destruction.

Distancing oneself from problems is also a process that involves defragmenting oneself. In essence, it is an ambivalent process that the artist explores in her work Potonuće. Duality in the work is based on the outcome of self-reflective procedures - on the one hand, the artist depicts the moment of confronting the subconscious in the form of relaxed legs lying down on the pedestal. On the other hand, the artist depicts repressing her anxiety that materializes into whimpering, colliding plush dogs that are separated with nylon within the plinth on which the legs lie. The result of looking at the subconscious and confronting internalized coping mechanisms is dualistic in the artist's work insofar that it repeats the artist’s developed and adopted rehabilitation methods. These methods, which, depending on the viewing perspective, can be viewed as either a successful or failed autotherapy project. The artist also displays the theme of perspective and observation when designing the plinth, in which she changes the perspective with a straight cut in its lower part, emphasizing thus the perspective of the plinth.

Vertigo is a short experimental video that is presented as a synthesis of the set installations where the artist's turmoil is superimposed into an autobiographical context through captured frames, staging the personal fragmentation of the artist in loci, which the artist holds dear to her heart. In the experimental film, the artist creates an anxious environment by editing frames with depictions of different movements and by performing one-minute sculptures that stand in opposition to the noisy frames of the puppies’ barks, thus infusing the narrative with a sense of nervousness and impatience, emphasizing through the video a feeling of anxiety that encompasses the whole exhibition.

Leopold Rupnik

Martina Ištvan holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in Sculpture from the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb, under the mentorship of Vlasta Žanić. He complements his formal art education with studies in fine arts pedagogy at the Academy of Applied Arts in Rijeka and the Academy of Fine Arts in Osijek. He participates in a series of group exhibitions, the most important being the Cu*ts Smoke at the Esseker Center in Osijek and the Emerging Meetings at the Osijek Cultural Center. In 2017 she has participated at the exhibition of the Art Department of the Croatian Matica Branch in Vinkovci. As part of the City at Second Glance project, in 2019 in Karlovac, she performed Stars performance, while later in 2019 she has also participated in the international exhibition program Trans-Form 2019 at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Ljubljana. Her solo exhibitions are in preparation at the Student Center Gallery and ULUPUH Gallery in Zagreb. She is a participant of the virtual, international exhibition project Open Art 2019. Martina Ištvan lives and works in Zagreb, Croatia.

Leopold Rupnik is a student of Art History and German Studies. He has completed the Women's Studies program at Women's Studies Center in 2016. He received the Rector's Award for the Deutsch-römisches Brevier Science and Art Project: 500 years - 400 copies - 1 anniversary in 2019. He is an associate of the CEKAO Gallery at the Open University in Zagreb and the f8 Gallery at the Academy of Dramatic Arts where he is author of the catalog texts. In 2018 he is collaborating as a text author at the International Student Biennial at the Academia Moderna Gallery. He is the editor of the Kulturflux cultural-artistic portal. He has published a number of scholarly and essay works, articles and publications in journals and portals, among which are the journals Third and Folk Art. He has lectured and participated in the realization of a series of scientific and artistic conferences, among which the participation at the Marija Jurić Zagorka Days in 2017 and the realization of the round table Practices and tactics of encouraging young artists and curators at the Institute for Contemporary Art 2018 stand out.

On view till 8, December, 2019.