Mentors: Mario Čaušić, Vjeran Hrpka (Academy of Arts and Culture in Osijek) Jasna Galjer (Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Zagreb)

Shapes of Time and Chronotope

Gabriel Garcia Márquez once concluded that “Travelling is to go back” in the last verses of his poetic meditation on travel. It is only upon the return from our travels that we perceive the ways in which our systems of thinking have changed and our perceptive apparatus has sharpened. Sensing the upcoming change, trying to preserve moments that are sometimes truly formative, we give shape to our memories. New experiences of different times and spaces pervade the art forms such as travelogues, documentaries and photographic series. This creative impulse induced by travels is the topic of the research that Maja Gjajić conducted through “Archive of Memories”. She was inspired by numerous travels she took over the last two years, before the pandemic stopped their continuance. Seeing travel as a way of learning, that within the theoretic complex implies sociological, anthropological, historic and artistic research of movement of people through time and space, the artist was creating her works in situ during her travels. The results of her artistic research are presented in two artist books, travelogues of a kind, that include prints and photographs produced in alternative photographic techniques of cyanotype and Van Dyke Brown. Narrative structure of the books follows the visited sites or visual diary entries and interpretations of different characteristics of places, times or people that author had met and understood during those travels, but also of changes that were happening within her. They are also shown in a spatial installation that consists of memorabilia gathered during the travels and metal matrix executed in connection with a specific visited city or area. In the time of limited movement, when all travels are disabled or uncertain, the work by Maja Gjajić becomes even more relevant. It represents a personal reminder of specific travels, but also a reminder of the times when travel was possible, which can be observed from the critical distance of the newly formed perspective. Poet Velemir Hlebnikov’s idea to put all the population of Russia in glass houses on wheels so that they could travel and see the whole world (and be seen at the same time) doesn’t seem so odd from today’s perspective. After all, we still travel, but within ourselves where numerous memories of different places exist and become more real as we keep reaching out for them. Works by Maja Gjajić relate to such memories, retelling of stories and looking at travel photographs. They remind us to remember all the places that have changed us or, maybe more importantly, the works by Maja Gjajić encourage us to find new strategies for a different kind of travels.

Maja Flajsig

Maja Gjajić (1996.) graduated printmaking from the Academy of Arts and Culture in Osijek. She has participated in numerous exhibitions and projects and won awards such as Dean’s Award (2015) and award for the best student work (2017). She has exhibited in numerous group exhibitions such as „Izložba umjetničke grafike studenata UAOS“ in Vasko Lipovac Gallery in Split Split (2017.); exhibition of awarded students AUKOS „STARTER 3“ in Kazamat Gallery and Museum of the City of Đakovo (2017, 2018); „Na rubu fotografije“ in Kazamat Gallery Osijek, 2018; international exhibition „Minijature“ in Vršilnica Zaprešić (2018.); participation in the international printmaking workshop „IWAGO 7“ (AUKOS, 2018.) and group show in Kazamat Gallery (2018, 2019); „Plati i nosi“ in Bačva Gallery, Zagreb and award for the best work there (2018.); „Nesvrstani“ in Lauba, Zagreb (2019.); Printmaking Triennial in City Museum of Skopje, Macedonia.

Maja Flajsig (1994) holds an MA in Art history and Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology. She works as a freelance curator in Croatia and abroad. She published art reviews, essays and interviews for websites Vizkultura, Kulturpunkt and Contemporary Croatian Photography, Narodna umjetnost magazine and radio show Triptih on Croatian Radio 3. She collaborates with associations Ured za fotografiju, 90-60-90 and Crta Gallery in development of discursive contents and exhibition programmes. She is an active member of 4 grada Dragodid association that preserves dry stone heritage. In her research she focuses on interdisciplinary approach to contemporary artistic phenomena through visual anthropology that mainly deal with participation within community and art in public spaces and nature, especially in the context of smaller local communities.