Monday, May 18, 2015

The power of place and us, here is a shadow of Eva Pĕtric, does it touch you? It has touched Nightbird

I am a birdie... photo credit, Eva Petric
Eva Petric towering, flying... I am a birdie, poem by Eva Petric, below
In our times, Nightbird likes finding some deep questions which sound quite familiar ...yet they seem to fly away... Birds. Originality you cannot put down. 

Only upohold

To connect with poems and to disconnect. To move with the shadows and to abandon them. This is her new heartbeat and it goes on. 
So Eva Pĕtric caught her attention. Eva writes herself as a pronoun with a small 'i'. 

Listening to her questions you might imagine you know the answers but do you? To know them you have to read her 1215 pages... of her.. Gr@yMatter language of shadows. Nightbird has only just began. But it is exciting to read...

"Me and the other?" Asks Eva. "Why am I I and why am I not you? When do I become you? When does you become I and I become you? Is the shadow that I see mine or yours? We all have shadows, whether we want it (sic) or not, whether we notice them or not. Shadows belong to each and everybody, regardless of age, sex, education, social status etc. Shadows always tasteless, odorless, immaterial, are great equalizers...My installation of shadows is an open box, box without skin, floating.... ?" Nightbird reached out to Eva to hear her own answers.

Nightbird was once invited to an art exhibition by Eva Petric in Vienna. It turns out that she could never sleep because of the shadows of hope and change that Eva's art cast on her. And so it is, so it is. We all leave something and Nightbird is very sensitive to these things as well as footsteps. 

So, she watched Eva tell everyone that women have used needle and thread for years to do what surgeons do without hearts when they operate. Did I skip a beat? Did you? Nightbird liked Eva's originality and power and followed her. She had questions not so much about gray matter but many other things. 

Eva was born in Slovenia in 1983 when Nightbird had already written her PhD in Spanish after studying Latin, Kiswahili, Literature and Linguistics.  She wanted to know if Eva, now a hard working and focused artist remembers her early days in Africa. She travelled far to reach her. Not in the way of kilometers but in the mind. Nightbird wanted to see how a girl with four continents for wings, flies. Eva is a poet too.

Another bird in flight...and when searching beyond shadows she is lost... and we if we do not search with her will be lost even more...



for the lost in me-

for what I lost inside me.
i am lost inside me.

i am birdy.

i wish to no longer be.

i wish to rewind.

i am forward.

i am not i.

i am birdy, flown ahead…

*Eva Petrič, This Space Is a Box, Drava Publishing House 2007, Klagenfurt, Austria, p.65;
Eva Petrič, Dieser Raum ist eine Schachtel, Drava Verlag, 2009, Klagenfurt, Austria, p. 63.

The birdie is strong ... she says..she uses words that carry you away...and lean between philosophy and art... is there such a space for play?

"I take space and develop it further, by extending it, changing it, adapting it to an already existing

space, out of which or inside of which potential exists for even many more spaces. I am interested in

the phenomena of exponenting - on how may exponents I can reduce a certain existing physical space
and/or transform it into many more. By “playing” with various perspectives that are enabled to me by
using various media, from photography, performance, literature, installation to video and film, I try to
acquire the characteristics of a bird, aiming for the clouds!"

It was a long journey which also involved the silencing of Nightbird's wings and so it has been months. In the meantime as Nightbird flapped around, Eva flew to many places with her art work. Then Nightbird threw some arrows like spears at her to try and see if she could find out what is in this great love of art in Eva. Who is Eva?

Eva Petrič, b. 1983 in Slovenia, grew up and attended schools on four continents (Africa, Asia, America, Europe) and now lives and works in Vienna, Austria, and in Ljubljana, Slovenia. She is engaged in art photography, video, performance and writing. In 2005 she graduated cum laude from psychology and visual art at Webster University Vienna, and in 2010 graduated MFA in new media at the Transart Institute Berlin/Danube University Krems, Austria.. She is a member of the Kuenstlerhaus Vienna as well as the Association of fine artists of Slovenia..
Her visual work was displayed at 27 solo exhibitions and at 37 group exhibitions in Slovenia, Argentina, Austria, China, Germany, Italy, Philippines, Spain and USA. She has received numerous recognitions and awards, among them the recogntion of the 2011 Pfann Ohmann Preis Vienna, Austria, the 2010 Vordemberge-Gildewart award, grant of the Ministry of Culture of Slovenia for 2010, "Art critics' choice" for February 2008 by the Association of the Slovenian Art Critics, "Artist of the month" for June/July 2008 of Art Lab, Hilger Gallery, Vienna, Austria, and was Finalist (as Z+E+M art collective) in 2009 International open call of ID Consonni, for public art intervention in Sondika, Spain. In 2006 she received the Čižek award for the best short digital video in 2006 in Slovenia, as well as two grants of the Film Foundation of Slovenia for the development of two of her screenplays. In 2012 her work Solar Cell was selected for the 2012 Beijing International Art Biennale and in 2013 she was one of the ten nominees to represent Slovenia at the 2013 Venice Biennale of Art.
Eva Petrič is the author of two novels (Box without skin, floating and They all ate sushi), published in Slovene, English, German, Spanish and Macedonian languages as well as of the poetry book This space is a box, published in Slovene and German language, illustrated with her series of black and white photographs. The covers of her books contain her artwork.

Her 1215 pages book of the artist Gr@y Matter - language of shadows, from which the present display at the BergdorfGoodman shop-windows stems, contains 300 black and white analog in dark room manipulated photographs and is part of the permanent collection of the International Centre for Graphic Art in Ljubljana, Slovenia, as well as the Salon for Artists Books in Vienna, Austria. 

Black and white make gray...Nightbird thought that Eva was most original in her approach to things we grapple with often and fail... some borders we create and boxes we like to sleep in? Nightbird asked Philo Ikonya to ask Eva three questions and just report them verbatim and here you  can read them and see why Eva fascinates.

Philo I (PI) How has place impacted on your art? Or can you explain the power of place?

Eva Petric (EP) Ever since i have been little i remember moving around to different places, houses, names, people surrounding me, from Ethiopia to India to Washington DC to New York City to Vienna to Slovenia and back again to Vienna and Buenos naturally being small i searched to connect these "differences". In this "self defensive action"  i came to see and realize, that we are not so different at all, but in our base very similar! We all have emotions and we all have a body and senses...but the way in which to bring about these emotions in each and every one of us differs. No one person, no one lifetime is replicable, identical, as we all have different experiences. But paradoxically i think, even though the experiences are various and vary so much, the emotions resulting are similar... This fascinates me and shows me that we are more similar, more connected then might appear to us... And naturally this inspires me to think, to hope to continue working with the idea in mind that greater harmony is possible between us all as a people and also us in relation to our home, planet Earth.... I think that art should strive to bring its viewers into such emotional states where this is made apparent, obvious, and thus believable and with this bringing about the yearning for more and a prolongation of this felt state  -to ensure greater possibility of its materialization as well as sedimentation amongst us as a people and inhabitants here of planet Earth...

You have lived in many continents, what in art draws people from different backgrounds together?

EP I think it has to do with we all have a body and thus a shadow, we also all have emotions, which we unfortunately too often place in the shadow...In my work in art, I deal a lot with emotions, with shadows...precisely because I am interested in that which is common to all people, because it is that which is able to  bind us together into a tight network of what may be the human pattern... The medium of art are emotions and it is exactly emotions which draw people together! Because it is through our emotions that we are aware of our being here and now, in this space and time.Thus i am interested in emotions and emotional states and how they are built up. But even more so, I'm interested to CREATE emotional states, emotional landscapes for people to walk into , submerge into and in this way travel to places where their inner voice leads them to ...

Name one or two problems that you think all people on earth share. Has your art brought testimonies of impact on that same level of such a problem?


Not being aware of their emotions, the emotional level of their being , which is a pity because if we look closely, it is really only through the emotions that one can really be HERE and NOW and get the most out of our current material reality, exploring it, experiencing it, and sharing it further through a reinterpretation of it...

Borders, barriers, mental, physical as well as psychological. This is why i was fascinated to explore the crossing of, the surpassing g of borders in all possible ways. The concrete one which i focused a lot on was that of search to find the answer to "where does i end and where does you begin and where does you begin and where does i end" i asked for a co operation with Vienna's main hospital the AKH - if i could take part in their transplantation sessions and document what i see and what i experience. I feel it is very important for artists not to only document the visual, via various apparatus, the camera and the idea, but also in terms of feelings...this offers a view into how we ourselves might have changed...

What is inspiring for change?

 For me, what is inspiring for change is that which is invisible, especially hematomas, weak and pressured spots in society, the body, the psyche well as taboos, and cliches, because it is HERE that i see room for reinterpretation in todays context of living here and now. If anything, i feel it is art which has the ability to initiate change as it subtly opens the doors for change to even be possible, giving it the chance to  leak out into the greater common worlds....So it goes to say, all the things lacking in something, that which needs fixing....the imperfect because it is so much more full of potential for transformation, which I feel is the key role of art... like a destination, a refinery... 

And the Nightbird can fly off ...with much fuel and food for thought from the ever creative Eva who does these astonishing works... with a stroke of genius. 

Nightbird will be back... with some more knowledge of German which is keeping her zwischen dem blog und Gramatik Bücher in a language that cares very much not only for where every capital is but also for every single sign. Das ist alles! Nicht Alle! Kein Artikel!

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