Urša Vidic: Crystal Sea
Kazemate Gallery (Ljubljana Castle) is a venue of Urša Vidic's latest project entitled Crystal Sea. Vidic's inspiration, as she is one of the most recognized Slovene artists of younger generation, emerged as a result of observation and intepretation of C. D. Friederich's work.
"In the past few years, Urša Vidic research has been focused on a particular concept of Romanticism: the sublime. The theme returns powerfully in the new work Crystal Sea. She refers explicitly to C.D. Friedrich, artist of the first German Romanticism. In his paintings, Friedrich gives expression of high sublime melancholy accompanied by a sense of solitude. The existential anguish of a man confronting nature becomes arcane and symbolic.
With this reference in mind, she moves towards her personal feeling of attraction toward nature, in particular towards the ice landscapes of Antarctica. The attraction doesn’t exclude a feeling of separation, incommunicability and isolation. It is the consequence of a single human being confronted by the overwhelming power of an inhospitable nature. But it is contemplation that creates an overturn in Crystal Sea. Hugh of St. Victor writes that contemplation requires the use of intelligence and it is not confined specifically to mystical experience but can arise when attending to the sensible world.
But, like the viewer of C.D. Friedrich paintings in XIX Century, Urša Vidic observes the terrible beauty of ice landscapes from a safe point of view: from images and literature, not in the field. So, with hard technological fabrication, mutations of lights and sounds, she creates an object that evokes a surge of white icebergs and landscapes. With a strong spatial reversal: it is the viewer, here, who overhangs the landscape. In fact, the landscape is a miniature sheltered in a showcase, protected as ephemeral microsystem to be contemplated. This microsystem lives till the technology that sustains it is running energy. To switch off the engines means to let the microsystem melt.
As human beings, we often feel a sense of isolation and drama. This feeling is greatly intensified in a harsh, uninhabitable nature, where we are strongly confronted with all of our inner turmoil, but there is a connection to the sense of isolation in a more civilized environment. Social rules can wrap us in a bubble of comfort, but can just as easy alienate us, pushing us deep into our own reflexion. The artist takes in this feeling and transforms it into visual beauty by recreating an ice structure, providing us with the aesthetic metaphysic of light and splendour of white.
By merging form with sound, the Crystal Sea becomes a vision for the viewer." (Michele Drascek, curator)
Vidic's work will be on display until February 20th with free entrance.
Curator: Michele Drascek
Text: Michele Drascek
Sound: Luka Uršič / KALU
Light: Borut Cajnko
Ice sculpture: Miro Rismondo
Cooling technology: H2n
Carpenter: Vladimir Janc
Graphic design: Janez Vidrih
Production: Urša vidic
Coproduction: Ljubljana Castle - Gallery Kazemate, Association for Promotion of Women in Culture - City of Women
Special thanks to: Jonathan Podboršek
Exhibition is supported by Municipality of Ljubljana – Department for Culture