Interview: Jelena Rakić
Luca Curci talks with Jelena Rakić during ANIMA MUNDI 2019 – CONSCIOUSNESS at THE ROOM Contemporary Art Space.
Born 1994 in Banja Luka. Graduated from the Academy of Arts, Fine Arts Department of University of Banja Luka in 2017. I am equally active in painting, in illustration as in video art and performances. Currently attending a master’s degree at the Academy of Arts, Fine Arts Department in Banja Luka. The starting point for my ideas is an exploration of my inner world, individuality concerning an outside world. My interests include explorations using the media of video art, performance art, painting, and digital drawing. Usually, in my video works, I use the self-interpreted song, like a mantra, for dealing with my inner life and global surrounding. In the time following the birth of my child, my works are based on inside out forms, womb-like, celestial. They invite the viewer to the inner reaches of the imagination and contemplation about the origin of ourselves and Life itself.
Luca Curci – What is art for you?
Jelena Rakić – Art is love for life and creation, a path towards ourselves. It is a relationship between an artist and his creation, a form of confession. An artist is guided by an instinct-like urge and his artwork prolongs the search of the man for that what is eternal. I would say that the borders between biology, philosophy and art interflow and intertwine. Where science loses its power to prove facts, there begins the art, which leads to infinity. That is why art can never get old or repeat itself because the infinity of the universe and a man’s microcosmos extend their field of scope indifinitely. An artist is a prophet and a mage and the art is the magic and truth which he creates and foretells. The man is here to extend the act of divine creation. I would continue the seven days creation narrative with words: “On the eighth day, the man created art”.
LC – What are you currently working on?
JR – Currently, I’m working on my project “Partus”. It is a set of drawings, installations, and videos that were created during my pregnancy period. The drawings represent my relationship with the fetus and the life which grows inside me. While I was pregnant they were like religious icons through which I have been making contact with the fetus, with something beyond senses, something that is not yet complete but nevertheless infects my body and changes the shape of it. Although the drawings show cells and the micro-world, they tend to extend to the cosmic scale, where the uterus of a woman is actually a cosmos Uroborus or even better said – uteroborus, which rotates eternally and the cycle never ends. It gives birth continuously and rejuvenates the mankind. The drawings visually seem like pages torn out from biology book because I believe that in these tiny amorphous cells lies the whole truth behind the nascency and the existence.
LC – Where do you find your inspiration?
JR – I find inspiration in my daily state of life, the states we are in, within ourselves.
LC – What is your creative process like?
JR – Sometimes I do not work for a few months because it seems to me that the energy in my works is not convincing and strong enough and the idea itself is not grounded. Then come the days of rethinking, conception and finally the deposition of that energy which again reaches a state of entropy. Then I start working again with a new flare and faith.
LC – How is being an artist nowadays?
JR – In these days, dealing with art has many advantages and also disadvantages. First of all, I would like to point out the possibility of learning about different approaches at the same time in China, India, Mexico, Italy, etc. It is no longer necessary to travel to one end of the world to convey new understandings and new colors from there. A kind of dense network, especially social networks, makes that the art is no longer so topological. But it is certainly not easy to make a selection or even be original in this torrent of artists. Ultimately, every artist, wheater English, Peruvian or Russian exhibits only herself. There isn’t a global ideological struggle. Also, art is easy and expendable; a 3-second glance equals hours of thinking and putting ideas and thoughts into action.
LC – What is the message linked to the artwork you have shown in this exhibition? How is it connected to the theme of the entire festival?
JR – The video could be divided into three images. The first image represents a cosmic circle, feminine womb which is a ‘pneuma’ for a new life. My hands are immersed in the heavens, searching through the blue sky. Thence, begins the life I summoned. When life in the uterus is strengthened, it is turned into the milk. From that moment it belongs to Earth, it has been transformed into the life, in the phenomenon of motherhood. The lullaby which I sing, sounds like a magical formula, like a mantra that enhances the growth of a fetus in the womb. It grows until it ripens in a formed being. In that very moment the partus occurs and the labour begins. The video work is connected in a way in which human existence corresponds with nature. Everything is connected, an intrinsic connection between all living things on the planet, which relates to the world in much the same way as the soul is connected to the human body. Our planet is a macro womb that pulsates and delivers every day new lives.
LC – In which way the artwork presented in our exhibition is connected with the festival’s theme?
JR – This video work is a vision of the creation of all living entities. The invisible energy behind all the natural and the artificial elements that allow the planet to live.
LC – Do you think ITSLIQUID GROUP can represent an opportunity for artists?
JR – I think ItsLiquid gives a great opportunity for artists to present their work. It’s a global platform that has years of experience behind in promoting international artists globally.
LC – Did you enjoy cooperating with us?
JR – I found everyone involved professional, courteous and earnest. Sharing my work with a diverse and international audience was an experience of a great value.
LC – What do you think about ITSLIQUID Platform?
JR – I believe this international platform will bring new opportunities to emerging artists. It is a good opportunity to exhibit internationally and the festival especially provides a unique experience for artists to show their work in these historic spaces in Venice that ITSLIQUID Group manages.