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Modularni Univerzum: o novim oblicima zajedništva i bliskosti u radovima Slavice Panić
Ivana Kolaković, MA, Ženske studije

Nežnost, kolorit, struktura i interaktivnost radova Slavice Panić pozivaju na lucidnu igru, čulno uživanje ili emotivni predah. Lagodnost ovog predaha ne treba pripisivati naivnoj želji da se eskapistički pobegne od materijalne realnosti, već pre volji da se realnost sagleda u njenoj celovitosti i potpunosti – kao deo Univerzuma/Kosmosa čiji smo zasigurni neodvojivi deo.
Razigranost u spajanju i postavci svakog meteorita, kao i interaktivnost radova sa povlačenjem, daju važnim spiritualnim i metafizičkim značenjima zavodljivost i rasterećujući prizvuk. Stavljanjem akcenta na predmete koji pripadaju prirodi, Kosmosu, ova izložba, međutim, postavlja bitna pitanja o čovekovoj individualnosti, samodovoljnosti, i odgovornosti.
Odbacivanje stroge antropocentričnosti kao i mita o čovekovoj nezavisnosti izvedeno je kroz igru i šarenoliko opredmećenje delova Kosmosa i prirode koji nam nisu svakodnevno dostupni. Time je veza između čoveka i drugih objekata koji pripadaju Univerzumu postala prisna, opipljiva i bliska, čime se direktno poziva na osmišljavanje drugačijih oblika zajedništva i zajednica između ljudi, prirode i Kosmosa.
Tako, ovi radovi aktiviraju i upriličuju novu, važnu s(a)vest o tome da svi zajedno, i ljudi i priroda, kao neodvojivi delovi Univerzuma, učestvujemo u stvaranju, ljubavi i transformaciji sveta u kome živimo. Nijedan od ovih napora, stoga, nikada ne može biti izolovan, niti pojedinačan, već je uvek deo celokupnosti stvaranja Univerzuma. Stoga, ovi radovi ohrabruju i govore nam da nismo sami - već da svi zajedno postojimo ovde, utapajući se, prožimajući se i igrajući se sa ostalim delovima Univerzuma kojeg smo deo.

Firstness a curatorial essay by Brian Longfield

…Slavica Panic’s (Toronto) Panbadges also use space imagery as each is a colourful take on a Star Trek communicator badge. Part of an ongoing exploration of distance and the virtuality of memory, these badges bring to mind a philosophical question about teleportation. In Star Trek style teleportation, the atoms of a person are disassembled and translated into data, which is transmitted through space. At the destination, the person is reassembled digitally from atoms in the air; the question being is the person who arrives the original or a copy? What becomes of the status of the original when it is reproduced over distances of space and time, as indeed the badges themselves are reproductions, with modification, of remembered objects from science fiction. Each badge is unique and the first like it, but also a copy of various costume properties from film and television…

Diversity of Photography Jasmina Cubrilo

Continuing on her previous research based on appropriation, remodeling, remixing and analysis of certain techniques and medium, Slavica Panic in this project focuses her attention above all on the relationship between digital and analog (technology), from digital to analog presentation at most and the process of mediation of new by an older medium. Her previous work – collages, prints and billboards represented the theme of public sphere by using the mechanisms of (female) body representation, sexuality, and also the mechanisms of manufactured desire used in the advertising industry and in the mass media in general. “Portraits of diversity” in the representation of their theme face the aspects of the private sphere, and are dealing with the theme of relationships inside the family and close friends circle. Portraits of the intimate circle are done using a digital camera and the shots are developed, without any photo manipulation and computer tampering, on photo paper. By doing this Panic has reversed the digital back to analog and replaced the postmodern digital manipulation with a contemporary analog/modern manual technique. With this original technique the photo shots of the portraits are grouped in pairs, and later cut into more or less same size stripes, which are onwards interlinked following the model of weaving. The result of this procedure is a vague image made out of partially recognizable shapes and sharp edges, which sometimes achieve an unintentional effect of long exposition in photography. This image in the analog world has a reference to a collage or mosaic, and in the realm of digital a scrambled image. The basic parts of which the image is made of also have a reference to a tesserae/small piece of paper in the analog realm and, on the other hand, a pixel in the realm of digital. In addition, these works are based on the foundation of dynamic interaction of media, techniques, intention, but also on a mere accident. Finally, with these works representing the private segment of life by using the most common of all models used in the public sphere they are referring to a new configuration of the public and private domain, in whose (re) shaping media play a large role. There is also the database “Bank of Images”, which is conceptually linked with the work of Panic, in which advertising creative find photos needed for the development of advertising ventures they undertake. Inside this database there are images grouped under the title “Portraits of Diversity”. This subcategory stores the photos of the unique and interesting faces, which surpass the mainstream representation (a fact that is obvious by merely looking at the title of the above mentioned subcategory), and are, therefore, rarely used by advertising creative.


While working in the field of “automatic production of image and sight” (Lev Manovich), Panic in her project “Portraits of Diversity” is actually focusing on the “revival” of photography by redefining its place and meaning in the contemporary society overdosed by media images. If the usage of digital technology introduced a certain amount of doubt in photography’s capability to give an instant and transparent identity between the image and the referent, and generally brought photography in the constantly growing mass of virtual media, than photography is no more only dealing with identifying and memorizing, but above all it is dealing with informing. Having that in mind, the examples shown in the “Portraits of Diversity” project, which through a series of steps could be identified as a third photography/portrait, delivered by interlinking the two photographs/portraits, are deconstructing photography as a “paradigmatic example of logo centralism” (David Phillips) and transforming it into a fragmented structure which is based on the logics of “cut & paste” command (the recycled avangard strategy of collage), movable windows, html tables, commands with which usage a person is allowed access and manipulation of information. Photography is yet another of the numerous materials for media sampling, or to be more precise, another product of sampling, and again another information, which contents and meaning establish more links, leading to yet another information.

Oral/Anal/Digital Dejan Grba

I’ve never been closer
I’ve tried to understand
that certain feeling
carved by another’s hand
Heaven 17, Temptation.


Packed within the ‘so close and yet so far away’ idiom, temptation is one of the key strategies of (pop) culture which exploits the assumption that joy requires some special ingredient whose ultimate lacking sustains the desire. Slavica Panic deconstructs this mystifying algorithm by combining trivial elements into complex structures whose ambivalences lead the viewer toward disillusioning experience. In drawings, objects and digital images, Slavica Panić problematizes the notoriously declarative and dissolute character of the collage technique. She takes her initial visuals from the mass‑media, modifies them discreetly and assembles them into mute, self‑amused compositions that refuse or are at least unconcerned to mean anything in particular. Although it is difficult not to perceive something deeply meaningful in them, after careful observation their formal and symbolic intricacy turns out to be primarily the result of our projections. Their charm and appeal arise from the carefully conceptualized and subtly rendered conflict between desire and pleasure, and – which can be regarded as Panić’s specific motif – from the joy of sudden discovering of sexuality, while the hermetic and decorative style mask her bright, oxymoronic humor that fuses the childish diminutives (‘bunnies’, ‘doggies’, etc.) with the slick pornographic euphemisms such as ‘golden shower’ or ‘brown sugar’. Such approach indicates a highly profiled social consciousness, but in shelving explicit thematization and interpretation she withholds the emancipated reserve towards language games and suggests her fascination with action which is mystified by culture while Slavica Panić rehabilitates it by turning the manual practice into a perversion of fine art that shifts pleasure from the regular psychoanalytic oral‑anal‑genital succession towards digital or finger‑related. Her works are made through a long sequence of cautiously prepared and fastidiously executed operations whose slight, thoughtfully uncorrected manual errors ‘thwart’ artistic tradition in which dexterity is usually fetishized. In Panic’s works, it functions as a paradoxal threat to their own material perfection, which disallows passive consumption and requires intuitive self‑apprehension as a catalyst for their true appreciation. At the ambivalent edge between the prosaic (genetically tyrannized corporeality) and the sublime (abstract visuals), the reflexive and visual levels of Slavica Panić’s works are entwined by mutual exclusion thus discrediting the exclusivity of western reasoning and indirectly diagnosing the prevailing trend of commoditization in which art, no matter how subversive, fails to pass the blue horizon of capital while the danger itself becomes far more important.

Tajni jezik medija Intervju sa Dejanom Grbom

Dejan Grba: Aktivna si na srpskoj umetnickoj sceni tokom poslednje dve godine. Postoji li razlika izmedju tvojih ocekivanja i prvih izlagackih iskustava?

Slavica Panic: Pre nego što sam pocela da izlažem nisam narocito razmišljala o društvenim konsekvencama koje taj cin podrazumeva ili o zahtevima koje on postavlja pred umetnika. Posle prvih iskustava, izlaganje ne doživljavam kao nešto posebno ili kao nešto što treba mistifikovati – ono je prirodna stvar za nekoga ko se bavi umetnošcu. Smatram da rad treba dostojno pripremiti i prikazati, ali da samo izlaganje ne treba doživljavati kao znak društvene afirmacije, niti ga na drugi nacin fetišizovati

Tvoji noviji, medijski orijentisani radovi se jasno uklapaju u oblast tvog interesovanja i likovnog delovanja što je, cini mi se, ponekad zanemareno od strane šire pa i profesionalne publike. Kakav je odnos izmedju onoga što projektuješ u svoje radove i efekata koje oni proizvode?

Svoj rad posmatram odvojeno od spoljašnjih reakcija i smatram da nije na meni da na njih uticem ili da im se prilagodjavam – mogu samo da ih registrujem i konstatujem. Kolaži su za mene neka vrsta konstante, ali tek sa izlaganjem objekata, plakata i bilborda, šira publika je pocela da primecuje moj rad i da ga smešta u kontekst savremene umetnosti. Ljudi iz sveta umetnosti ga na žalost uglavnom doživljavaju prilicno površno i najcešce mi postavljaju tehnicka pitanja, što je za mene nevažno i zapravo krajnje nezanimljivo. Medijske varijacije primerene su zahtevima i problemima kojima se bavim, a ne nekakvoj strategiji javnog nastupanja. Danas se, na primer, usled ponovne afirmacije videa na našoj sceni, on forsira kao medijska ‘ulaznica’ za ‘ozbiljnu’ umetnicku praksu, što je naivan stav. Medij ne cini rad. Vecina naših mladih umetnika istice upravo svoju medijsku osvešcenost, tvrdeci da su njihovi radovi izvedeni u najadekvatnijem mogucem mediju. Šta mislite koliko ta vrsta svesti može biti razvijena kod umetnika sa malo iskustva, bez obzira na njihove eventualne intelektualne sposobnosti? Ne mogu da govorim u ime drugih, ali što se mene tice iluzorno bi bilo misliti da mogu potpuno da kontrolišem rad. Živim u vremenu obilja veoma brzih i agresivnih slika odnosno informacija koje prenose razliciti mediji. Sigurno je da neki njihovi sadržaji, kao i društveni autoritet medija uticu na moj rad, ali za mene je to prihvatljivo. Niko ne može ostati izvan uticaja sveta u kojem živi.

To ukljucuje i uticaj sveta umetnosti – drugih umetnika, galerista, kustosa, kriticara i teoreticara umetnosti.

Mislim da je potrebno pratiti umetnicku produkciju, ali i teoriju i kritiku jer to može da pomogne da se razjasne i demistifikuju mnoge nedoumice kako na teorijskom nivou tako i na nivou društvenih odnosa. Tu, medjutim, svakako treba biti obazriv i ne gubiti iz vida poziciju umetnika koja podrazumeva sasvim odredjene vrste interesovanja i nacine ophodjenja sa svetom umetnosti odnosno teorijom.

Kako gledaš na poziciju savremenog umetnika u kontekstu konzumeristicke ideologije i masovnih medija za koje se može reći da preobracaju komunikaciju u poniženje?

Nove medije, Internet i ostale proizvode savremenog kapitala ne posmatram tako radikalno, niti me oni odbijaju. Mislim da je dobro da u iskustvu ucestvuje puno razlicitih sadržaja makar i po cenu da su mnogi od njih ‘pogrešni’ ili ‘neprihvatljivi’. Zanima me da pratim tokove i promene umetnosti, ma kuda one vodile. Mislim da ce umetnost Interneta ili Kiborg-umetnost, kada postanu tehnološki ostvarive, biti veoma interesantne. Ako se, medjutim, za neko vreme ispostavi da je takva orijentacija bila pogrešna i da za nju nema buducnosti, pa šta? Sve se, na kraju krajeva, mora okoncati pa i razliciti umetnicki trendovi. U umetnosti je sve dozvoljeno i treba isprobati sve mogucnosti.

Da, ali identitet i status umetnika takodje zavise od društvenog prepoznavanja. Misliš li da je i tu sve dozvoljeno?

Tu se pre svega postavlja pitanje umetnikovih organizaciono-menadžerskih sposobnosti. Nije dovoljno samo napraviti rad, vec ga je neophodno i promovisati na najbolji moguci nacin. Bez toga se ne ide u umetnost. Moguce je, razume se, napraviti uspešnu promociju lošeg proizvoda, ali ako umetnik ima ozbiljan rad i ako želi da taj rad ispoštuje, on ga mora i plasirati na najbolji moguci nacin. Radi se o osetljivom postupku u kojem ne treba mešati umetnicke i društvene interese, što od umetnika zahteva da razvije neku vrstu kreativne šizofrenije koja fino razdvaja umetnost i marketing na licnom planu a spaja ih na društvenom.

Refleksivni plan tvog rada prožet je diskretnim humorom koji je po mom mišljenju rezultat suptilnog razumevanja i uživljavanja u probleme kojima se baviš. Kako komentarišeš njegovu koncepcijsku strukturu?

Od ranih crteža do novih radova zainteresovana sam za nekoliko osnovnih tema. Jedna od njih je seksualnost koju ne želim da banalizujem nego da je ucinim privlacnom kroz svojevrsne zamke koje uvlace posmatraca i vode ga ka skrivenim sadržajima rada. Zanima me i problem komunikacije ali ponovo kroz moju licnu, možda i hermeticnu prizmu razmatranja i prikazivanja. Zbog toga su mi važni neki obrasci koje koristi popularna kultura mada njih ne mešam sa široko prihvacenim i cesto banalnim postupcima kojima se seksualnost razmatra u savremenoj umetnosti. Moj rad je pre svega moje licno zadovoljstvo, ali i neka vrsta obracuna sa samom sobom.

Danas, Com_media Br. VIII, 27. jun 2001.

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