EPK Maribor 2012, Tree exibitions: Nataša Tajnik Stupar- I’m your sixth sense, Velenje Museum, 2012.
Analogies between water lilies and humans are numerous. Their magnetism is reflected in their religious, cultural and artistic value in various cultures. Feel radioactive, my beloved water lilies (2012) is the title of the artist’s round paintings, created with bold and flamboyant colours. Radium on the faces of beauties in the beginning of the previous century helped them acquire shiny skin – the urbane, almost fluorescent colours of the water lilies painted by Nataša Tajnik Stupar express a similar fatality of this attraction. Their bright, intensely pigmented colours can easily capture the eye’s attention and arouse the beholder aesthetically, while simultaneously alarming him as well. The same potion can work either as a poison or an elixir. Contradictions are always ambiguous – hence their charm.
The painting entitled Two Sisters (2010) includes round leaves (but no flowers) of water lilies and two female figures, one in the arms of the other. Here, the fatality is manifested in a different way − not through human affinity with the sparkling glimmer, the radiation emitting from the beings of divine and cosmic nature, but in a different type of need of the rational, scientifically calculating society, as depicted in the idea regarding the “profile” of an individual, which (pre)determines the person and guarantees his or her identity. In the past, images painted on the skin, tattoos and fingerprints were used as means of identification. Nowadays, DNA sequence analysis technologies enable digital processing and determination of a high level of matching. However, the multidimensional space of the human in all its uniqueness of becoming and polymorphism of interaction seems to become more modest and one-dimensional. Simplicity of representation is gaining a key role and represents yet another symptom of our excessively materialistic society
Even the closest relatives are genetically different. The DNA fingerprints of two sisters are similar, yet not quite identical. In the painting entitled Catch my DNA fingerprint (2011), the fingerprint is accompanied with a child-like, incredulous stare into one’s own hands, an echo and literal translation of the title. The paintings Two Sisters (2010) and Humility (2010) relate directly to the representation of the DNA fingerprint − they are rigidly delimited by lanes of repetitive and alternating bands of colour. The colour situation in combination with the lines is formally similar to abstract colourism, but with the recognisable form of the helixes, it maintains its meaning – the relation to the contemporary scientific understanding of man, in relation to the cosmos. The centrifugal passage in both paintings interpretatively opens in the direction of a vortex, a galaxy, a black hole.
The painting entitled Humility speaks about its title. The figure makes a radical bowing gesture – with her arms stretched before her, she touches the ground with her forehead. The body collapses under the force of combinations and the universe, yet remains firm and tense. The predetermination presses from both sides, but on the left-hand side the crumpled mass of helixes in their amorphously chaotic conglomerate facilitate the becoming of a different species.
The figure of the swimmer with her legs bent in the painting Trapped while floating (2010) is trapped in a net with short, rigid lines. Here the symbolism is in the intense juxtaposition of the unstoppable desire to be free, while simultaneously being trapped by the universal rules. It is easy to picture the trapped figure floating free. The aqueous character of the paintings has its purpose – it takes us back to the water as the source and essential element of life, which is present in all the exhibited pieces.
The scientific interests of the author imply a reflected and critical painter’s position. Her paintings wonder about the fundamental questions of life, the role of love, and the transfer of not only physical but also extrasensory patterns to one’s offspring. As the artist explains: “I’m interested in the process of “accidental” dissimilarity. Although during meiosis, the genetic material reduces, it becomes a whole again when the sex cells become fertilised. A whole, but different in a sisterly way.” The painting Meiosis (the bathers are washing) (2012) puts female figures into water and emphasises purity with the act of washing. It evokes the thought of ritualistic washing and fertility cults. The background is overwhelmed with the image of meiosis: “…a secret preparation for the reproduction of human life into new living creatures; with the help of love, which uses ‘hormonal blindness’ to trick us into creating and painfully giving birth to a new life. Love is blindness.” (Nataša Tajnik Stupar). It takes place in the water, which further promotes the metamorphosis of the transmutations of human life through offspring and the incomprehensibility of chromosomal crossover.
The first dwelling of humans is a fluid. The tight physical connection with the mother prepares us for being born into the concrete reality, where fluid will be replaced by soil, and the dreamy levitation will be replaced by the constant tension of the pull between the Earth and the Sun. The projection of the admiring look onto the slightly bobbing water lilies is aesthetically pleasing. The latter is probably fertilised by the memory of the body with ingrained and infused indistinct sensations, perhaps a desire to be freed from gravity and transferred into an environment where the body can forget its own weight at least for a little while.