Blesok no. 86, September-October, 2012
Gallery Reviews


The Poetics of Silence and Distance

Konča Pirkoska


The newest exhibition of Tanja Balać with the title Spatial Distances is a certain accessory, a supplement of the trail, of the remnant of her previous phase, which stylistically overflew from geometrically abstract into the new representative mimetic phase.
The representative function of these concrete pastels in the present Balać’s poetics of painting reveals yet also hides the idea of what is represented. Through the visible stylistic shading and mélange between geometrical abstraction and figuration, as well as collages (newspaper applications), the author synchronically doubles both the meaning and the emanation of what has appeared, what has been represented. What is being compensated, what replaces the absent, is manifested by the presented as a possibility of something different, new, additional presence of the symbol.

In order to see the symbol as a metaphor, as a language, as an alphabet, it is not sufficient for us only the presence of the ordinary visual morphological means which is implemented into the structure of the paintings, but we also need the distinction, revealing exactly the visible in which invisible lurks as it is on the other side of the dominant morphology, beyond the presented, beyond the manifested.
The primary motif reception leads us to the various chronotop and cultural horizons which, through the tactics of the tact of the rhythmical cuts, the author tries to fill in the time cracks and gaps. With her personal intimate reminiscences and with inner temperate emotional distance, Balać is trying (in contrast to the modern globally pluralistic visual technological trend) in the barren lonely urban and landscape areas to move into and accommodate the various forgotten or wiped out cultural artifacts from our collective memory.

The slow pace of the lapidary narrative action in Balać’s paintings happen in another known-unknown for us distant, almost romantic mythical chronotop context. In most of her pastel paintings, by applying different collage motifs, through her re-citing, re-accent and dialogs with her predecessors, along with the various framings, fragments of antique sculptures are placed in the landscapes, of cinematographic sequences, as well as of painters’ fragments which simulate the poetics of the renaissance baroque masters. Hence one can conclude that beyond all her current artistic series, the author presents to us the idea of her artistic discourse as a representative instrument which is kind of allusion-illusion of the visual and narrative, because she knows the visual formula, that right in the presented, the phenomenological lies the cryptical, coded, unrevealed.

This sophisticated and distant, mute, seductive play between the visible and invisible, the present and absent, is in a position of permanent fluctuation, and overflowing of the illusion of power and the supremacy between silence and distance. Yet, in Balać’s works, right the extensive silence which dreams and levitates over the distance is only sensuously present in its invisibility. Silence and distance emanate the atmosphere of one same mutually fused and inseparable condition, interdependent, wrapped around with a metaphysical transcendental aura.
The audio-visual observation of the atmosphere of silence, of meditation, of the constantly active special temporal distance, with its beneficial therapeutic impact, it attracts and relaxes the observer from the inside, and at the same time it deceives, seduces to dive into an adventure in a somewhat hedonistic and sentimental journey throughout the solitary, exterritorial abandoned realistically virtual places of Balać.

In the front or rear side of the paintings, in the phon, in the core of that almost sacred distance, there it is subtly built up-graded the configuration of the distance in the loneliness of which silence is epiphanized and is pulsing. Beside the different cryptic mystified symbols, the author ‘hoaxes’ the readable abandoned traffic signs and graphemes, which lead to nowhere, but still, some of them direct us ether to the empty roads which lead us to onirism, and not towards realism.

Watching over silence under the obsessive presence of distance, Balać, at the same time, suggests the observer and transfers the delight from contemplative sensual power of her poetic oniric alphabet.




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