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Anja Tončić - Melting Point

Experiment X

The exhibition titled “The Melting Point” presents a selection of works created during Anja’s two-year long artistic and conceptual exploration of the motif of the merry-go-round. And though the material characteristics of the carousel are visible enough, they are not the aim of the author’s work. Rather, it is the object transformed by motion that is in the focus of the artist’s attention. This movement in a closed circle of a familiar scenery is a metaphor for the dynamic of our reality. The stronger the need to find a supporting structure founded in the familiar, confirmed and certain, the stronger the sense of its absence, and a look outside causes feelings that border on the horror and joy of revealing an altered perception.

The melting point is the temperature at which a substance changes from a solid into a liquid state, where both a solid and a liquid phase exist simultaneously. Within the motion in the vortex, the features of perceptional reality reach a melting point. They don’t disappear but become altered. The moment at which the senses are open, accumulating the elements of reality per se, which stops having a recognizable meaning, results in feelings of fear and excitement. Like this transfer of attention to the internal space of emotions and experiences, carousels in paintings appear through a double perception – outside and within. In a series of works, Anja sees them as symbolic objects with allegorical meaning. This is the analytic phase of the carousel, in which the artist still treats the object as a whole, in as many different rotational positions as possible. A sense of dizziness is strong in these representations because the observer unconsciously tries to, in his mind, reconstruct the appearance of the carousel in a stable state. In this phase, the medium of choice is the drawing using a combined technique, which is gradually replaced by oil on canvas with the introduction of color. Color leads Anja to newer paintings which belong to a synthetic phase of exploring the motif of the merry-go-round. Here, she focuses on the look inside – the one from the middle of the vortex, but also the internal psycho-emotional space. In these works, the artist is more distant from figuration, and strives towards a more abstract expression, whereby the reality of the painting becomes dominant. A sense of instability is replaced by a cosmic sense of merger. In this way, Anja leads us into an experience of transformation through perception, by posing before us a challenging question – how much do we think we know about the world around us, and how well do we know ourselves.

Ksenija Marinković