Wednesday, March 17, 1999

НЕБОМАНТИЈА - READING THE CLOUDS, 1999 (solo exhibition)

Поставката во галеријата на Центарот за современи уметности во 1999.
View of the installation at CIX Gallery (Skopje) in 1999.

Поставката во Музеј на современата уметност во Скопје, во склоп на Биеналето на млади во 2001 година.
View of the installation at Museum of Contemporary Art in Skopje, in 2001. When I won the Grand Prix at the Youth Biennial.  CATALOGUE OF THE BIENNIAL pdf


The associative perception of clouds as figures, astrology and the fictional nebomantija (the presumed "reading" of the future by observation of clouds) are, in an unusual way, interwoven and blended in Slavica Janešlieva`s most recent project. The spectator of the installation is expected to interact indirectly, i. e. to identify with the artist, to make an attempt at perceiving and recognising the same figures and, at the same time, to consider the irrational methods of predicting the future which are no part of the everyday life of the rationally bred West-centric intellectual.
Fortunetelling, prediction and prophecy are irrational, nebulous (nebula, ae: lat. cloud) methods and skills placed in the margins of logocentric thinking as unworthy of Western man who wishes to eliminate completely mysticism and belief in the supernatural from his everyday reality and, consequently, all possibilities of predicting his own future. Nevertheless, written material about various supernatural phenomena, instructions on cardtelling, coffee grounds reading, astrology and the constellations of the stars are constantly increasing; on almost all TV channels there are programmes on these matters, while horoscopes in newspapers and magazines have become unavoidable items. It appears that the interest in inexplicable phenomena is being only declaratively suppressed and not completely rejected.
The idea of the artist Slavica Janešlieva is not generated, so much, from her personal interests in these phenomena, but from her perception of the magnificent figures and forms of the clouds in the sky, which sometimes even resemble "angels of the sky". Besides by their beauty, she is fascinated by their figurative similarity to some animal silhouettes in astronomy (Capricorn, Pisces, Pegasus...) the names of certain constellations, which also have their significance in mythology, astrology and prediction.
The Rorschach test in psychology as well as the Gestalt theory of the principles of our perception are connected with the assumption that our inclination to associativness probably is found in the basis of mythology and astrology. This connecting of the unknown and the unrecognisable with inherited knowledge which, already exists as information in our memory, is a natural process that even in the most abstract modernist paintings makes man recognise figures. That which should present only sublime abstract representations of the unpresentable, human perception nevertheless reduces to a visualisation within the framework of its experience.
Therefore Janešlieva makes use our natural limitations and need for connecting what, at first sight, seem unrecognisable figures with some recognisable contents. She invites her spectators to a "seance" of reading the clouds (digitalized photographs, printed on cloth, sewn as pillows which hang freely in the space of the gallery, or the accelerated projection on the ceiling of clouds recorded by video camera); she invites us to an unusual "flight" to the airy spaces of the sky, regardless of whether we will manage to see or "read" any event or phenomenon of the future.
Suzana Milevska

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