Like the Zodiac

“If we try to interpret the author’s expressions with a naturalistic code we will be restricted by binary: realistic-fantastic, real-unreal, matter- spirit, body -soul, individual -collective. An amount of realism in author’s works is just one part of the construction and can be misleading if viewed as dominant. Seemingly comprehensible parts, in their dependency and incompleteness, point to incomprehensible, sensed, that which is unexplored. The distinction of Nelisa Baždar’s expression is the inability to access deeper layers of meaning if any of the parts would be viewed independent of series of relations in which they exist. The twelve paintings by Nelisa Baždar consist of zodiac signs- the author depicts twelve women, her friends. This allows us to step into the treasury of archetypes and explore individual psychological meanings on the map of a broader typological concept. The twelve phases of the yearly cycle conform with the  female life cycle, exploring how the ancient forms build sensibilities. Besides the symbol that characterizes this series special symbols in Nelisa Baždar’s works build a world of fundamental unity of underground (subconscious), ground (conscious) and celestial  (superconscious) level. Although the author, in her previous work, dissolves the human, actually female form, just suggesting it rather than revealing it, in this series the wondrous is brought by giving a concrete form to the invisible. The overflow of human into animalistic, plant like, mechanical, real into unreal, organic into inorganic, classical into modern, formed through the laws of association and symbolism, point to an experimental and explorative nature of the author’s art. Making us witness our own existence the author does not present us with idyllic scenes of girlish daydreaming- she takes us on a journey to the very core of psychological, regardless whether we like what we find there. Acting in the world of spectacles, in the collective subconscious, is often accentuated and supported by titles, using proverbs, bywords and everyday language. Confronting the classical and serious (through the technique used) with mundane, banal, instinctive, exotic and popular, makes this quest for the origin of one’s own being/doing ironical and humorous. Using the symbols as a language of imagination to present her opinion on existential questions, Nelisa Baždar also shows us that we ARE symbols, that we are made out of symbols, in everyday life”.

Dr. Lamija Neimarlija

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