Artist Q&A with Eva Petrič
Why did you become an artist?
I do not think it was really a choice, but more like a calling. It was something that chose me. As far back as I can remember, I have always been creating or taking part in something artistic, having to do with music, dance, or performance. Mostly, I am drawn to the quality of art as a means of translating something negative into positive, as a means of healing. And art as a language of uniting people through the language of metaphors activated by the fusion of our various senses.
How is your work different than everything out there?
I think to say that my work is different than anything else out there would be quite ignorant and too confident. Perhaps the only way I could say it is different than anything else out there is that every human, every life is a unique being and irreplicable in the sum of thier experiences, and so also my artwork when, attempted to be transcribed by someone to its last detail is impossible. We, each and every one of us has a unique life, with unique experiences that interrelate in a yet even more unique way and besides this, when we include also the perspective of the inner reality of each and every one of us then this becomes a whole new reality, non-transcribable in its entirety as we are dealing with other physical laws. One thing people have commented to me about my work is that it takes on a unique approach of combining materials and thoughts that one would not think could be combined, and that yet, the end result is luring and esthetic and thought provoking. I had an important gallerist in Vienna comment that she thinks this reflects in my growing up in different countries on different continents, and having had an open eye for differences between places and people, but at the same time having the need to surpass these noticed differences and see beyond them and realize the similarities that exist and actually overpower the differences. To this day, I truly am interested in exposing the similarities, in building bridges, building nets, and safety blankets between people, and all that we know to be our home here on our planet Earth.
What’s different about your current body of work?
My current body of work differs in the way of its form and material as well as message, but really it is each exhibition of mine that I hope always has a different message attached to it, so it is more the uniqueness of the form and material that prevails here when compares to my previous work. My last ” SOUNDeSCAPES – lullaby for drones” explores works only in plexiglass with my photographic images being as sound objects reacting to people’s presence as well as having the photographic image incased inside of the thick plexiglass. My wish was to visualize sound and to audiovise the image and in this way to enable people to see the sound and hear the image. I also experiment with color plexiglass which I have not used in the past as well as hand engraving directly into plexiglass the translation of by black and white analog photographs translated into lace motifs, pushing the limits of what still is and is not any more photography. My other current work that differs from the rest of my works is an 80-min performance piece. The first part ” Your Dirt- MY Dirt” is a collaboration with Austrian composer Rupert Huber, and is a lyrical journey through four human collective hematomas with me in the performative role already in the videos, but also with another layered performative role of me as the human conscience stepping in and out of these four videos. This is the first time that I am present in a kind of double and parallel performative role as well as first time collaboration with composer Rupert Huber. The second part of my performance is a 40-min piece “EVAcuate@EVOLUTION, Siren Odyssey” which is a transmedia performance with a three-channel video and set design including also the ceiling of the theater as well as my live performance element. This piece differs in that it is music which I created and envisioned in collaboration with music engineer MyDek. This piece is the continuation of my previous installation performance: “Eden transplanted” which questions about the future home of mankind when circumstances on our planet Earth would become impossible to sustain us. “EVAcuate@EVOLUTION, Siren Odyssey” offers a look from the outside of our planet Earth and questions if we were to develop on another planet whether our human race would repeat the collective Hematomas that stain us on this planet now and as a human race or whether we would evolve and withstand from them. In this sense it questions what collective evolution is and if something as a collective conscience really exists. In summary, I would say this piece differs in that sound is the main inspirational element as well as material of the piece and is also a cumulative layering of my work in different media and shows me in a different persona of the human conscience.
What’s coming up for you?
My transmedia performance at the urban performing arts center Kino Siska in Ljubljana, Slovenia, and the presentation of my Video ” Recyling Shadows” as the first artist to be featured at the Digital Arts Gallery public art space in New York. My site-specific sound and multimedia installation “Post Corona Sun, Pendulum-ing” at the Krizevniska Church in Slovenia, and my participation in the group show at Neurotitan Gallery in Berlin open later this year.
What advice would you give to an artist just starting out today?
Follow your way, be authentic, and speak your truth because it will be truthful and authentic.
When is a piece finished for you?
For me, it is a feeling; a delicate balance between feeling good and complete when seeing my work and testing out further options.
What are the influences and inspirations in your new works?
I always like to try to take the bird’s perspective and a more global approach. So I am interested in looking at various systems that show different trends and so to say generalizations, such as facts and then try to humanize these with various qualities of the senses making them more palpable for us humans and approachable. So, the human as a collective, but also as an individual are my inspirations and how to enable this double view in a parallel way for my audience through means of the senses so that they, the audience may be touched and really be connected.
Tell us about a few of your career highlights or moments that greatly affected your career?
I would say that every single show and art publication or studio visit is a degree of adrenaline rush that takes place and I think that till this is so it is good that one is still creating, because if you no longer get a bit nervous and or excited, then it means you are becoming a sort of drone, and thus your art as well, since art is a reflection also of your own inner reality. But let us say one really heartfelt moment for me was when my piece “Collective Heart” was hung at the huge altar of the St. Stephan’s Cathedral in Vienna, and then at the worlds’ third largest cathedral in the world – The St. John the Divine Cathedral, New York – last year. St. John the Divine had never had art piece hanging from its high altar prior to this, and I was told it would not be possible, but the materialized through my hard work and belief, which was for me the greatest satisfaction. To have the material proof of my work hanging there as a sign and symbol of the power of belief to make things come true.
Do you have any advice for new artists?
Always remain humble, but true to yourself and then you will have a confidence of steel, that it’s still though not having rose colored glasses and preventing you from seeing reality as it is.
What advice would you tell your younger self?
Oh boy, did I not have any idea what I would get myself into. No one in my family is an artist and well, I would say, ” your whole life will be your work, and your work will be your whole life.” Then again, I know that even if I knew this I would do it all over again, just as I did.
To learn more about Eva and her work, please visit www.eva-petric-evacuate.com/