Between the Sky and the Earth

Erika Underwod

Between the Sky and the Earth

Erika Underwod

Kata Mijatović and the Last Things

Book of the Month
Between the Sky and the Earth (Catalogue)
May 2015

Pavilion of the Republic of Croatia
55. Esposizione Internazionale d’Arte / la Biennale di Venezia, 2013*

The Croatian video performer Kata Mijatović works with collected material, mostly, but not exclusively dreams, generating her work.

The dreams are rarely her own: friends, acquaintances and strangers tell her, write them down and send them to the “dream archive” where they are collected.

Dreams of fear, alienation, loneliness, moments of happiness, foreign planets, weird and banal things/ oddities and banalities, and last but not least as the leitmotif (main theme), death, one’s and the other’s. Their transformations become impressing images, transpositions of archaic themes into modern media, from what the catalogue is giving an idea. The text booklet rises every body’s own dream experiences, you are tempted to believe in archetypes (the artist is convinced there are existing).

Death is a matter easily repressed in times of inter-netty-nice replaceabilty of everybody and everything, having a place in industrial countries art maybe just as a cynical fun making. On the other hand, even instant of happiness not being produced by an consumer item are out of time, as well as a moment of non-activity.

Here death doesn’t appear as a fear inspiring Memento Mori, but as an existential experience; the own death as a non-frightening Nothingness, even a bliss; the death of others as a simultaneous dream vision, encounters with deceased friends. Mijatović re-enacts the detah theme in diferent ways: be it an installation made of two simple objects – a chair and a ladder in kind of an abandonded building (“Smrt, ljestve” -“Death, Ladder”, 1995) or as a performance (“Two Dreams”, 2009): she has two pretty young girls, smiling nicely-nicely, distribute leaflets in a shopping mall; on the leaflets are printed two dreams of death. The girls wear t-shirts – 1 black, 1 white –  displaying the names of the dreamers. Both dreams, which you can read in the booklet, tell about the experience of the own death as a blissful nothingness.

* We have to admit that this is not really a rare edition, but the subject is. And anyway: there was an installation (whose creator’s name we have forgotten) at the same Biennale, listing the names of long forgotten participants of former Biennales… There is no more “Ars longa, vita brevis”.