Exhibition: Kristina Restović - 'Tourism'

Exhibition: Kristina Restović - 'Tourism'


With this exhibition, Kristina Restović presents her cycle of graphic works “Tourism”, which she started creating four years ago, or more precisely on June 2nd, 2014. It was then when she took the first photograph of the sun-loungers by the sea in Hvar, one of the author’s originating places. 

Since then, she has come up with a very complex cycle that focuses attention to at least a couple of  lines, or several levels of “reading”. “Tourism” has a film / omnibus structure. All of its constituents are based upon a perception exercise following a model that is in constant motion, eliciting and displacing. This cycle has come from the urban hustle and bustle initiated by the everyday life of a popular tourist destination in the peak season. The “raw material” actually found the artist without her particular longing for it, that is, tourists have massively overcome the city one year and from that moment on, their number is constantly increasing. One who did not experience it, does not know what he is missing.

However, although we share the same space with tourists, we do not share the same reality. They are relaxed walkers, hindered explorers, cunning drifters in comfortable footwear, limited by their travel dates. This difference is seen in their way of moving, walking and their gaze. Kristina replaced the city areawith the whiteness of graphic paper while the shadows of characters determine their position in that area. These are very simple work, but preparations have been somewhat more complicated. Everyday photographing was needed  – to “catch” the desired scenes; to get that spirit of diversity, and not some reporter or cartoon records. Such raw material has been digitally cleaned, overrun and edited. As this is not photography, but its simulation, the contrasts on the displays were balanced for  etching (deep press), mirrored, and transformed into negatives.

One should know that there are many ways of transferring photographic or other content to the graphics board. The basic requirement is to make an etching-resistant transfer. The print on the board is stable during the process of etching, up to a certain limit and it requires special attention, but deep press is, in fact, a technique of special attention. However, using various techniques and content, their nature is introduced into the work as well. Thus, “Tourism” possesses fragmented / assembled segments of many “worlds”: the coldness of digital print, the texture of photographic grain, the relief of the etched plate and the feel of the palm touching the surface in order to clean the ink before printing. The works are prints of a zinc matrix on printing paper, but the processes that preceded working on the matrix are also present in the display. Alternative use of various techniques is always delicate, but this sense of hybridity in the work is full of suggestions and messages, and allows reading the work on multiple levels.

One of the possible paths of movement is coming to the structureof the  imaginary on route to the interior, externally stimulated – reaching the transience interpreted from an unexpected angle. 

Collages of various interpretations are multiplying here. Deep blue background. Night. The pictures are split. The upper parts are made of scenes placed within the squared photo format (1: 1) which is important for the symmetry of dreams and proportions in which memories and reality are transmitted. The lower parts (laid rectangles) are reserved for notes, as margins in a book. A place for notes during the oniric flight; an illustration of how to unload when reaching the destination, a digital record of time that supports memory or engraved frets that testifiy to the reality of a presence.

A kaleidoscope of overlapping parallel realities. For example, the three silk screenings from the “Same time same place” sub-cycle are “bearing” two photographs taken at the same place at different times, but under the same weather conditions. People – tourists enter, pass through one another like serene time travelers anaesthetized by the pleasure of being and moving through a destination of their own choice. They absolutely do not mind anything. They bravely wander through their own dreams that overlap in the same place at different times. They are our salvation and our ruin. What about us? We are the witnesses of our time – the only time we have, and the passionate / consternated observers of the transformation of a beloved city into an (un)desired destination. If only (or God forbid) our shadows would overlap, so that we flutter with them through time, without moving a muscle. Assimilation is global, local resistance is futile. Long live tourism – our Savior and our Redeemer.

Toni Horvatić