Swivel Gallery is pleased to present the first solo exhibition of Ivana Štulić, traversing through a combination of domestic and perceptive imagery that pierce the senses, careening the viewer into a space that questions our concept of reality, memory, and our body’s reaction to inhabited space. At once eerie and ominous, Štulić’s oil paintings freeze moments which are usually taking place in the corners of our human experience in this world, to explore our current connection and disconnection with the lives we live. The works are a pursuit of an ambitious anthropological and cognitive search with one of the most descriptive mediums, contorting the method of figuration as it has been traditionally approached, Štulić investigates how painting, as all our communication systems, will eventually inevitably fail in translating the complexly multilayered dimension of our experience in the world.

Hailing from Croatia, her Eastern European sensibility is clear, in all her starkness there lies a philosophical way of observing societal behaviors, her labor intensive process and extreme perfectionism allows Štulić to surgically extract and transfer acute, minimal visual information through her realistic paintings, which begin as staged photographs of liminal atmospheres and through this process the artist exercises and operates a deep cognitive and psychological analysis of her subjects, exposing them to their inescapable loneliness of experience. This methodology brings us to a conflict that can appear between rational man and an irrational universe, between intention and outcome, or between subjective assessment and objective worth.

Štulić questions how these connections and disconnections reflect our everyday life and the tipping point of when our idea of connection with the body and mind can become questionable and ambiguous and attempts to understand the nature of consciousness in terms of its ability to directly or indirectly modify behavior.

Štulić’s power lies in her ability to create indeterminacy for the viewer, making it unclear whether we are inside or outside of the painting, from whose viewpoint do we stand, shielded fully to events taking place on and beyond the canvas. This deliberation as the observer leads us to question further when and where our meaning-making process occurs, and what activates it? When, and how do we record, fully, our experiences and actions that are the makeup of our days? Eventually Štulić forces us to investigate the deeper essence of our existence, as individual and social beings made of mind, body and soul, consistently looking for connections between and beyond them. We are here, we exist, we perceive, and we contemplate everything in between, trying to make sense of a place that often escapes any rational code.