Human body somewhere between embroidery, photography and drawings

May 18, 2009

Being constantly at the intersections of those three arts Olja Stipanovic creates new permutated meanings, new crafted thoughts on social coding of the artist.

Her work ‘Stitches’, created from 2004 to 2008, is an artwork that explores the concept of social etiquette.

Olja_Stipanovic.jpgOlja Stipanovic: Stitches (c)

Stipanovic was fascinated with the labeling system and identification process of the artists. She calls it representative tags, in a sense of terms such as: young emerging artist, body artist, installation artist, visiting artist, European artist; filtered through the mechanism of contemporary society.

Olja_Stipanovic_1.jpgOlja Stipanovic: Stitches (c)

Therefore, she designed an artwork as a combined technique of embroidery, drawings and photography on a rice paper. She wants to reflect and re-call the tangibility of human skin with marks related to human body.

Human body as an embodiment tool with so many experiences in cultural, social and personal life carries numerous codes of identification, articulating at the same time notions and ideas. By using the red thread she writes on ‘rice’ new substitutes with an aim to articulate the body as a word, thought or semantic code.

Olja_Stipanovic_2.jpgOlja Stipanovic: Stitches (c)

Sourcing stitches from a variety of myths, through kids’ games or simply, palm readings, Olja Stipanovic creates her own ‘bodies’ making them readable from different aspects. The whole set up is created like a visual labyrinth but readable from aspects that are somewhat dependable on the reader.

Olja_Stipanovic_3.jpgOlja Stipanovic: Stitches (c)

Olja Stipanovic nicely describes the project Stitches with the following wordz: ‘Communication systems and linguistic codes define our awareness and our physical bodies. I am interested in the way in which discourses construct a person, but also in the contrary processes, which take place in translation and dislocation, anxiety and self-indulgence, silence and rupture’.

Olja_Stipanovic_4.jpgOlja Stipanovic: Red, series of photographs (c)

Olja Stipanovic was born in 1975 in Pula, Croatia. She moved to New York in 1992.
After receiving her BFA in 1998 from Parsons School of Design, she completed her MFA in Visual Arts in 2000, – also at Parsons School of Design, Fine Arts Department, in New York. She is the recipient of several scholarship, awards and residencies [Institute for the Electronic Arts – Alfred University – New York State Council on the Arts residency. April 2005, “Art Materijal” grant from the Croatian Institute of Contemporary Art 2004, U.S. Embassy Cultural Grant, Zagreb, Croatia. [2004].
Since 2001, Olja has taught art and participated as a guest artist and lecturer in several art programs.
Olja lives and works in Long Island City, Queens, where her studio is also located. Her work has been exhibited in many solo and group shows in New York City, the US and abroad. (bio taken from O. Stipanovic’s website)

1 Comment
March 11, 2011 @ 2:15 am

Hey, good article. It’s really inspiring embroidery. I like this.
Keep it up.

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