Below The Ceiling That Flake

With her cycle of paintings named ‘The Rooms of Water’ Ivana Živić makes all experiences of enclosed spaces in which we live – public or private, spaces of intimacy or meeting points – visually tangible and real. Interpreted as scenery, the walls we move within become interior spaces of desire and contemplation.

The works that belong to The Rooms of Water are based on the photos of swimmers in the pool. The swimmers’ bodies were removed from the pool and placed in an interior of completely different meaning. Dressed in accordance with the environment and situation, the bodies still have fluid distortion created by a movement through the water or a view through the space filled with fluid. The act of swimming, as the sole form of movement through the space of a painting, imposes a strong experience of forgotten, sunken space or even space of a dream. The water is not painted – its fluid and the atmosphere of underwater reality create and expand the swimmers themselves. The ease and freedom of the movement of their bodies is contrary to the experience of incarceration and loneliness of the painted space. The rooms of water suggest soaking, sinking and drowning, but searching as well. Dislocation of the individual into the submerged, lonely world of urban living refers to reconsideration of life choices, relationships and environments.

The presence of water with its multiple symbolic meanings emphasizes magical and surreal atmosphere of the paintings. Water is the first form of matter, the liquid of life. In religions of the world it is an indispensable part of the rituals and prayers. By soaking and immersing water washes away, regenerates and sanctifies. It is attributed with the power of adaptation and persistence; it is a symbol of spirituality, subconscious and inner life.

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