Monika Plemen: Distortion of the Body

Monika Plemen: Distortion of the Body
4–19 February 2021
artKIT, Glavni trg 14, Maribor

Welcome to the graphics exhibition by Monika Plemen Distorsion of the Body, on display from Thursday, 4 February 2021, in artKIT, Glavni trg 14, Maribor.


Distortion stems from the breakdown of body forms and reconstruction into a new form, which is supposed to represent the so-called new body. Distortion like disfigurement or deformation of something can be a fascinating phenomenon when tackled in fine art. By changing the shape of the form's original state, we touch on sensory perception and "help" the viewer to arouse the aesthetic emotion that is important in interpreting the artwork.

I try to focus mainly on the integrity of the graphic sheet, which leads the viewer through the intimacy of the lines and the texture of the graphic technique of drypoint. In the process of engraving or the needle's intense pressure into the plate, the idea of the plate as matter – as the body  – emerged. The lines I create with a sharp tip are metaphors for social and environmental impacts that people cannot escape. Each body is marked, either by internal pain or by external influences that create scars or scratches that tell a particular story.

It's a kind of exploration of the world around us, the media's influence, the people, and the time we live in. The images have so far ranged from the abstraction of real objects, non-primary gestures, i.e., left hands, and all the way to croquis, but not as mimesis, but as a record of thought or current experience of the situation. I feel free to choose a subject because I see the diary notation as a composition of strong experiences of a particular moment and time. It's a physical, intimate record that's highly personal. It's an experience of information I receive from the outside world, and, by internalizing it, I articulate it back to the outside world. Series of graphics can be perceived individually, but I have to mention that they were created as an upgrade of the previous one. There is always a kind of tendency that dictates my next image, the image of the body shapes. The body is a central theme that I have been working on since my diploma thesis (Abject body in my painting, 2018). In some parts, this is expressed more in the way of fragmentation, but in other parts, more in terms of distortion. The etching technique allows me to build the art space by overlapping lines subtly. It is the line that sharply limits the motif, and the composition adapts to completely new realities as a result."

"I made a graphic plate today. I polished the edges and applied some protective layer to the surface. I keep watching it and thinking about where to put it. Should I carry it in my arms? In a coat? Or in my pants. I went to print with the lithographic stone, put the plate in my pocket on my work coat. I checked my pocket a couple of times while I was printing to see if P. was still there. I also took it out of my pocket a few times to see if the protective layer was still evenly applied. After a few prints were made, I went home and went for a run. I took P with me, of course, but I already had some concerns about the project. All that time I was running, I was embarrassed to hold it. It was unusual. I was also annoyed because I had to put it from one hand to another every three minutes. When I got home after 55 minutes, I took a shower and took P. with me. I put it on a plastic shelf where I usually have shampoo. I sprayed it with water a couple of times during the shower. There was no good reason; it was just a tendency."

After graduating, Monika Plemen (1994, Slovenj Gradec) enrolled at the Faculty of Education of Ljubljana, where she completed her undergraduate studies in Fine Arts pedagogy under the mentorship of a mag. Anje Jerčič Jakob. She is currently continuing her master's degree in graphic arts at the Academy of Fine Arts. In the academic year 2019/2020, she studied at Kunsthochschule Burg Giebichenstein in Germany. She interprets graphics as an upgrade of the drawing, but the processability remains the only element that separates graphics from the rest of the art genres nowadays. In her creation, she is most involved in graphic techniques while also testing other media expressions, such as performances, objects, and the production of audio art books.

More: https://monnomm.wixsite.cosm/monnom

artKIT, Glavni trg 14, Maribor
Monday–Friday 4 – 8 p.m.

Photo: Janez Klenovšek



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