Aleksandra Petrusevska

Refound Time

The identity of art constantly wavers.
Regardless of the final outcome, that is, whether the roots of art are detected in the primal human urge to esthetize one’s own existential space, one’s home, one’s oikos (Miodrag Pavlović), or in the human rebellious cry against the repression of culture originally drawn on the cave walls in Lascaux (Bataille), its Being undoubtedly continues to represent (itself) as the creative game of paradox. An esthetized cosmization of the fragmented world or an orgiastic transgression of the fixed and sterile banality of order or routine, Apollo or Dionysus, stratization or erosion, art always creates. Even when it destroys, art creates. In fact, art destroys in order to create.

Unlike the explicit pathos and seriousness and the frightful tone used by expressionists to approach the horrors of war, Aleksanda Petruševska, with her second solo art project, dionysianly courageous and with a subtle taste of hybridity, experiment and innovation, offers us a radically affirmative and nonmimetic vision of a past and tragic reality.

With a childlike naïveté, sincerely, longingly and freely, Aleksanda Petruševska plays and deterritorializes.
By hybridizing several different media Aleksandra opens up memory to photography; photography to present reality (building fragments, sharpnelled walls and crannies, cracks and urban ruins) in order for a fluid to leak the present once again, this time towards a vague and featureless past. And precisely when photography captures, frames and territorializes, it opens, ready made, to the virtual range of possibilities and recontextualizations of graphic design.
What is seen as a final product of this flux of identities is the detail, the fragment, the trace, the memory gap, a stain scattered around the wallpaper and the new imaginary home. The room welcoming the viewer/recipient, not anticipating his identity and sacrificing her possessions to the One holding the divine riddle of the Other.


Offering a subjective narrative of the collective past, Aleksandra subverts the predominant history through her own epistemology of detail in order to transform, through the abstract “lines of escape” (Gilles Deleuze), the idiosyncratic position and her own story of detail in a global context, as the actual human fate (terrorism, suffering, loss, and, above all, the affirmative continuity of life).

Aleksanda Petruševska presents the detail as fragment, as a surplus of form disfiguring all referentially recognizable forms. The detail breaks the coherence and the pernicious identity of the painting. The detail blurs the clarity of perception and opens up a horizon of interpretations which not merely semantically move the associative, intellectual, cognitive and creative capacity of the recipient, but also visually confront him with the paradox of seeing too much and seeing too little.
These wall ‘patches’ seduce the viewer comfortably sitting in his chair, delightedly staring at the ‘stain’ on the wall, and while looking at everything, he sees nothing. Looking from a distance, he notices how the image of the detail is decoloured, while looking from up close he encounters the passion of a kiss, a levelling with the plane of the picture, losing boundaries, losing himself.
This gap, this fragment of memory (always different) deepens the plane of the picture, of the wall, and deterritorializes the world of the piece in the world of the viewer, which reincludes itself in the unknown realms of the personal and collective human experience.

Aleksandra built and decorated a room in order to welcome and entertain humanity. A home in various colours, welcoming guests, people with no names, individuals with no identity, pieces of the primordial stained glass – Togetherness. An oikos with the gate wide open to all uninvited guests.

Slavćo Dimitrov