PER ASPERA AD ASTRA

20 PHOTOGRAMS OF SEA URCHINS FOR THE YEAR 2020

The artwork was created during the festival of contemporary art VIZURA APERTA held in Lastovo in August 2020. The festival was exploring the topic of mental ecology.

Shortly after we arrived on the island of Lastovo, during our first afternoon swim in Mihajla Bay, one of the countless sea urchins inflicted its first puncture wounds on us. As dusk fell, we became increasingly aware that we would not rid ourselves of all the spines until the end of our stay on the island and that more of us would certainly be injured. The sky was soon covered with the cloak made of stars reaching the horizon, as it usually is on distant islands. At that moment, I wished the magic I felt could overshadow the memory of black spines from the crystal-clear sea, so I decided to turn sea urchins into stars with the help of ancient photo magic. I arrived at Vizura Aperta equipped to make photograms, but if we had not been accompanied by photographer Boris Cvjetanovic, who organized a darkroom in his bathroom and helped me make the first few photograms, the path to them would have been much thornier. Four urchin-models, which I later returned to the sea, were kept in a container with sea water until the end of the procedure. They left traces on the photo paper such as droplets and a few broken spines. Later in the developer, those imperfections became falling meteors, distant stars, entire galaxies. However, our minds were full of the ongoing pandemic and on the wet analogue photographs we did not only see stars, but our eyes recognized the virus. As a threat. As a chance.

size of unframed photogram: 12,7 cm x 17,8 cm
size of framed photogram: 14,5 cm x 19,5 cm

Composition consists of 5 rows with 4 photograms within the square of 72,5 cm x 78 cm.