Irena Lagator Pejović


Ecce Mundi

drawing and print on canvas, ink, pencil, neon, wood
306 x 306 x 236 cm
Text: Nataša Nikčević, Irena Lagator Pejović, Bazon Brock, Ilaria Mariotti
Exhibition: Image Think, Montenegrin pavilion at the 55th International Art Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia, Italy.
Venue: Palazzo Malipiero, San Marco 3078-3079/A, Venice, ground floor
Curated by: Nataša Nikčević
Photo: Dario Lasagni, Lazar Pejović

In Ecce Mundi, the humanoid figures, reduced to pictograms, conquer the spaces of the ceiling, the floor and the walls of the constructed canvas-wrapped white cube, where humankind can exist in peace and harmony and constructing a three-dimensional space of the image, which visitors can enter and walk through. Pictograms and their proportions are identical to those in the school notebook of Society of Unlimited Responsibility (2006), a metaphor of knowledge, learning, heritage, duration. The forms are alike, but not identical – every pictogram has been hand-drawn.

The first impression is one of a nearly monochromatic empty room, but, walking through the body of the work or getting closer to its walls, one can perceive the rotating multitude of tiny pictograms of people. ... The pictograms, depending on the viewer’s position, relate to numerical signs and symbols. They activate the symbolic potential of mathematics, writing, knowledge. Writing, one of mankind’s greatest achievements, emerged out of the primal need for conservation and transmission of thoughts and feelings through time and space. The first writing system was pictographic (Lat. pictus “painted”). The drawing’s support is traditional painting material, canvas, on which the artist digitally multiplies the square grid, the matrix of the light pictograms, while the dark ones are hand-inked. This process produces lines of different intensities, which also alludes to the intensifying of interpersonal relationships. - excerpt from the essay by Nataša Nikčević

The seemingly white room of Ecce Mundi constitutes the third stage of the itinerary: the walls and the floor are covered in printed and hand‐drawn canvases: a square net, akin to a school notebook, hosts a multitude of minuscule stylized creatures, similar to pictograms. Each and every one of them appears to rotate freely inside its own space and yet in harmony with its peers. Together they orchestrate an alphabet of signs, the manifesto of a harmonious society which can exist between the Self and the Us, where the rules of coexistence are defined in the spirit of limitless possibilities of the individual, who adjusts her/his actions and lives her/his space also with respect to others. As the evolution of Man or Star (video, 2006) and the Society of Unlimited Responsibility (2006), the work develops inside the space in which the visitor is invited to enter and to walk across the floor covered in pictograms defining the experience of the work of art. S/he is asked to participate in an individual and collective process, and to take on the responsibility towards the images created through art as well as the materiality of the work itself. - excerpt from an essay by Ilaria Mariotti in: Arte e Critica 74. Periodoco trimestrale, anno XX, numero 74, aprile-giugno 2013.