I would like to see more clearly, but it seems to me that no one sees more clearly.

Maurice Merlo Ponty


Liminality is defined as the quality of uncertainty or obscurity; a psychological, neurological or metaphysical state a person is in, outside of or in between assumed social roles defined by law, tradition and convention. Liminality, which is by definition implicated by ambiguity and disorientation, is also described as periods of transition or as a threshold between measurable temporal spans or certain states of being. Residing in the space of the liminal, as much as it is temporary or limited, poses itself as a necessity in order to rebuild the notion of ‘self’ and create dispositions for building a fairer community. It is in the liminal period where fruitful grounds are created that enable new forms, institutions and traditions to be constituted.

The works of Lidija Delić in the scope of the exhibition “Interspace” represent a physical document of the artist’s confrontation with the liminal moment. The recurring image of the body submerged in water, seen also in her previous works, points to the moment where two essentially different planes or materiality of the world meet. It is through the clash made by energetic plunge of the female body, where a unique ampleness and quality of both matters emerges. This quality leads us to identify that the body is not in space, but with it. Space is not an empty container which we fill at will; it is something in which and through which we are. The liminal moment of entering the water in this way offers an unpredictable domain for confronting and contemplating a differently conceptualised understanding of both the thresholds and natures of diverse spaces.

The exhibition visitor goes through a range of the artist’s externalised internal processes, freely organised across three narrative segments anchored in three phases of the jump: flight (fall), submersion and the splashing water. The diversity in media additionally supports the idea of the transitory: the works alternate between drawings on marble plates, monumental oil on canvases and oils on paper.

Within the context of the liminal being, the figure signifies the physical representation of a transitory state. Only by giving attention to the corporeal, can physical and material manifestations be recognised. On one hand, the female figure manifests itself through graphite strokes against the vibrant marble patterns, and on the other, in the turbulent brightness and explosion, followed by the transformation into a damp cloud. In the visual traces of confronting limits, we recognize interweaving spatial planes, disintegrating and dematerializing, processes of growth and transformation, accompanied by remodelling old elements into new forms. The transitory period in mention is characterized by a feeling of simultaneously spatial and emotional distance, together with openness and ambiguity.

Through a particular ‘re-concentration’ on her characters/motives, Lidija Delić seeks to step away from the mimetic painting tradition. The image of the memory of a given moment is distorted, distanced from sole appearance. The usage of a simple formal method – isolating elements of composition (the female figure, splash) reveals the intention to depart from representation, to move away from illustration and create an interruption in the narrative.

In terms of the optical effects of seemingly foreign (in style and narration) geometric coloured lines and surfaces that appear to disturb the painting’s coherence, they are actually breaks which again imply the materiality of the works. Manually executed and imprecise, they belong to the same type of gesture, in terms of painting. It is an excess that was created by processing subconscious content in the course of the creative process of negotiating the marginal moment.

The Paintings of “Interspace” construct a possible passage which would lead the visitor out of the collective area of the gallery to the individual experience of the proposed concept. These liminal thresholds are extremely difficult to visually represent, however, they can be sub-rationally and viscerally perceived. The moment of a body submerging into water evokes a liminal state in which specific fixed personality traits, usually static and rigid, are brought back to their initially undifferentiated state which does not allow the understanding of the human body as detached from and dominant over space and time.


Miloš Zec


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