Solo exhibition “Once upon a dream”

Gallery Remont, Belgrade, Serbia

Curator: Teodora Jeremić

Exhibition Once Upon a Dream problematize the question of identity forming, by re-questioning emotional maturing and personal individual development, through the prism of fairytales. Being primer set of values and first lessons we adopt from the outside world, fairytales are very important in our maturing process, and Once Upon a Dream problematize issue of self-knowing and personal split between fantasy and reality. Already in the earliest stage of ones life, in Lacanian stade du miroir we identify ourselves with our body, and image we see in the mirror. As soon as that first identification takes places (and simultaneously with it) an individual forms a concept of Ideal Self as well, as a vision of perfect identity we are avid for. From that moment onwards, an idea about Ideal Self doesn’t go away, and with a help of different unconscious mechanisms is being converted to imago towards which subject perpetually strive for. Therefore, stade du miroir proves to be more than a phase- a model, allowing the ego to evolve in a fictitious direction.
Once Upon a Dream is focusing on the moment in the psychology of an individual, when everything “goes downhill”. Moment when that Ideal, speculative self, steps back and primary identification with an Ideal self becomes challenged and eventually, replaced, with Real Self shaped and influenced by many different societal and cultural norms, expectations, and conventions, but also personal failures and acts, which tear down the perfect facade. Moment when we realize that concept of fairytale morality doesn’t exist. That there are no strictly divided roles, nor positions. Childhood ethics of taking sides, and being strictly pro or con something, is shaken in adolescence period, which is the phase author especially stresses, because that is the first time when we are seriously confronted with urges to experiment, make mistakes, get experienced, evolve, change, push boundaries, explore owns sexuality… In the real world, idea about fictive princess (as childhood symbol of tenderness, innocence, beauty and flawlessness) burst like a soap bubble upon the first touch of reality. Person that is flawless is being replaced by the fragmented existence whose bits and pieces don’t perfectly match all the time, and the main question is brought up: am I my own hero or villain? That metaphorical dimension of individual distortion, where to our real presence (our real physical and emotional self) is eternally unattainable to fully respond to the demands of impeccable ideas, is additionally supported by the fact that mirror image is reversed reflection. The only picture of ourselves we get from the outer world, the one from the mirror (as non-place where we simultaneously exist and don’t), reminds us that that person, the one we see, the one we want to reach and become, is always inverted, distant, and non-attainable.
In her works, Slavica accentuates fragility of ego integrity, by choosing extremely delicate and fragile materials. Like abstracted objects of one’s dream or day-dream, unrealistic in their construction and seemingly unsustainable in reality, Slavic’s works create an aura of impermanence, creating the impression of something irrational and unstable. Something, that doesn’t belong to this reality, but rather strayed in it, and we fear it might disappear any moment. Fragile, brittle, transparent, delicate materials, “caught” in the haze of becoming and disappearing, her works are creating dreamy atmosphere, and remind us of pulsing of Ideal Self, elusive and always somewhere around. Although now pretty distant and far from what we have become as an adults, we still believe that our Ideal Self potentially exists, because we have met it, once upon a dream.
Teodora Jeremić