JELENA BERENC

ON VIEW: October 3 - November 8, 2020

Meet the Artist: Sunday, October 4, 2020

Sign up via Eventbrite to meet the artist in-person!
Exhibiting artists include Jelena Berenc, Chris Hyndman, Carlos Melian & Hiromi Tanaka.

Registration is required, as a limited number of visitors will be allowed in the gallery space at the same time. Time slots are 12:00pm - 1:00pm; 1:15pm - 2:15pm; 2:30pm - 3:30pm. 


ABOUT THE ARTIST

Read Jelena Berenc's CV.

ARTIST STATEMENT

There are infinite unknowns around and within us. It is fascinating that throughout our entire human history, the vast majority of us have been concerned with destruction or oblivious ignorance, while only a small number of humanity have been concerned with seeking and understanding the unknown. This disconcerting observation has been the leading force of my cognition from a very beginning.

I am an Information Realist. Seeking the unknown, seeking information, comprehending and recreating it, is what an Information Realist does. As Realists before me, I am representing truthfully the world around.  However, instead of focusing on the physical observations from a close proximity, my focus is on global concepts and facts that explain the workings of the Universe. To put it simply, instead of painting an apple my pieces are about what the apple is, the consciousness that is perceiving it, and how and why the apple is to Be. Every art piece has a responsibility to provoke philosophical awareness, or state a fact of a very specific social, somatic, or scientific truth.

Reality is Art if we truly look at it. Discovering the reality, exploring, creating, observing, and comprehending the reality, is our human responsibility. The ultimate reality is the reality of the Universe and all that is in it. We must understand our place in the Universe, no matter whether we are to use the language of Science or Art.

The way the human mind works is by using logic. All that is in reality and matter, how we think, live, and work, all can be reduced to the simple construct of Art. Logic reasoning is Art reasoning. If the world works according to fixed or given laws and the human mind is part of that world than any human can understand the world.

Through my art pieces I try to understand the nature of concepts by reducing them to the most basic Art constructs. Use of materials is reduced to paper and pencil for the majority of the pieces. Marks are used as basic visual units, as bits of information. Minuscule drawing elements become colossal art pieces through a unique repetition of each mark. Most pieces contain tens to hundreds of thousands, and even millions of particularly chosen drawing elements. Repetition of mark bits, through durational, repetitional, excessive, and endurance drawings, creates unpredictable randomness that self organizes into patterns and structures on a large scale. This randomness and determinism is one of the fundamental fibers of the Universe, as physicists know all too well. Mark drawing captures the truthful visual interpretation of the Universe.

My work challenges how it is to be seen; How we observe, perceive, and connote the observed; whether to look in sequence or randomly, whether to look close up or just take it all in at once. The details pull the viewer towards the piece creating a particular visual and cognitive impression. From afar, the collection of marks, however, creates an overall new visual experience that lets one appreciate the severity, seriousness, or immensity of the represented idea. Just like we have one theory that beautifully explains the workings of the micro world of particles and another theory for the macro world of the Cosmos, it fits brilliantly into one picture.

My early explorations were performative in nature, analyzing the somatic states of being. These were process based pieces, durational or endurance drawings, focusing on somatic function. Through drawing, through this state of being oneself, one experiences oneself as the passivity of the self being given to the self. This naturally leads to an observation and analysis of one’s existential experiences. Definite conclusions are not necessarily an objective here. Rather the intention is to consciously experience the experiencing self, thus to document one’s morphological and internal existence. For example; 40 hour long line, drawing every minute for 24 hours, 11,929 self-portraits reflecting the number of days I have been alive, 10,000,000 points, 1km drawing of portraits, 10,000 things around exploring perception through various physical limitations (fasting, sleep depravation, etc.); 55,000 portraits, etc. Each piece was executed with carefully constructed visual elements resulting in technical perfection, yet each piece communicates a very particular discourse.

Compulsive obsessiveness of excessive drawing becomes a document of time and the drawing’s creation; it becomes a document of experience itself. When so constructed, the act of drawing allows me to re-experience existence, but in a slower and fully conscious way, so that perceptions become apperceptions.

Through my work I search for the knowledge and fundamental truths of Reality.


GALLERY HOURS & VISITOR INFORMATION FOR COVID-19 GUIDELINES

This exhibition will be held in the First Floor Gallery of the Evanston Art Center (EAC). When arriving at the EAC during our Gallery Hours, please wait outside and call us at (847) 475-5300 for entry. All visitors are required to wear masks and take their temperature upon entry using provided gloves, and share results with an EAC staff member. Please adhere to 6' social distancing requirements when in the gallery space. 

Gallery Hours

Monday - Friday: 1 pm - 6 pm

Saturday: 10 am - 4 pm

Sunday: 12 pm - 4 pm


HOW TO PURCHASE ARTWORK

If you are interested in purchasing artwork on display, please contact Cara Feeney, Director of Exhibitions, at cfeeney@evanstonartcenter.org or (847) 475-5300 x 107.

This project is partially funded by the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.

Date: 
Saturday, October 3, 2020 - 9:00am to Sunday, November 1, 2020 - 4:00pm