Foreword by Petra Šarin
When presenting the history of a family, the photographic medium is very often, because of its skilful flirting with documentarism, perceived as a testimony of time. At the same time, the element of a positive self-presentation on depictions of moments of staged family idyll is being (inadvertently) disregarded.
This is precisely the starting point for artist Glorija Lizde’s reflections. She asks herself whether it is possible to retrospectively examine difficult, repressed and unrecorded fragments of time related to a certain family. However, before plunging into past moments, the author carries out extensive research on her father’s illness, which marked the growing up of his three daughters. The illness is referred to as F20.5, a cold medical code for residual schizophrenia. After that, she places the same three female protagonists into staged reinterpretations of father’s hallucinations, which, by taking on performative character, have a therapeutic effect on places of repressed family memories. In so doing, the artist uses the capacity of photography for resemantization of thinned memories, and she divides the final series into three segments: unified portraits of the three sisters and performances of father’s hallucinations which intertwine with depictions of still life. Thus she expands the story about father’s inner antagonisms through other family members who are determined by them, at the same time synthesizing multiple views of “one reality”.
We recognize duality, as a guiding principle in the art process, in the dichotomy between dynamic and calming, achieved by interaction between light and shadow; by emphasizing clear, sharp colours with inscribed symbolism (such as red which is associated with life-death, love-war dualities); repeating geometrized motifs; while on the other hand calming landscapes hint at the final state of mental order, closing the circle.
Duality is also present on the conceptual level because the artist uses photography as a tool for introspection but at the same time, she skilfully plays with it in representation, by manipulating framing, omitting content, alternating subjects and clear context, which results in the loss of connection between hallucination and interpretation. This creates a fertile ground for inscribing different meanings. Therefore, she translates the feeling of apparent closeness and almost voyeuristic prying into the intimacy of a family, exposed on gallery walls, into the structures of some other, more universal reality, which requires facing the past for a better present.