Sanjeshka, Bricks, 2022. Photo: Tiberio Sorvillo
Sanjeshka, images from video archive, 2022. Photo: Tiberio Sorvillo
Sanjeshka, Silence on the telephone, 2022. Photo: Tiberio Sorvillo
more wings than needed
23.09.22 - 23.10.22

curated by Eleonora Angiolini, Maximilian Pellizzari & Leonardo Cuccia

The exhibition more wings than needed presents a selection of works by Serbian artist Sanjeshka (born Sanja Pupovac in Zadar in 1983), which revolve around and develop from the video work Perpetually Changing the Meaning of What Was Spiritually Intended, 2022. The filmed performance, realised in collaboration with Italian musician Giacomo Vanelli, consists of an interweaving of spoken word, modular electronic music and digital video material from the artist’s archive. In more wings than needed Sanjeshka defines a multi-sensorial environment, where memories, poetry and improvisation merge. In Perpetually Changing the Meaning of What Was Spiritually Intended, the artist’s voice resonates within an environment reminiscent of modernism, against the backdrop of a composition of modular electronic music, constantly evolving over the duration of the performance. While the action is characterised bya statuesque immobility of the performers’ bodies, the environment in which they find themselves is repeatedly invaded by moving images that she filmed with her smartphone, inserted into the background of the film. These video excerpts, decontextualised from the everyday life from which they come, impose themselves as free signifiers, relating in ever new ways to the artist’s words, in a destabilising collision. Sanjeshka aims to question the rationality of language by creating a non-linear narrative in which words and images merge into a stream of consciousness influenced by digital media. By repeating “profound attention is achieved through repetition”, she emphasises how repetition is a means through which it is possible to achieve profound attention to language, which by becoming evocative, opens up to an intimate, spiritual understanding of it. In the performance we notice a rituality of the word, which echoes the metrics exploited in the environments of the World Wide Web to increase attention and at the same time the persuasiveness of the contents. The work can in fact be understood as a continuation of the research begun with his first feature film, his first collaboration with Giacomo Vanelli, entitled Internet, whose dialogues are composed of chat, text and audio messages. Using structural elements of the Internet such as multimedia and repetition, the artist reflects on how the contemporary hyper-positivist and rational environment affects the virtual, and how it is at the same time a dramatic mirror of the loss of coordinates that lives on a continuous redefinition. Although meanings may be mutable due to the multiplicity and overlapping of audiovisual inputs, in the online environment utterances often become more definitive than the discursiveness of oral expression.In opposition to the transience of speech within the video exhibited as the main work, the artist presentsa series of phrases she recites in performance, engraved on metal plates mounted on bricks. In the series Bricks, 2022 Sanjeshka thematises the heaviness of the unambiguous definition of language, confrontingit with its impossibility through the selection of phrases that can be interpreted depending on the context we understand as their direct reference. Similarly, the presentation of a series of frames from the artist’s archive videos, also present in the video work, expose us to the static nature of their definition in a time and space organised according to a grid reminiscent of online image presentation schemes. This structural minimalism derives from the rational and efficient order of resources, in a space that, although limited, offers us the possibility of developing our imagination beyond the grid itself. In more wings than needed we are invited to experience the dramatic baroque dimension of the amount of information we are subjected to every day. With more wings than needed, our intention can be diverted, but by accepting its potential to drift we can reach places and states of consciousness not yet explored. Text: M.P.

Sanjeshka, Perpetually Changing the Meaning of What Was Spiritually Intended, 2022. Photo: Tiberio Sorvillo
Sanjeshka, Perpetually Changing the Meaning of What Was Spiritually Intended, 2022. Photo: Tiberio Sorvillo