The dual-image in researching Nada Žiljak's infrared art
The natural system of dualism has found its artificial transposition in Nada Žiljak's dual picture (double image). This promotes easel painting by making it dependent on high technology.
The question why would anyone paint two pictures in the space of one knowing that the other picture could not be seen without the help of a high technology device, is the same as if we were asking why at all would anyone paint any picture when one could simply take a photograph of anything that is visible. By choosing a ready and completed motif from the environment one would satisfy the craving to create the non-natural. The question would remain why and from where comes the need to overcome nature or bring it into balance with the help of artifacts without having a clear technical-technological or an existentially practical target. When speaking about a dual picture we do not exit the area of a two-dimensional (limited) look at nature that is also created in an innovative manner by Nada Žiljak's painting interpretation. The natural characteristic of dualism (day-night, male-female, warm-cold, etc.) has obtained its concrete artistic interpretation. By her research of infrared art, Nada Žiljak has promoted easel painting by adding to it the dualistic principle's cognitive value.
As painting is explainable with three-unity and this may also be said about the overall arts where spirituality has the same value as has natural givenness, i.e. the artifact. The art of painting unavoidably goes back into the sphere of secrets – the eternal source of all manipulations. The secret is the ruler of life itself, a continuous subject of research, and as such is conquered and processed into high technology, and is noted in all spheres of human activities as also the all-present, immenseness, eternity, infinity, alterability, order, chaos, invisibility, etc., with all the belonging opposites. Its denominator is unknown and it is thereby a constant stimulus and motif to scientists, adventurers, visionaries, prophets, artists.
„Why has Nada Žiljak dedicated her research work to this new, invisible to the eye area of non-colors?“. When this question is posed in this particular spotlight for revealing secrets, then infrared art can certainly be considered as avantegarde; the predecessor that is searching for sense, form, manner, on basis of new cognition on pigments and it is finding innovative possibilities for their application in painting. Considering the nature of infrared art in the domain of Nada Žiljak's researching, easel painting has been promoted into the sphere of art that is dependent on high technology, without the help of which it cannot be realized. Thereby she has joined the process of contemporary visual art that has been improving a new artistic visual speech, the grammar of which is mostly founded on science and high technology, but also on the reconstruction of three-in-one art homogeneity.
By applying knowledge on the different response of colors, Nada Žiljak's painting research necessarily leads into dual pictures, an extended area characterized by two levels of reading and viewing. By keeping easel painting coloristic and all other sensations on one side, and contrasting it with a black-and-white picture of the „inner“ highly technological viewability, means establishing homogeneity. The dual picture, therefore, corresponds with new knowledge on color response at two diametrically opposed levels of reading; the natural level and the technologically sophisticated one. A dual picture is an expression of contemporary times division of reality into the virtual one (technologically processed), and the real one (natural one) with consciously mixed borders. To bring back the borders to the initial point is an almost impossible mission, but why should one cast aside the spirit of one's own times and new extended sensibilities (and they are even scientifically and technologically founded), when one has found the possible path with the dual picture.
The two pictures in one arise as a raison d'etre that the painter adapts to her view of the revealed secret. The secret as a constant mystery, the initiator of all that is artificial has lost, it seems, one of its endless veils with Nada Žiljak's exploring of infrared art. The artist achieves the transition from the area of natural facts into the modified area of art. She has implemented a natural givenness into the art of painting (revealed on basis of exploring), into the unbounded area of creativeness, bringing down the boundaries of a painter's two-dimensional area, giving it virtual duality. By exploring infrared art begun in 2009 when she was inarticulately feeling her way in the sphere of black-and-white infrared scanner response, Nada Žiljak has now reached the point when she is painting exciting erotic dual pictures that are showing the complexity of man's thoughts and feelings. A dual picture is felt like the conscience and sub-conscience, appearance and desire, seen and dreamed, shown and hidden. The erotic component of Nada Žiljak's painting played a major part in this exploring of infrared art. It was the target towards which she directed her new visual art alphabet that is in accordance with her sensibility and painting style. A dual picture created thus can be comprehended as the consequence of a many-year preoccupation with erotic themes.
Excellent matching of the two-pictures-in-one themes advocates eroticism as a mysterious force that manipulates people and ensures the continuity of mankind. If eroticism is, therefore, the hider of the full truth, meaning that it is also the lure and stimulus for seduction and a strong call to achieve plentitude, then the dual picture is the expression of this lure, it is an invitation to peek into the secret, and at the same time it manipulates with the sense of integrity. Similar to the earlier known multimedia and dual pictures as its innovation, it depends on high technology, and has an installation character. However, the artist has maintained the fundamental characteristic of easel painting, and this is the static quality in the dual picture too. Although it is created on basis of different working methods, both the visual and the virtual, the outside picture and the inner picture creating a unique dual picture are both static. They exist simultaneously, divided only by scanners. however, they are also bound together by unbreakable binds, in the same way as yin and yang (in traditional Chinese philosophy).
Puzzles/riddles have a ludistic function as well as they have a social and religious one. Secret signs and coded messages have always existed, and the dual picture is based on that tradition, satisfying thus similar needs with the help ofnew methods. Development possibilities have bee set by Nada Žiljak's pioneer work and they depend on the artist's further and individual contribution. (For comparison: when Bruneleschi applied innovative engineering knowledge in architecture on erecting domes, there was someone questioning the purpose of such building, when the roof on two naves perfectly fitted into the Mediterranean environment. Thanks to Michelangelo's fascination with the dome, it has been developed to be of top beauty and it has survived to contemporary times).
To create a dual picture means to set a new manner of managing the visible and the invisible; to subject the new knowledge on various pigment „z“ factors to the nature of painting that confronts the intimate and the general spots, and creates new sensuous, visual and aesthetic pleasures. The dual picture stresses the rational component in the irrational composition. Its presentations are and are not, they are color and non-color, they are visible and they are not visible. This mysteriousness of the dual picture carried out in infrared art is the artist's conscious choice. By choosing the possible new method of manipulation she has chosen the dual picture as an expression of the 21st century. Diary-like and intimate, poetical and erotic; these characteristics have all been intertwined into a firm dual picture-body that exists whether we use a scanner to see it or not. One objective piece of knowledge has destroyed the stability of easel painting. Border-lines have been set aside, security has been turned into a relative one, the provocation by curiosity is strong, manipulation is open to unexpected proportions. The question whether to paint dual pictures or not to paint them has become irrelevant. The poison of cognition has been spilled.