Marja Lorenčak
Collection Animalis
Kozjanski Park, Podsreda 1997

V.ODA* - The Etymology of Kracina's zodiac

When Gregor Podnar and myself were conceiving the joint project LjubljanaPodsreda, we decided on one of more prominent Slovene artists of the younger generation.

What more is there to be written about Damijan Kracina, a very popular and sought after artist, if others have already said so much, rowed so much and dammed everything that does not go with the flow. Something, namely, "always remains"...' . It is interesting, however, that with Damijan Kracina this "something" is precisely in water, which at the given moment I understand as V.ODA. V as (aivalski) Vrt / zoo/, Volk /wolf/, Vrečar /marsupial/, Voda /water/, Victory, Video... ODA /an ode/: a hymn, an elevated sensation of the microcosmic world in Kracina's living and dead images. They figure side by side in the entire series of his installations, ever since he first announced and made us aware that a long time has passed since we killed off the marsupial wolf. After its death let us sing a song, so that it will hurt us more. An ode to the wolf's empty cage. An ode to the wolf's image, gliding in slow motion across the electric-blue background which vividly reminds us of his expiration, of something which is only virtually real, which time and again leads us into the circle of (Kracina's) zodiac. ~

I first talked with Damijan Kracina on the upper deck of the bus on our way from Bologna to Ljubljana. We satjust behind the frontwindow, and it seemed to me as if we were looking at a dark aquarium. The talk reached far and wide, to the speleologically deep themes (darknesses), but it always returned to Podsreda. Every reflection on artistic acts leads to the sensual notion formed in the consciousness. Images were rising inside of me, tearing themselves from the body and moving into other anatomies: into the gallery space which will be filled with sensual experiences in the allegory of technique. I was asking myself at that time why Kracina forces his way with such a vigorous organic sensitivity through the underwater and surface animal biosphere. Why can't we see the image of the wolf, proteus, fish, ant..., shaped by the hand of the sculptor`? Only later did it come clearly'into my mind: this is the ODE of contemporary fine art, this is a longing; the speeding toward unrealities, into the virtual world.

Marja Lorenčak

' Untranslatable play on words in Slovene. Compare the Sb~ne text. /Translators note./

' Zdravko Duša, The title of the text on the irnitation card snd in thg book by Barbara Jaki Mozetiflorin, The Impression ot Abundanoe. The l7th Century Stucco in Slovenia, Ljubljana, 1995, p. 3.3.