plivati kao ti ne može svatko / 2023


Every time I dive deep under the water, I feel safe. Disconnected. Alone with myself. I hear muffled sounds of nearby boats, pebbles carried by the currents, crackling in the ears. I feel cold but comfortable. But I can’t be down there for long.  I have to come back up for air, back to the noise of which I am afraid. The noise which I was afraid of. Noise, I call upon you now to fill my head. You can’t hurt me. I want to keep diving and coming back for air and to swim and to float on the surface and then dive again. You who are observing. Not everyone can swim like you. Nothing is more terrifying than the depth of your own sea which you are fearful to look at, to put your head under the water and observe the blue void while your flailing legs keep you from sinking as if it’s going to swallow you. You who are observing. You are witnessing a dialogue between my blue void and me. I ask it a question and it snaps at me. It asks me a question and I snap at it. Sometimes it whispered so quietly that in order to hear it I had to go up for more air so I could dive closer to it. Fool. It pretended not to hear me and I was even worse. We didn’t understand each other. You who are observing. My blue void and I made everything you see in front of you, from the materials we had at hand: a body, a sympathetic weight in the chest, a father, a mother, somebody’s eyes, a brother, somebody’s touch, a dream, a friend. Today, maybe, you look into your own void. Scared. But still, you look. Not everyone can swim like you. – Josip Kresović

“Josip Kresović’s exhibition “Plivati kao ti ne može svatko” (Not everyone can swim like you) uncovers his clear intentions of establishing a dialogue between the viewer and presented works in order to communicate. A kind of bridging the gap between art-making and psychology, which are the primary elements that should be considered when analyzing his work. A psychologist by profession, his approach to creating is ambivalent; on the one side, his analytical nature pushes him to meticulously study each detail and look for deeply hidden meanings behind every move, color and introspective action while on the other side, this dichotomy is a source of experimentation with a variety of mediums and materials. His spontaneous side craves inhibition release, letting go and allowing his artistic instincts to guide him in his process. Then, the artist searches for what can he use in that given time using carefully planned steps, but also impulsive bursts of inspiration. His final compositions are bound by a characteristic ethereal quality that clearly communicates his interests in the intangible. In that sense, the produced works represent a culmination of the drive that, with the help of artwork labels, is more or less directly communicated. It is clear that both of these approaches have their advantages. A detailed analytic approach gives him a better understanding of his own mind and a more intimate communication with the viewer, privately and professionally. Accepting spontaneity represents a small step on the road to a complete acceptance of himself and all those parts that have yet to be discovered. His thought processes on the correlation of light, color and space contribute to an immersive surrounding that encourages the viewer to enter a different area of being. With his art, he creates an opportunity for transcendence with which the viewer can explore his inner world – by looking directly at the artist’s. He shows literality by collaging personal objects and stories, evolving his work, and with that his personal relationships. By presenting works that disentangle subjects of growing up, mental health, the complexity of human behavior and associated emotions, he invites the viewer to approach these subjects studiously and sensibly. 

Directly referring to growing up and feelings of ostracism within his own family and conservative surroundings in his formative years, the artist is processing the intimate and the personal from a new perspective, literally and figuratively, miles away from the environment that formed him. According to the metaphysics of presence, everything that exists has a presence or a being that can be felt outside of its physical presence. Josip’s work explores the visible and the invisible, but those terms are in and on their own, self-referring – present and absent are defined and can not exist one without the other. Conditioned by the fact that they existed in the past, even when they currently are not, are actually present.

At the same time, the works are characterized by an intimate personal poeticism that plays with family dynamics and the ways it can be portrayed through the artist’s art practice. It’s about a whole sequence of relationships that have been formed whether personal, intimate, social or sexual. At the same time, sexuality itself here is explored as a subtle reference point that invites the viewer to alter his own connotations about it by encouraging more intense engagement.” – Marta Radman, art historian & curator

Works exhibited / 

here on the left is roller / 2022
untitled / 2023
imbotija / 2023
untitled (in a glass house) / 2022
portrait / 2023
you and I are alike / 2023
leftovers / 2023

The exhibition Plivati kao ti ne može svatko was supported by the Ministry of Culture and media of the Republic of Croatia and was selected for Proces, a yearly exhibition program of the Social Center Rojc, Pula, Croatia.