Irena Frantal – Artist in Residence


A book is magic!
Irena Frantal about her work

A book constantly gives me new paths to explore in the field of visual arts. A book involves the viewer and pulls her/him to be part of the work. It needs touch and physical engagement to be „activated“, a book is closely connected to the human condition. I am always aware of layers of existence, of many layers of existing in this moment. A medium of the book can most correctly depict this, I think. I am „writing“ about the experience of being human.

For me, text is a layer underneath of our experience. My process consists in trying to pull that text on the surface. As if I am using a little hook to pull bits of thread of the (text)fabric through the weaving of the top layers of our experience … Important about writing is to be truthful. I don’t use writing because of visuality of the text, but because I need text to get closer to the truth. Although the choice of fonts is very important for me, I never approach the book as a graphic designer.

We have to get rid of expectations of something to be the way we are taught it should be. A lot of my exhibitions, at the first look, they are not books, they are installations, or strange objects in space. You need a closer look and introspection to realise why they are books, and how they connect with you.

My work is poetic. I am interested in finding poetry in everyday experience.

The plan for my residency was to make a book, a diary of my moments in Linz. That book is being made, it is a diary, but in any way it doesn’t look the way I thought it would look. It will not be an object you can flip through sitting on a couch. The book expanded on to the walls and floor of this huge studio. It will be an exhibition in the future, definitely, expanding on several walls…

This is my second art residency, and I am thrilled how it is evolving. Linz has enough lively details to engage my curiosity, but at the same time is quite familiar and I feel comfortable spending days in the studio engaged just in my work.  This opportunity to work undisturbed and in the studio much bigger than I have in Zagreb showed me yet new, undiscovered paths to explore the book. And I am excited about it.

More about the work of the croatian artist Irena Frantal: