I am researching the notion of grief by engaging in collaborative and participatory projects. My interest lies in the exploration of socially generated emotional conditions such as grief, pressure, anxiety, animosity, etc. in relation to loss of value, loss of environments and sense of misplacement. Recently I have been connecting this with traditions and rituals from the Balkan region, my place of origin, I have been investigating waeving symbols, pagan rituals and their legacy in modern culture and common practices.
“The Last Straw”
We have already lost a lot, and we are about to lose more. The question is how to deal not only with these turbulent changes in the world, but also with our feelings of loss and grief. It’s common to experience grief in 5 phases: denial, bargaining, anger, depression and acceptance. They do not always come in this order, and we do not always experience all the phases, The Last straw “therefore consist of five phases following the process of grief. The research and exploration of the third phase “Sadness“ was in the focus during the Advanced Master program.
Sadness often appears in our society as a state to be fixed, and resolved. Yet, it is an essential part of living, of understanding the world, of developing empathy towards others, as well as towards our environment and nature. With Sadness I explored the notion of environmental loss by engaging in collaborative and participatoryactions, through the exploration and (re)creation of environments and rituals. My intention was to create an inviting space to share personal stories and think of environments, habits and technologies that we will have to leave behind us, or that we have already omitted from our lives. Playing out future, past and present scenarios through reflection on the notion of loss.
I planned to construct the rituals and work on tryouts with the group, but fate had different plans for us. It opened a virtual portal in time and space where our presence was on a different level, and it required a different engagement. They taught me something different than I expected.
Through the Advanced Master program I discovered that the path forward is research, questioning progress as well unlearning histories and narratives.
As Stengers pleads that we are not a corporation, proudly obeying the ticking clocks of an unsustainable progress, but a community trying to give some meaning to the now consensual but often empty claim: the claim that we have to change our ways of behaving in this world. Finally, I welcomed the need to take time and construct questions, to dissect them, and ask even the wrong ones in order to come to the right conclusions. I came to understand the meaning of who is the WE in my question.
I needed to embrace the position of radical uncertainty, in order to move forward.
My research about grief and grieving rituals took a turn, I am no longer concerned about only dealing with facts and scientific readings, I allowed myself to dive into the magic, to search for secret places in the mountains and learn about rituals and myths, welcome witchcraft as an important stream of research, practice and lifestyle. I was able to take the first step towards liberating myself from the expectation of progressing and producing, and taking time to listen and be present.
Martina Petrovic is a multimedia artist born in 1987 in Belgrade, Serbia. She finished her BA and MA in Transmedia research at Faculty of Fine Arts in Belgrade (2012-2017) in the class of Dejan Grba. She continued her education in art on KASK School of arts in Gent (2017-2020), Belgium, where she graduated in the department of Autonomous design, mentored by Adva Zakai and An De Bisschop. She now finished the Advanced Master program of Artistic Research in a social-political contex at Sint Lucas School of Arts Antwerpen (2020/2021). Her art mainly focuses on the exploration of socially generated emotional conditions such as grief, but also precariousness, pressure, angst, animosity, etc. in relation to the loss of values, the damage made to the environment and a sense of misplacement. She is currently working on the artistic project The Last Straw. Previous completed projects and collaborations are: BUZZ project at Ostavinska galerija, Belgrade (2019); Terrestrial Odditties, HBKsaar, Saarbrucken, Germany (2019); Performance Syntrofi, Vooruit, Gent (2019) collaboration with School of Love; The exhibition with Sofija Crnjanski “A light room“, U10, Belgrade (2017); 2017. The exhibition, “Actopolis“, Museum of city of Belgrade, etc. Website: http://martinapetrovic.com/ Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org