The artist is existentially torn between her native Slovenia and Bolivia, where today she significantly shapes the cultural space with her painting and gallery activities.
In her artistic work, the painter Ejti Štih openly raises taboo, urgent and topical issues. In Bolivia, segregation, social and societal injustices and violence are omnipresent and, although unintentionally, artist accompanies them every day. In her sensitivity and visual intuition, she has consciously translated them into the medium of painting, opening up a new life for a series of large-format paintings she has called Red and Golden.
In the series, the artist primarily addresses the subject of abortion and, by extension, the situation and plight of Bolivian girls and women, who are largely stigmatised, ignored and oppressed due to the violation of their basic rights. Their stories reflect a frightening image of the Third World. The confessionally powerful scenes of naked, helpless and repressed girls therefore awaken immense compassion and at the same time call for a solution, for the suffering and humiliation to finally come to an end. The paintings, composed in diptychs or triptychs, are like theatrical scenes that suck the viewer into their deep core, offering a vision of a world that we are surprised to find is based on reality – the author thus employs a narrative strategy of magical realism, such as that used mainly by Latin American writers.
As one of the outstanding phenomena in society, the artist also comments in her canvases on the Me Too movement, which was the first to show and draw attention to the dimensions of physical and psychological violence against women in contemporary society. She also addresses this paradigm through bold and imaginative interpretations of biblical themes. Thus, in the exhibition, we find a painting with the image of Eve as a woman who, through original sin, carries the guilt of all that is bad throughout history, or the scene of the first parents at the tree of knowledge, where, in a reversal of the biblical narrative, Adam offers Eve an apple.
In addressing the Me Too movement, she also draws attention to the double morality of women themselves, who use the situation for feminist reckoning, or who deal with identity issues rather than the heart of the problem. She is also critical of women in the media world who hold the levers of power but prefer to use them for their own promotion and benefit. Their depictions are caricatured in the painter’s witty way, portrayed as absurdities or contradictions, understood as a kind of contemporary allegory, or a metaphorical mirror of society.
The exhibition also includes a documentary film about the painter, by Gregor Bajt.
The exhibition will be open until 9th of December 2023.