Our visual environment is a complex net of signs, pictures and texts whose origins are hard to track. The references are constantly intersecting one another, and appearances are traveling across the world. I regard picture as a proto-screen where the layering of visual material is being projected as the confrontation with the flood of images.
I first approached this collision of disparate elements through painting, drawing and collage. Found images from magazines, reproductions of artworks and poor images from the internet were my main source for the works created 2016-2018. Recycling, appropriation and combining of such material results in visual analogies. Every image contains another – it’s a picture within a picture. Moreover, images are not isolated, but changeable entities that are constantly migrating – they are visual nomads.
In the past two years, my practice took a shift towards (analogue) photography. My lens-based (photographic) and drawing (painting) works, however, involve corresponding methods. The development of the piece is often infused with chance as I let intuition and the physicality of the material lead the creative process.
Through practical research I seek the common denominator(s) of drawing (painting) and photography. In search of the bridge between both image-making modalities, I operate/navigate with the concepts of drawing, gesture and index.
I understand drawing in a broad sense; as gestural mark-making. The element of gesture is the keystone of my practice, bridging the medium of drawing-painting with that of photography. In this fusion of both, the seeming objectivity and subjectivity of a photograph come to the surface. Addressing such formal questions culminates in abstract, gestural and expressive imagery, as seen in the photographic series Landscape or Abstractaparat and in video production (Deliquescing).
The works 2018-2020 predominantly derive from analogue or even camera-less photographic processes. These fascinate me with their distinct materiality which echoes the experience of drawing. I understand the relation between photography and drawing-painting as one of mutual influence.
The notion of a trace is the main ligament/ligature of my practice. Trace encompasses gesture but includes absence and temporal displacement. Tightly related to photography and drawing, trace deeply resonates with my interests, translated into the projects such as the Drawing Camera, photobooks Trace and others.
Recent works are often a contemplation on my direct surroundings – landscape and cityscape – and the traces we leave in it. It hints at the processes of urbanisation and constant change, yet it is open for personal or rather poetic interpretations.
Mia Paller (1995, Ljubljana, Slovenia) graduated in painting from the Academy of Fine Arts and Design, University of Ljubljana (Slovenia). The Academy awarded her with the Recognition of Study Achievements for the academic year 2015/16.
In 2018, the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia rewarded her with a scholarship for master studies in fine arts and design abroad. In September 2018, Mia Paller thus enrolled in a two-year master course Lens-Based Media Design at Piet Zwart Institute (Willem de Kooning Academy, Rotterdam, the Netherlands). She graduated from the course with the thesis Photograph – index – Drawing in July 2020.
Her short animations were screened on several festivals in Slovenia and abroad (Animateka 13 – Ljubljana 2016; Slovenian Animated Film 2006-2017 – Celje 2018; Miasma in NeverLand Cinema – Rotterdam 2019; Miasma II in 504 – London 2019 etc.). Her experimental video Deliquescing was screened at EYE Research Days in EYE Filmmuseum Amsterdam (NL, 2020) and Alkatraz gallery (Ljubljana 2020). With her painting-drawing practice she explores the methods of collaging, appropriation and visual analogies. These works were on show in several group and solo exhibitions, among others in Equrna Gallery (Ljubljana 2018), Noorderstation Groningen (the Netherlands 2018), DobraVaga gallery (Ljubljana 2020) etc.
Mia Paller’s recent works echo her fascination for surfaces and the concepts such as subjectivity vs. objectivity of an image, trace and indexicality. Her recent production has been presented in solo exhibitions such as Artist per Month – Mia Paller: Trace in DobraVaga Gallery (Ljubljana 2019), City Traces in Hiša kulture (Pivka, SI, 2019) and Photoupsets in Layer House (Kranj, SI, 2019).
Mia Paller currently lives in Rotterdam (the Netherlands), working as a part-time assistant instructor at the Willem de Kooning Academy (Rotterdam), coaching students and teaching various (drawing) skills. As a maker, she is currently researching the practice between photography and painting.