Examining trauma’s traces through the photographic medium in “Spectral Evidence”, author Ulrich Baer argues that traumatic events and the memories they produce cannot, by the extreme upheaval they cause, be absorbed or narrativized as other events in our lives are. We are forced to wrestle, physically and psychologically, with these unwelcome spirits as best we know how. Ruznic - who as a child fled war in Bosnia and knows first-hand the precarity of refugee life - offers a robust visual proposal through which viewers may reckon with disturbance, and take comfort.
Review by Roula Seikaly
“The Forgiver Has Forgiven But Emotional Memory Lingers” portrays one of the few solitary figures, seated and shoulders sloped. While the pose suggests at least potential repose, the figure’s wide eyes suggest shock, disbelief, or horror that cannot be unseen.
“Ancestral Nibbles”, the large composition that anchors the installation, wholly incorporates the aesthetic and philosophical questions Ruznic tackles in her work. Eight figures uncomfortably occupy every inch of the canvas, leaning into or slumping toward one another, their limbs unrestrained by bones or joints. There are no corporeal boundaries between these figures as they coil around each other, but the embrace is cold. Their bonds may not be those of love, but of being bound to one another while weathering joyless coexistence. Out of this miasma emerges a singular, smiling visage. That arresting feature suggests that life after limbo may yet offer respite, an affecting metaphor for those who in real time flee entrenched conflicts by the thousands.