Critics’ Picks

Biljana Jancic, Surface Tension, 2017, two-channel video, aluminum, chromakey tape, dimensions variable. Installation view.


Biljana Jancic

UTS Gallery
University of Technology, Sydney, Level 4, 702 Harris St, Ultimo
February 28–April 28, 2017

A glass box with a concrete column at its center is flanked by two windowed walls—this is the Brutalist-style space that hosts the most recent site-specific installation by Biljana Jancic, an artist who creates compositions that respond to the architectural features of a given environment. Surface Tension, 2017, uses projections and reflections, made with light and duct tape, to explore this cubic space. Plants and shadows of a louver extend over the central white wall. Combined with those of visitors, the shadows seem natural, as if coming from the distant brise-soleil of the courtyard, but they are the byproduct of a film projected in two channels. This compelling optical illusion leads to an ambiguous atmosphere: an intermediate space between indoors and outside.

Emerging from these projected shutters and expanding across the concrete floor is a thick line of flat stripes made with bright-silver aluminum tape. This intersects with another type of tape that marks in gray the space’s interaction with light, while a line of blue tape emerges from a corner to cross the entire gallery floor and then climb up one wall to trace the surfaces of the outdoor stairs. Jancic’s enveloping installation plays with form, materials, and physical experience, making viewers conscious of the transitional dynamics and features of this site. A storm of lines that has as its eye a column witnesses the repeated modular elements and crossed relations that occur within.