2005-2015 | Sanela Jahić: Fire Painting
Cybernetic construction, 90 x 90 x 90 cm, 2010

Sanela Jahić: Fire Painting

Cybernetic construction, 90 x 90 x 90 cm, 2010


In collaboration with: Andrej Primožič, Zvonko Drobnič, Manuel Odendahl, Franci Černelč

Co-production: Kapelica Gallery

Photo: Miha Fras, Kapelica Gallery archive



Fire Painting is a cybernetic construction. It is composed of a set of 16 pumps creating pressure and pushing a lavish green-colored kerosene oil mixture through the nozzles when the valves are released. The kerosene is sparked to combustion creating a formidable brilliant flame. The combustion is controlled by subtle movements of the data glove worn by the artist/viewer/participant. The idea is built on a paradox of tactile handling of this primal element, using it as color on a canvas like an action painter. The person controls the image yet it constantly eludes him or her. Fire is the ultimate intangible and unstable light-based medium, therefore any digital or electronic image can be emulated in its light (screens, projectors, televisions). In fact, the 4x4 nozzles function like 16 pixels image. Tiny gestures with the glove trigger forceful and unpredictable changes, mesmerizing and enrapturing the viewer. Furthermore, the entire construction is supported by a completely translucent “bodiless” containers custom made out of glass. Jahić radicalizes the painting by eliminating the carrier of the image entirely. The only carrier is the mathematical algorithm that translates movements of the sensors into opening of the valves causing combustion. There is no more frame, no more edge, just endless folds of infinite becoming of the image.

Ida Hiršenfelder



Sanela Jahić (1980, Kranj) graduated in Painting from the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Ljubljana in 2008 with a thesis entitled “Social Subject in a Kinetic Object” and received her master’s degree in 2010 in Public Art and New Artistic Strategies from the Bauhaus University in Weimar. She lives and works in Škofja Loka.

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