Sweet Dreams, Sweet Expectations Martina Munivrana The exhibition Sweet Dreams by Croatian artist Paulina Jazvić suggests irony and humour that are quite characteristic for the artist and her work. Aspiring for certain challenges, provocativeness and uninhibited artistic idiom, this time she has also remained true to herself and her artistic expression. By combining her two occupations, that of graphic artist and fashion designer, as stressed by Mladen Lučić in the foreword of the exhibition I Recommend Vodka at the MSU Istria: “…she created a recognisable authorial idiom on the margins of the established concept of art, and this dualism has also become a kind of authorial seal of hers.” As suggested by the title itself, the exhibition speaks of sweet dreams, hopes and expectations. Expectations are part of life of every individual and include in themselves the conscious act of the soul toward the desirable and recognised good. Expectation is not only an anthropological, but also a psychological fact. Expectation and hopes for something good (sweet dreams) are accompanied by the feeling of joy and pleasure, and that is the feeling which makes us happy, that is the emotional state of the human soul. Our expectations and hopes develop in two temporal determinants, that of present and future; that which we expect belongs to the present, while the realisation of our expectations we project into the future. However, we cannot predict definitiveness and realisation, we can only dream. As we are prone to exaggeration, we easily err in our expectations, hopes and dreams. We easily yield to various fantasies and daydreams, and in our imagination we create fiction and constructed worlds to which we delightedly surrender. In these dreams, unreal expectations are easily created; they melt and vanish under the pressure of everyday routine, leaving behind the sheer projection of desire and hope in a state of nothingness and vanishing. In her new works, Paulina problematises the expectations, hopes and dreams of an individual in the context of emotional relationships. The works deliberate the socially acceptable forms and indicate certain phenomena and situations perceived and recorded by the artist; they carry within themselves a discreetly executed autobiographic note. By using different symbolic objects i.e. objects of today’s consumerist society found practically everywhere, the artist indicates the hopes and dreams of the individual and the influence of time and society in the context of their dissolving and vanishing. From her personal, female recourse, Paulina perceives relationships and their dimensions while maintaining her recognisable, ironic artistic expression. The exhibition features five works with symbolic titles, of which some of them are in English so as to highlight their symbolism and frequent usage in colloquial speech. The work Together Forever presents a flock of inflatable PVC swans. The swans are presented as symbols of togetherness; specifically, they spend most of their lives with the same partner and raise their young together. Swans that lose their partner often ‘remain widowed’ for the rest of their lives, which makes them symbols of loyalty. Even though we constantly express a great desire for togetherness and eternal love, increasingly often we are witnessing damaged and broken relationships that lead to great pain, alienation and separation as the source of many of our frustrations and anger. For the artist, this work actually represents a fantasy on an ideal relationship without much effort, the relationship that is self-explanatory and taken for granted. By letting the air out, however, everything can instantly remain sheer illusion. The work Piece of Cake is a wedding cake made of Styrofoam and fondant, decorated with wedding cake figurines made of PVC. In an ironic manner, by using the symbol of prosperity and fertility (wedding cake), the artist indicates the occasionally unreal expectations brought into marriage/partnership by the partners. The various figurines used as decoration symbolise the institution of marriage, formal togetherness of partners, and they also speak of partnership as being quite simple and conceivable. The central piece of the exhibition is a house with a wooden construction covered in cotton candy that is melting, which is also documented by the accompanying video work. The cotton candy is a symbol of our dreams that frequently melt, fade away, and we are ultimately left only with an indication of that which we wanted and desired. In the video work, I’ll Scratch You out with a Pen, actress Judita Franković interprets the unemancipated woman of today who merely smiles, lives her unnatural, artificial status and nods her head, thereby suppressing her own hollowness. Revolted with such choices, the artist annuls the figure by scratching it/her out. The video animation My Husband Is at Sea is based on the true story of the man who openly receives SMS messages with said content from the wives of sailors. With this message, he is invited to fill the voids in a marriage and to take part in the illusion of a relationship that is based on distorted values. In her artistic deliberations, with the exhibition Sweet Dreams Paulina Jazvić continues to question our personal identities in the context of the superficial consumerist society in which we live. Primarily aware of the unbearable lightness of superficiality that disables the creation and maintenance of quality relationships, in an already recognisable manner she ironically portrays the world discreetly and humorously, and views it from her position of woman and artist, indicating that we fail to consider the only important thing, which is love, love that makes us better both for ourselves and for those who surround us, and which we have unfortunately replaced with instant solutions for the purpose of the lightness of being.