Inhabiting Isidora Fićović’s expressionistic oils on canvas, the Ratman emerges as a hyperbolic figure, possessor of superhuman abilities and ultimate fighter or the human kind well-being. This is a novel imaginary demonstration of the superhero who helps people endure changes that derive from technological development. An installation display of this exhibition comprehends of five representative Ratman portraits that symbolically fill the real space, while five hundred computer mice simultaneously rush towards their virtual projection. Via simple syntheses of two spaces, real and virtual / industrial and post-industrial, the artist consciously chooses naivety when approaching this subject. This is what enables her to question digitally mediated communication and place automatic ability of the apparatus at the center of critical substance, whilst expressing the fear of human relation’s dehumanization, human body transformation and robotizing of desire, thought and feeling.
Even if Ratman’s supernatural powers and performance strategy remain understated, the goals with social and existential implications signify his socio-political activism. Emphasized details in this work: heart, erected penis and pointer-fist that indicates Ratman’s genitalia as a target, designate the core of jeopardy. Using the language of expressionism enables Isidora Ficovic to stress even better today’s violated, but in post-industrial future, most likely, forever-lost inner, psychological, emotional, spiritual and existential subject conditions. Therefore, the Ratman should preserve the system of value where privileged positions are reserved for unmediated contact and intimate human (love) relation that go beyond the sensation of romantic experience and become a requirement for the human kind extension.
Text by Mara Prohaska Marković