What will our world be like without emotions, and will anyone even miss them? This question, provoked by the concern that life in current circumstances of constant digital connectivity and instant “likes” and “emoticons” is heading into a state where emotions are increasingly losing their role and are retreating into cliches, has motivated the visual artist and author Eva Petrič to create “@pple girl story2; to be a shadow or a puppet…” the multilayered story within the hybrid of a photography book and an interactive art object.

Among the emotions that seem to be most endangered in the present world of instancy is longing – the emotion without which most of the greatest literary creations could not have come into being, especially poetry – and without which there would even be no need for it. Longing is the main theme pervading Eva Petrič’s “@pple girl story2; to be a shadow or a puppet…”.

The multilayered story and its book (square format, hard cover, 355 pages, with 100 visual aphorisms and 163 text images of emotions) is a hybrid by its content as well as its form. It is a hybrid of a literary story, switching between a fairytale and a contemporary email dairy, and the visual dictionary of emotions among which many are on the brink of extinction. The text itself is a hybrid mitigating between images and sentences, spread out over paper of different colors in ways where sentences form visual images. By depicting figures in their material forms of bodies as well as in their immaterial forms as shadows, the book enables viewers various ways of perception and possibilities of creating one’s own stories.

Eva Petrič: “The character of my color staged photographs is a puppet, unaware of its shadow – the real emotion which pulls the strings of the character making it a puppet. Shadows applied to the color images act as catalysts. Hopefully they enable reactions between the image and the viewer to occur. At the point of fusion, narratives overlap. A new dimension arises, showing the state where the shadow acquires characteristics of the body, appearing fleshier, and the body acquires characteristics of the shadow, appearing more ephemeral.”

Eva Petrič, born in Slovenia, lives and works as a multimedia artist, performance artist and an independent writer in Vienna, Ljubljana and in New York City. She is an artist of the Galerie Mourlot, New York City, and a member of the PEN Club Austria and the Slovene Writers Association. She holds a BA cum laude in psychology and visual art from Webster University Vienna, and an MFA in new media, from Transart Institute New York / Berlin. Her art was shown at over 90 solo and 145 group exhibitions all over the world. Awards (selection): 2022 Excellence Award, Utazu Art Award Biennale, Japan; 2017 Best Performance Art Award, United Solo Festival, New York City; 2017 Grand Prix 6th International Fine Arts Festival Kranj, Slovenia; 2017 Grant of the Ministry of Culture of Slovenia; Red Carpet Tribute Award 2017, Vienna, Austria; 2016 SNBA Silver medal for photography, Paris, France; 2011 Pfann Ohman Preis, Vienna, Austria; 2010 Vordemberge-Gildewart award, 2006 Čižek award for Best Short Video in Slovenia in 2006. She is the author of several published books. Drava has published her poetry collection Ta prostor je škatla and its translation into German, the German translation of her novel They All Ate Sushi (nominated for 2010 IMPAC Dublin Literary Award), and the art monography WEBbing, which combines her recycled lace installations with visual poetry.