Nevenka Šivavec
"For Your Eyes Only"
Likovni Salon, Celje
Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw (Poland) 1996


A clear river, a habitat of the Isonzo trout, Salmo marmoratus, which can thoroughly adapt its colour to its surroundings. However, it always figures round spots scattered over its body: on its back they are dark and encircled with a bright colour, but on its haunches they are red and encircled with blue. It is a huge trout, with up to 62 pounds of weight. It has a large body and head, and strong teeth in its jaws. It lurks for its prey, attacking it from a lookout. Its characteristic feature are numerous caeca. It is highly valued by fishermen for its tasty meat. We can hardly think of a better fish.

* "For Isonzo" is a poem by a prominent Slovene poet Simon Gregorčič ( I 844 - 1906). It is a true poetic appreciation of the Isonzo river, in which the poet prophetically predicted that its emerald green waters will be stained with blood of Slovene youths - which afterwards really happened during the World War I. Simon Gregorčič was a Catholic priest, and because of his status his pantheistic and erotic lyric was ideologically banned. He was a compatriot of Damijan Kracina: they both originated in the Isonzo valley, the world between Tolmin and Kobarid - the world to which Gregorčič also dedicated his idyllic hymn "Back to the Mountain Paradise".

I do not actually wish perforce to find any real connections between Gregorčič and Kracina, although the latter undoubtedly was made to learn, in his primary school, many of Gregorčič's poems by heart. But while our attention and sympathies vanish on the surface of the TV screen which daily serves us pictures of public dying as a special dainty, Kracina's monuments to minor and major deaths appear so youthful, so limpid and poetic, that a bit of Gregorčič to accompany the Plexiglas mausoleum in which figures the Isonzo trout seems least of all ridiculous.

Nevenka Šivavec