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Marija Iva Gocić & Marko Obradović

The Horrible Truth


The Horrible Truth (2022) is inspired by a 19th century legend about the meeting between the personified Truth and Lie, which leaves the Truth naked and in hiding after being left unwelcome anywhere, while the Lie wanders the world dressed in the Truth’s clothing. At the very end of the 19th century, there was a sudden rush of paintings depicting the personification of the Truth as a nude woman climbing from a well. They came seemingly from nowhere, were popular for a decade or so, then vanished. The nudity of the model may arise from the expression la vérité nue, "the naked truth".


Marija Iva Gocić and Marko Obradović, Well Girls, The Horrible Truth, 2022. Courtesy of the artists. 


Marija Iva Gocić and Marko Obradović, Well Girls, The Horrible Truth, 2022. Courtesy of the artists.


Marija Iva Gocić and Marko Obradović, Well Girls, The Horrible Truth, 2022. Courtesy of the artists.
The work by Marija Iva Gocić and Marko Obradović is a performance complemented by an installation, paintings and photographs. The hay installation forms a tall well, which at first glance looks like a tower, while the two photographs illustrate the story of the performance taking place inside the installation. The photographs as well as three exhibited paintings provide the atmosphere and narrative suggestions, adding to the situation that is evolving at the bottom of the hay-made well. The imagery is reminiscent of fairy tales, but not a glossy, nothing-but-lovely kind. Instead, it is truer to the original form of fairy tales – the one where the cruelty and ugliness of the world are just as important as its magic.

Taking inspiration from the legend and tradition, the performance inside the well offers a different take on the story of the Truth and the Lie. To see what's inside, it is necessary to climb to the top of the well. At the bottom is a girl representing the Truth. When the audience peeks into the well, she tries to charm them with a smile but shows no intention of ever wanting to come out again.


Marko Obradović, The Kids, 2022. Courtesy of the artists.
Marija Iva Gocić and Marko Obradović, The Horrible Truth, 2022. Photo: Andrej Pavićević / Kula Cetinjska, Beograd.

Marija Iva Gocić (1998) is a performance artist from Belgrade, Serbia. In her artistic practice she combines performance with other forms, most often installation and sculpture. Her work mainly explores human relations and is thus often created in collaboration with other artists. She has been showcasing her work since 2014 and maintains her artistic practice alongside philosophy studies at the University of Belgrade. Philosophy informs her artistic practice and vice versa.

Marko Obradović (1998) is a visual artist working mostly in painting, who finished his MFA in painting at the Faculty of Fine Art in Serbia. His work questions identity through themes of abjection and transhumanism. He also works with video, installation and digital print. Each work is a specific kind of character study meant to be blown out of proportion and attract the viewer through colour and liminal situations. He has been exhibiting his work since 2019 in solo and group exhibitions.


Etc. is an annual magazine, dedicated to showcasing current artistic production from the Baltic to the Balkans.
Based in Ljubljana, Slovenia, each issue is dedicated to a relevant topic in art and life. Founded to promote emerging artists, its goal is to initiate a dialogue, inspire collaborations, and challenge set views.