The work of Croatian-born, Melbourne based Sanja Pahoki continually hovers between melancholy and angst. Pahoki utilises everyday mediums and materials such as photography, neon, video and text to manifest her nuanced observations from everyday life. Existential issues such as the nature of self and the role of anxiety are recurring themes, while individual works constitute elements of a larger self-portrait, documenting and archiving Pahoki's relationship to those important to her—most particularly to her family. She embraces the sentimental as well as the domestic in her practice, however, as the autobiographical is the initial inspiration for much work, Pahoki often engages humour or ambivalence as a strategy to direct attention away from the personal and toward shared universal concerns.
Pahoki's work records and explores the passing of time; in highlighting the disjuncture between nature and artifice, and the gulf between memory and reality, it seeks to connects us to this life and what gives it meaning.
For Sanja Pahoki the engagement with the world traverses other temporal concerns. Her journeys involve processes of becoming and possibility.
… The work seems to be about existential anxiety in certain architectural spaces. It may be about a life mostly explored through potential experiences… In any event, the meaning of life is much less certain and Pahoki seems unwilling to propose ready answers to such things, rather she offers openness to the chances that lie in wait in a half-life.
Mark Pennings, Kings ARI, 2007.