Thursday, December 6, 2007
Friday, November 2, 2007
Goodbye Desolate Railyard is the title taken of Silver Mt. Zion song which lent itself descriptively to the painting. If it had a sound to it, it would fit into any of the given band`s songs even though mood which I would prefer would be Dayvan Cowboy of Boards of Canada. That song has a video by Melissa Olson showing stock footage of Joseph Kittinger`s landmark sky dive from a helium balloon that had pierced the atmosphere, effectively leaving Kittinger in free fall from space in 1960. Figure depicted jumping out of the crane is that of Will Oldham. I tried to piece together various ideas of beauty as I see/feel them wallowing around in my mind. I also tried to use different persona's to embody someone else in order to avoid simple narrative guiding the image. Layering of different personalities into one figure is an attempt to make painting open for several different angles/directions of reading. I’m always oppressed by the feel that all good art is never one-way street. Hence the need to broaden the possibilities in order not to get cornered by singular reading of the image, danger which may lead to banality.
Sunday, October 21, 2007
-My Home Is Nowhere Without You- is the work which deals with the certain issue of Transgression of Everyday. The Escape Myth is one out of many images of globalised society. Illusion of escaping gray everyday in which no common sense appears, departing into far gone, unknown and distant places – which finds its surrogate in contemporary form of tourism – is probably one of longlasting cultural phenomenon of the modern age. It is within this space that the popular culture operates, offereing bandages for all of our wounds. Transgression of everyday is a form of escapism. One of the best products that Pop-culture has to offer is the escape from everyday presented to us in a form of music and movies (presumably its strongest media). Mind moves to another palce in a matter of time that takes to press play. It is the given contradiction between instant solution to ongoing essential battles taking place through growing up and on in life, wich is the key to this work. Solemn figure confronted to epic distraction in the shape of pixel. And if I may loosely use Nietzches statement that art is elsewhere, the answer in the form of mammoth comes as nothing more than a sad joke.
Sunday, June 24, 2007
This was the last of North.
The cycle itself was intended to be about ,,beginnings,,. Be it of life or journey. Relationship or anything else. Having finished -6 kilometers- all the things i felt were done good only pointed to what could have been done better. Failing to grasp the big-picture. Similar to taking a trip and sticking your head out of the speeding car, and when being asked about the sightseeing and everything you were supposed to see, all you remember is the smell of air when your head was out on that speedway and maybe the concrete and color of the gas-station or the way your girl had her hair in that museum but you cant remember anything else there. The paintings i do have a lot of matter relying on similar memories of things in life. It is beautiful taking notions on anything that lasts only for brief moment in time. Shorter it lasts more space it leaves for us to bring our own notions inside.To make the whole thing up. That is how i feel the memory works, making us different all together by different things of the same each will remember. So what i intended was to have all these image-bites or sequences of glorified ordinary memories which are not able to tell one story, rather hundred. These paintings, story wise, all go in different directions. And if you look at it as a journey, i will set the direction North.
More formally, -No.13- was referential to the -No.8-, which is also last painting from the -6 kilometers-. For -6 kilometers- i wanted heavy epic end. Initial idea was to have an -End Painting-. I imagined a theatrical play end, having all the actors holding hands in that moment in between bows. Other than ending metaphor, this was the case when something else happens which you don't quite expect. Painting got a life of its own, and took in charge. It turned out to be the perfect prelude to the -North- with the idea of children as protagonists and distorted memory of childhood as a subject matter. Other than above mentioned idea, as i was doing it, i had in mind 19th ct. children illustrations. What happened was kind of Norman Rockwell-Joseph Bueys-Christian Boltanski-tea time. With -No.13- i wanted the stage situation to be viewed from slightly different angle. As the whole -North- cycle was painterly treated differently than -6 kilometers-, the image needed to be depicted in a different way. The protagonists were replaced with one single kid set out to hold the entire image by himself. This was to enhance the epic or theatricality of the image.
Wednesday, June 6, 2007
This was the first painting in North cycle. It took around two and a half month to do it. Most adventurous thing was make this -plasma- wall in front of the boys. It was the idea of this line pattern that puzzled me ever since my school days and with this piece i wanted to give it a go. This pattern appears on other paintings of mine as well ( -No.7- from 6 Kilometers was the first where i did it), but what differs this one from the other is the layering process i applied. First, I made a pattern using only white laying lines in entire 360°. The given pattern in that stage was exactly like the one in No.12 behind the forest and the falling kid. And then I was to make a colour pattern on top of the white one, using diluted colours, so that the white pattern applied first could stay seen. This process would result with a visual result of a colored noise. I needed a surface that would be worth of curiosity felt by the kids staring.
The initial idea was to have a painting as the place of refuge. Where no man dwells but them kids. To have the image that breathes yearning desire.
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
As with many contemporary thinkers, Eisenman rejects the redemptive notion of collective memory and its unexamined links to the sacred, which unite its celebrants in a reassuring cult of remembrance. Memorials, Eisenman has noted, are not about memory but about nostalgia. (Ester da Costa Meyer, -Speak, Memory- on Peter Eisenmans Holocaust Memorial, Artforum, January 2006)
In reading the entire article about a year ago, I first came to notion of Eisenmans work in Berlin. Seeing it at first I felt awed by the visual impact it left, and after giving it more attention, it felt very close to my field of interest. First, the way of representing. I said earlier how I am trying to find new ways to represent. I wouldn't go so far to speak of any new ideas in theory or praksis, nevertheless I do find it puzzling, difficult, joyous and hard to deal with the idea of how to cloak old things with my own cape. To use them in my benefit. To take that serious stuff, anything, take your pick, Beuys, Bonnie Billy, Mike Kelley or Mike Patton, Hemingway or John Currin.How would the things they howled about all sound like if I was the one howling. With my own tools and voice that is of course. I also sense the danger in this and be that as it may that eclecticism is one thing and one's authentic research another. I believe individual need to make something happen is most sublime force and that all the work that stuck, were made out of sheer need to do them.
Second, as Eisenman noted that it is not about memory but about nostalgia. One thing in the North paintings I wanted, and I feel it close with me all the time, could unfairly be called by that word nostalgia . Unfairly because nostalgia has that tacky slightly pathetic sound to it. The better word is Portuguese saudade which translates as the as an inexplicable longing, an unnamed and enigmatic yearning of the soul. Nick Cave in his lecture -The Secret Life of Love Song- tempts to shed some light on this particular feel and speaks of Federigo Garcia Lorca coining the term duende which as he describes it is that certain feel that everybody has, but lacks closer definition or explanation. I have felt it close since I can remember, and it it haunted me as most dominant aim throughout anything I produced.
Sunday, May 27, 2007
I intended these images to be saturated with variety of our memories. Should they succeed being visually effective it is precisely because they do not show any one specific place, or landscape. Looking at them evokes a film-like movement of images, which is a movement from memory, and might best be associated to Jorge Luis Borges's idea that all art strives towards the state of music. They are simultaneously representational, narrative, and abstract, recalling familiar elements from art history and from reality. (Zlatan Vehabović)
In the book “Poetics” Borges says that the epic sensibility has disappeared. Although he refers primarily to literature, I think we are not mistaken if we recognize that statement as a general assessment of contemporariness that, in Lyotard's words, has left great stories in the past. Still, Borges leaves door opened by claiming that even if any of the epic sensibility from the past has remained it cannot be found in literature or art anymore but in film.
Zlatan Vehabović's references to the art of film, Borges and music are not random. Until the dawn of the Internet, as a multimedia text that combines image, sound and movement, film satisfied our need for “reading” both art and the world around us in a multi-sensory way. The film, being the art of time, took the aspect of narration and turned it into one of its basic principles.
His painting is not a film, it is not happening in time, does not contain sound and instead of story it presents a vague atmosphere only outlining potential story. However, he aspires to something like music. Where does this trace of music in the painting come from and what is its relation to film?
It seems to be a Proust-like situation, mentioned by the author himself when talking about “evocation of images”. To start evocation he, besides large-scale formats that re-topicalize the body in the process of perception, selects and presents childhood motifs that contain a certain amount of universal meaning. By this, I mean personal, social, political, economic and other aspects of childhood, the phenomenon that always meets with different reactions. It is of no importance whether we discuss the groups of abandoned children in the African and South American suburbs or the meaning of adventure literature for children and their upbringing based on the stories about Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer or we have doubts about their upbringing in the context of entertainment industry of television and the Internet. It is always about activating different, often forgotten attitudes and evoking memories.
As laid down by contemporary ethnographic research it needs to be said that childhood is a cultural product made by the adults for children. This unveils not only ways of “taming” the youngest members of society but also the imagery that the adults possess by creating the images of childhood. The imagery of such a slightly perverse situation, in which adults decide what it is like to be a child, changes together with the overall culture. Therefore, it is hard to believe today that the image of a boy running away from his parents to catch a fish is a model of a well-behaved child (as far as fishing is concerned).
When it comes to escape things are different. Namely, the image of childhood as a careless world of idleness separated from the world of adults was created in the late 19th century when the western civil society of high capitalism was on the rise. According to that image, men worked separately from home and family, women took care of household and children played, shortly interrupted by school obligations. This culture of childhood existed only in the upper classes. Nowadays, adults' perception of childhood as a period devoid of worry is not only normal but also necessary for our own sake. That image, despite the changes that global society is undergoing, is still determined by the aspect of escape. Illusion about escaping the grey everyday life, in which we cannot find the meaning, about going to unknown and distant places (modern tourism is a surrogate for this), is probably one of the longest living cultural phenomena of modern age. In the field of art, the martyrs of adventurism, escape or departure lived already in late 19th century and the most famous were Rimbaud, Conrad and Gauguin.
There is more in that than narrative canons of the adventure literature. What more, there is something of epic sensibility found in film mentioned by Borges or something of the music effect suggested by Vehabović. It may even be a transgression of the everyday that can be committed against different bases: political, psychosocial, imaginary etc. Vehabović's representation of the transgression is not political except on the margins where we face social representation of childhood. It is poetical and, in the best manner of pop music, escapist. The childhood myth crossed with the alternative space of communication such as My Space. Music, a mystic signifier referring to itself, arouses feelings, evokes memories and the virtual space of the eternal adolescence where adults are unwelcome.
His paintings evoke experiences swarming above spaces of childhood characterized by play, curiosity, idleness and illusion that, no matter what happened after and what is today, we lived without the mediation of culture and language. (Klaudio Štefančić)
Friday, May 25, 2007
-No.11-. This was fourth work in the North cycle. It was born out of Jorg Sasse photograph, the mesmerising image i came across digging the Internet. His work became one of my favourite influences, mostly due to his suttle rendering of images pointed towards isolation and emptiness. The world of no mans land, even when people are in it. Beautiful. The glory of the image alone, where artificial colour and pixel speak of our God given right to be happy and sad. At the same time. That's where my painting starts. -North- was consisted of paintings that speak of many things at once. As I go with this blog, intention is to get them clear. With -No.11- there was this big burden of his photo. It was all ready filled with specific emotion of space, emptiness.. basically everything I wanted too. That was the greatest danger. I needed to get similar vibe with his work as a reference but with my own tools. The large scale always help. I rendered pattern of white lines in order to slice the space in tiniest fragments. Also I see it as a tool of exploration for the time being. I am trying to find another way to represent. The children running were meant to go nowhere. I desperately tried to avoid the implication of competition or a contest. At one point I felt such resentment when I saw painting developing in that direction. Hence, I over-painted figures. I put halos of smoke or sand dust over them in order to melt them with environment, so they all became one inseparable image. The images above are recorded process of about month and a half work.
The last cycle of paintings I made, I titled North. The painting I hold to be most sufficient one is the -No.12- saying ,, I can go down, and Ill go down. At least my truck is with me,,. What I intended was the situation of collapse, confronted with melancholy and joy. What i lack in paintings is the soundtrack to them. I love to listen to the music when seeing images, and one of my greatest motivation is to produce such images that will make you feel like listening your favourite tracks.
As everything starts from Bang, so do I. Here is the timetable of priorities, the list of the most important things in the world. As I will go on, things will get more clear and the fragments will be thoroughly done. This form starts as from today, and its purpose is to record the process of making as it happens. This first thing was an assignment made for Essl Award 2007 catalogue. The winners were asked to make visual statements about themselves. The imagery seen are images that vary from my-own work material for paintings, images of things from which it all begins. Afterwards I was asked to where it all comes from, and this is that version.