Deluge (and After)

Ranko Travanj


July 25th – August 10th

The grey phase of Johannes de Pestilentia

The exhibition is conceived as of a collection of documents – paintings taken from the fabricated past of a forgotten avant-garde artist, the incomplete alter-ego of the author, who could in fact be anybody. These documents result from performing the figure of the romantic hero and deconstructing it at the same time. The conscious artistic anachronism derives from continuously hiding behind the phantasm of the reckless and exotic persona, the invisible ghost, whose traces and remains cannot nevertheless be erased. The element of ignominy comes from the ethical relationship to what happens behind the curtains – something so close, but yet unbearable. The paintings are relicts of that claustrophobic, stifling intimacy of the catastrophic subject, where the hiding represents a perverted game occurring around a transgressed act and what comes after it.

The images on the paintings consist of deconstructed idyllic scenes produced as a reaction to the overly dramatic scene-like, decadent romantic clichés in painting. They are constructed by collaging images from memory, whereas the presence of idyllic spacious landscapes is hinted in the background. The portraits (self-portraits) are reduced to anthropomorphic skins, shells, empty cases that construct this phantasmal identity. Their emergence can be perceived as a continual process of shedding these skins. The character of the drawings (Neurological Drawings) on the other hand lies in recording unclear notions of happenings inside the body and organs. Impulses of warmth, dilation and contracting are noted through delayed automatic drawing, where the product of the drawings covers neither the outer nor inner segment of the organs, but their state in between. The collages explicitly present states of transgression, climax, saturation and repulsion (point of disgust), as a culmination of artificial and hypertrophic sensitivity.

Translation: Isidora Krstić