November 28th – December 14th
The video installation Difference confronts us with the issue of the instability and non-existence of the positions from which the artists speak.
Notably, the organization of the installation’s visual field imposes the notion of instability. The spatiality of each video piece’s shot is defined by the close-up that only contains the artist’s face. In the white void, groundless, it seems as if each is floating in a non-existing space, trying to explain to us, or herself, what it is that she is actually doing or wanting to do. In this way, insecurity emerges as a condition which demands that the artists face the positions they inhabit, the coordinates of the system they inevitably belong to, and the artistic practices they perform within this system. What is foregrounded is the necessary reflexive nature of their activity. It appears not as a choice but an obligation that demands a reexamination of artistic process itself. This process emphasizes an infinite expansion of a state of inquiry and complexity of the problems that the artists address, and is recognized as a crucial aspect of their artistic endeavor.
Rather than articulating it as a mode of mediation, conveying the idea, the artists decide to formulate the artwork as a platform from which a direct confrontation with problems and challenges imposed by the (non)system is possible. For this reason, the first-person address presents itself as a logical solution. The artists, in this manner, incorporate the question of the system into the artwork itself, that is to say, indirectly into the gallery and into the institution of art itself.
At the same time, this whole project is formulated as a form of artistic activity considering that the artists do not refuse to articulate their stance through artistic means, and furthermore, they do not reject their role as artists. The reason for this might be that the only thing they have is the status of artist. In fact, the tradition of the past system still primarily defines the contemporary artistic framework. Educated as artists, a position that made sense within the framework of that system, all they have today is the concept of art, however, there is not a clear notion of what that entails and what is its function. They are not alone in this. Now, the system that had provided them with meaning has become drastically different (meaningless?). That is why it is significant that all three artists consciously chose to develop and formulate the essence of the confrontation mentioned above through the language of art.
Each of the artists differs through an own „language“. Through the means of these specific narratives, the idea of the artists emancipating themselves, as well as their viewpoints comes through, as each one tackles the problem in her own way. However, conscious of the limited aims subdued in such a position, they attempt to come up with a more efficient stance, which is essentially through a collaborative process.
As a result, Difference functions as an attempt to recontextalize artistic endeavourment in the scope of the contemporary Serbian art scene. It is not constituted as a theoretical and conceptual modality which would independently deal with art-historic models, but a drive to confront the obstacles inherent to their position and heritage. (This drive could be defined as a basic form of critique to Luc Boltanski’s concepts, defined by the emotional reaction upon encountering social injustice, from which an intellectual critique of system emerges.) The artistic practice is thus reorganized from within, defined by a common and critical confrontation to the inexorable situation of art today. The work of these artists has to be understood not as a quest for the solution or a way out, but recognizing and confronting challenges; a platform from which one dives into the deconstruction of the (non-) system. By all means a long-term process.
Text: Simona Ognjanović i Sima Kokotović
Translation: Isidora Krstić