December 2nd – 18th
Tadej Vaukman presents his work in Belgrade in a year when his visual language has undergone a turning point, in which the artist is moving from the medium of photography to drawing.
He announced the transition with a small acrylic intervention in his New York series of four self-portraits (“Ritual of Purification”, P74 Gallery, Ljubljana, 2020), then completely freed himself from the photographic context. He began to use the already perfected technique of appropriation and intervention to create palimpsest creations, which are sometimes collaged assemblages of torn-out sheets or photographs, posters or magazines, and at other times, artistic rearrangements of existing images.
The constant is drawing, a spontaneous novelty of his work, always in a rush, sometimes completely automatic and spontaneous, at other times meticulously thought out. As such, it stands on its own or intervenes in existing images, photographs, texts, pages of catalogues, novels, manuals or other sources of already used paper.
By juxtaposing images, which the artist takes out of their original context and places in new compositions and dialogues, he weaves the thread of his own narrative. Although at first glance it seems that Vaukman is breaking with and even departing from his previous creative practice, the series of drawings, as he calls them, is in fact only a continuation of the visual meditation he has been following since his first photographs.
He undergoes a turn only in formal or media terms, but the essence of his expression remains the same: a quick, raw gesture not fundamentally different from his photography (“Dick Skinners” series of photographs from 2015).
The artist experiences the creative process as a therapeutic moment in which inseparable spouses – pleasure and pain, joy and effort – alternate. Whether it is the act of creating that requires a return to painful periods of life or vice versa, through it, he experiences what he calls “cheap therapy”. For him, the act of creation is a catharsis, an ever-renewed uplifting of the downtrodden man, crushed under the weight of memories.
No matter the medium, Vaukman always elevates his subjective feelings beyond the banality of captured moments to the level of the universal, opening up infinite possibilities of experience, and the everyday identity captured in the drawing becomes an image of human experience as such.
Text: Maja Kač