February 27th – March 14th
Enter the gallery as if you were a child entering their grandparent’s home. You recognise a particular box and you see your grandfather open it to get his favourite sweet, or a book he may have left on the table in order to put you on his lap and kiss goodnight, or a magazine your grandmother once left her coffee on, or maybe there is that calendar on a wooden wall you drew on a few years ago. It’s a surprisingly familiar space. You feel you know these objects, however you have never actually seen them before. Or have you? Maybe they’re among hundreds of items you have seen in a supermarket? Or ads on TV? Could they refer to events you’ve already experienced or imagined, even while knowing that they are parts of the artist’s personal and intimate universe?
You look closer and discover that these objects are fakes, mere optical illusions. Aleksandar Rakezić’s works may remind you of Andy Warhol’s Brillo Boxes, painted wooden copies of commercial items. Yet, what’s at stake is more than a theoretical statement concerning the art world. Although they may raise issues related to the consumerism society’s golden appearances, the objects and painted images are chosen rather intuitively than strategically. In determining political and artistic conceptions of living, Aleksandar Rakezić combines the power of emotions and efficiencies of the art world to rattle the viewer and question everything that is seen: first within and then outside of the exhibition space.
Being in control the narrative of what is presented and while showing us his feelings, both exposed and protected, the artist invites us to experience those mixed feelings in the same way he does. The recent painting Mixed feelings may be used as a key to fully understand his first solo exhibition. Hear how a flaming tornado makes the shape of a heart. Awe – stricken, anyone looking at a painting also needs to face a confusing attractive and impulsive movement. The painting maybe represents a disturbing experience that reflects the fear and the excitement of any first time but it’s exactly this experience that is needed to see things from a different perspective and realise what we are actually looking at.
Antoine Champenois, Curator
Photo: N. Ivanović