03.10.2018. - 03.11.2018.

Post-media structures

Iva Ćurić, Paulina Jazvić, Igor Juran, Predrag Todorović

Curator: Vanja Babić


"During its decades-long prevalence, the modernist epoch systematically and theoretically disputed – with an outspoken self-awareness – most of the entrenched tendencies in art, i.e., canons, in order to assert progress as the ultimate creative paradigm. The principle of mimesis was the first one to be dismantled, then abstraction challenged figurative representation, and finally, the stratification of the media took hold. The traditional media of painting and sculpture, and classical graphic techniques were declared retrograde, even artistically ineffectual, in comparison to the burgeoning new phenomena like conceptual art, video and performance. This was, of course, not unsubstantiated. However, at the end of the 1970s, the modernist focus would dissipate, giving way to the “omnivorous”, programmatically apathetic, and hence, hard to define postmodernism, also in the sense of lacking any kind of an exact and concise definition. The action was watered down and acquired the characteristics of a condition. Did postmodernism emerge just as a kind of a cancerous form of modernist ideas, or can it be seen as a conservative reaction to those ideas?

This question will probably never be duly and unequivocally answered. However, the growing phenomenon of the art market is telling, in a way. Idealism would degenerate into pragmatism, and convictions into professions. The problem-based and polemic approach that modernism incited – namely, its most radical expressions such as the avant-garde and post-avant-garde – thus became completely irrelevant. During postmodernism, it was briefly revived by, on the one hand, the contemporary absorbent relationship towards new technologies and, on the other hand, by the activist paradigm. It was first manifested through the affirmation of the so-called media art, and then, in the active relationship with the harsh reality. But, as previously stated, convictions tuned into a profession. Speaking of which, at this point it wouldn’t hurt to cite one prominent Croatian author, who was formed as an artist at the juncture between modernism and postmodernism, and who says something that goes like this: “If you don’t have the balls to go into politics, from parliamentarism to terrorism, then you get into socially engaged art.” In any case, the intricacies of art events are becoming more convoluted, but at the same time, also more predictable. Artists often resort to media nomadism; in their oeuvre, they engage in different media, from the classical to the newer ones.

Four very interesting Croatian authors, from the younger-middle and middle generation, featured at the Postmedia structures exhibition – Predrag Todorović, Paulina Jazvić, Igor Juran and Iva Ćurić – foster, each in their own way, such a media nomadism. Likewise, the former aporetic relationship between the abstract and the figurative is completely irrelevant to them. They have surpassed it with ease, and thus, ignore it. What is their relationship to the traditionally based dualism between form and content? They simply go beyond it via their specific relationship to structure. Indeed, their works, although quite diverse, possess very interesting structures which span from organic to inorganic, from digital to material, from classically executed to the so-called new media, from tactile to exclusively visual…In this exhibition, forms coexist with sounds, material reality with the digital one, and movement with stillness. Nothing is fixed, yet it still forms a coherent whole. Media characteristics of certain works are important, of course, for their appropriate reading, but there are not, in any way, foregrounded. The emphasis is placed on the relationship between the details and the whole, on raising the awareness of the effects that multiplying and repetitive processes might have on the recipient’s experience of, and even his interactions with the exhibited works. The structural conditionality of the works by these four artists undeniably nullifies the obvious formal and substantial differences between them. In this context, Paulina’s pop-poetics is not juxtaposed to Predrag’s lucid reinterpretations of informel, that is, a kind of constructivism with a postmodern deflection into the organic, just as Igor’s questioning of the optical characteristics of digital media, or his geographically-conditioned imaginary video-journey will not be incompatible with Iva’s a bit terrifying submarine, which is mostly demystified via her technical drawings. The same, of course, applies to all other visual clashes with inevitably arise in this exhibition. The medium lost its significance, and on this occasion, it is completely subordinated to structure. It might really seem as though art is inexorably moving in the direction of postmedia structures." (Vanja Babić)

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The program of Galženica Gallery is supported by the City of Velika Gorica, the Zagreb's County and the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Croatia.