18.11.2016. - 17.12.2016.

Aleksandar Bezinović / Katarina Vojković

Solo exhibitions by Aleksandar Bezinović and Katarina Vojković is the last one of the exhibitions with which, this year, we present young artists related to Velika Gorica and its surroundings. About the works presented at the exhibition art historians Rozana Vojvoda and Petra Petrušić writes:

Creation and dissolution, construction and deconstruction, appearing and disappearing; all of these pairs of antonyms can be applied to Aleksandar Bezinović’s work created within the last two years. Through procedures which include lighting on fire, scraping, a profuse use of adhesive materials, even the intentionally induced corrosion of metal plates, the author additionally emphasizes the already unsteady relationship between the foundation, the figurative motif, words and colour. Reconstruction, as the central theme of this exhibition, becomes an applicable and, at the same time, relative creative principle – everything can somehow be reconstructed when technology and a creative principle are in line: a palm tree or even the human body

In a series of paintings titled Immortals, the author furnishes the main motifs of the paintings – the Lion of St. Mark, St. Sebastian and a human skull – with a pronounced construction diagram, a network of dots with connecting lines, denying them any kind of genesis in painting and correlating them with the digital world. At the same time, he insists on using elements of different origins and applies “psychedelic” conglomerates of vivid colours in vertical or horizontal formations in direct opposition to the element of construction. By completely evening out the figurative and decorative aspects, he conducts a kind of a disintegration of motifs, while he simultaneously emphasizes, negates and destroys the principle of construction. He uses a similar procedure in paintings where the organic formations of colours, which seem as though they were spread out and thinned in water, are placed in opposition to the clear technical drawings of submarines. The golden background of the submarine painting, similar to the medieval icons in its glistening of reddish, brown and dark green tones, further enhances the “uncanniness” of the time-space category and the degrees of reality permeating the painting. The resulting “patina” of the golden backgrounds corresponds to the works made on metal plates with an induced process of corrosion about which the author states that “it unambiguously symbolises decay but also the poetics of layering, patina and nostalgia for lost values”.

In a formal sense, the corroded metal plates with their interesting dotted reddish-brown structure become autonomous and equally worthy painting surfaces on which the author creates simplified, geometric images symbolizing the search for knowledge, connection between the ever more advanced and dangerous technology and nature, and the danger and fragility of survival (a diagram of a nuclear reactor with names of lunar lakes and craters written on it, the construction of the first letter of the Roman script, the schematic depiction of a palm tree). The painting that sets itself apart by its classic painting technique is a dead rabbit hung upside-down in a sort of a stylistic (but also semantic) paraphrasing of still-life; a symbol of fertility and life force of nature is emphatically “turned upside-down” into a display of death. The painting Kingdoms (Kraljevstva) engages the fact that each living being on Earth belongs to one of six groups of living organisms, i.e. kingdoms, and in its formal and semantic aspect, functions as a link between the works on metal plates, the Immortals and the depiction of submarines.

Somewhere around here, between the portrayal of death, intimations of nature’s destruction and dissection of man’s desire for power in a political and military sense, with a fine sense of ironic detachment which annuls any possibility of coming across as pathetic, the author conducts research into the relationship between man, technology, nature and art – the search for, to put it bluntly, the man’s role in the general scheme of things. (Rozana Vojvoda)

 

In praise of courage

The creative biography of Katarina Vojković is marked by her unconventional choice of motifs and materials. Working with such opposites is partly a result of growing up with a naïve art sculptor as a mother and her later interest in the pain-inducing mechanisms which Katarina reified in a form of BDSM art. One of the common characteristics of sexuality and art is its unconventional nature. The artist does not aim to pander to the comfort of the audience. The body and everything we do with it within our private chambers belongs to the sphere of intimacy. As she puts it, her first works were a reflection of her rebellion and of not being accepted. The works we see before us belong to the art of fetish via which she violates her own privacy thereby testing the limits of pleasure, pain and mutual trust. Ultimately, by exposing her inner impulses, Katarina completely erases the boundary between what is public and what is private. In the focus of her art is the issue of the body and flesh as an extended part of the self, the body as a vehicle for the spirit which carries with it vulnerability, pain and is constantly exposed to the demands from social conventions. The intimate play with her life partner and photography become catalysts in the construction of ideas.

In her technique, Katarina adheres to monochromatic painting with hints of red which has a decorative role, but also a symbolic meaning. The monochromatic technique leaves out contextual information, which would otherwise be revealed through the use of colour, and thus evokes deeper emotional states because our perceptual apparatus has nowhere to wander off. Black and white demands greater psychological commitment, as well as creates a stronger connection with the subject. The scene is what it is, the artist is what she is, and we are left with a pressing question of what we want to be. Through her physical, almost expressionist scenes, Katarina engages us in a dialogue – the dialogue of trust and discovery of our own nature.

During our recent talk, she confided in me that the painting cycle of Zagreb panoramas was a kind of an apprenticeship, a laboratory which brought out the feeling for finer details and frames. Out of this apprenticeship arose a mature artist who has chosen her own inner, loud impulse. The artist has chosen to create from her own comfort. The artist has chosen to take her heart out for a walk. With a whip, on a leash. (Petra Petrušić)

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Aleksandar Bezinović was born on 16 May 1975 in Split where he graduated from the School of Applied Arts and Design – Graphic Design Department. In 1993, he enrolled the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb – Department of Painting, and graduated in 1998, in the class of prof. Zlatko Kesser. From 1998 to 2007, he had worked as an associate at the Croatian Conservation Institute at the Department for Wooden Polychrome Sculpture. He collaborates on film and theatre projects as a scenic artist. He has had individual and group exhibitions in Croatia, Slovenia, France, Germany, Dubai and the USA. He works and lives in Zagreb. He is a member of the HZSU.

Katarina Vojković was born on 10 July 1986 in Zagreb. In 2001, she enrolled in the School of Applied Arts in Zagreb, and in 2007, the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb, where she graduated in 2014, in the class of Danijel Kovačić. During the 2015 winter, she attended a course on Nordic art at the Fine Arts Academy in Oslo (Norway). She illustrated the book “Lajkavica”, and has had nine individual and participated in twenty group exhibitions. She has been a member of the HDLU since 2016.