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UMETNIÄŒKA STRATEGIJA Selman Trtovac

Beograd 2012.


IMPRESUM

Izdavač ProArtOrg Solunskih boraca 5/12, Beograd www.proartorg.com Za izdavača Milan Bosnić Prevod Emina Kosanović Dizajn i prelom Silent Studio, Beograd Štampa Standard 2, Beograd

Štampanje ove knjige pomoglo je Ministarstvo kulture i informisanja Republike Srbije


Mojoj Aleksandri


SADRŽAJ

Uvod 7 Umetnička strategija

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Strategija umetničkog mišljenja (unutrašnja strategija)

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Strategija umetničkog ponašanja (spoljašnja strategija)

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Mentalni prostor umetničkog rada

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Mikroutopija kao konkretna utopija

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Treći Beograd kao fizički prostor umetnosti

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Treći Beograd kao mentalni prostor umetnosti

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Zaključak

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Literatura

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Biografija

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Artistic strategy 61


UVOD

Razmišljanje koje želim da uobličim u tekst zasniva se na tezi da se elementi strategije u umetnosti mogu definisati kao osobeno, individulano planiranje, individualna odluka o načinu kako stići do istine u umetnosti. Da bi se do te metafore istine stiglo, neophodno je unapred promisliti o mogućnostima koje su umetniku pojedincu na raspolaganju u određenom vremenu. Nije dovoljno biti zanatski vešt, niti raditi samo iz „stomaka“, stihijski; neophodno je napraviti sopstveni misaoni sklop, sopstvenu umetničku strategiju! Pojam umetničke strategije može se razumeti, dakle, kao jedna osobena, personalna konstrukcija. Ali spoj personalnog i strateškog je, reklo bi se, sam po sebi paradoksalan. Umetnost naprosto ne trpi recepte, ali ona, takođe, ne trpi ni proizvoljnost. U ovom tekstu razmatraće se samo jedna mogućnost u mnoštvu drugih mogućnosti. Ipak, ta mogućnost za samog umetnika postaje nužnost onog trenutka kada poprimi strateške razmere. Posebno važan deo teksta odnosi se na proces samorefleksije vezan za izgradnju modela umetničke zadruge Treći Beograd, kao praktične realizacije spontano razvijanih individualnih umetničkih strategija na sceni koja je istovremeno bila oblikovana i dijalogom aktera. U ovom tekstu ne daje se nikakav unapred podoban ili neprikosnoveni recept za novu umetnost. Takav recept u umetnosti ne postiji i nikada nije ni postojao. Postoje samo različiti putevi da se do određene istine u umetnosti dođe.

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ZEITGEIST (Duh vremena), grupa Faust-manifest (Selman Trtovac, Milan Blanuša i Tatjana Ilić), grafit na papiru, 200cm x 160cm, 2004. godina


UMETNIČKA STRATEGIJA

Umetnička strategija je osobena, personalna mentalna konstrukcija. Neophodnost razvijanja strategije je vezana za kompleksnost sveta u kome živimo i radimo. Realnost u kojoj živimo se dramatičnom brzinom menja. Društveni odnosi i političke okolnosti u kojima umetnička misao treba da se razvija je komplikovanija nego ikada pre. Određena mentalna konstrukcija, zamišljeni cilj, svesna odluka, umetniku može da da osećaj ishodišta, osećaj kretanja u nekom zacrtanom pravcu. U ovom slučaju ishodište je utopija. Nemoguće je zaista stići do ishodišta, zato sama linija kretanja postaje veoma važna. Putanja u ovom slučaju nije stihijsko kretanje, već ono, usled strategije, ima neki drugi, smisleniji oblik. Na samom početku razmišljanja o umetničkoj strategiji morao sam poći od onih umetničkih pozicija i umetničkih strategija u istoriji koje su mi bliske. U ovom tekstu neću se baviti svim mogućim strategijama i analizom svih pojava vezanih za strateško mišljenje u istoriji umetnosti. Razlog tome je ogroman broj raznorodnih primera, poetika i različitih konteksta. Uprkos ograničenom, selektivnom posmatranju određenih, za moju umetnost bitnih, pojava, razumevanje istorijskog toka, odnosno uspostavljanje doslednosti, izvesne logičnosti i kontinuiteta između procesa mog umetničkog mišljenja i izvesnih istorijskih pojava i vremena i prostora u kome se umetnici danas kreću je bitan element mog suočavanja sa pitanjem strategije. Na pitanje upućeno umetniku Janisu Kunelisu 2005. godine, dok je boravio u Beogradu, šta bi jedan mladi umetnik mogao da radi, kako da se postavi u komplesknim društvenim okolnostima, on je odgovorio: „Vaše vreme je mnogo teže od onoga u kome sam se ja kao mladi umetnik umetnički kretao i razvijao. Ipak, da sam ja na vašem mestu, razmislio bih o jednoj kompleksnoj strategiji sa malo cinizma!”. Kunelis je u svojim predavanjima često govorio da bi mladi umetnik morao da ojača iznutra, taman toliko da ne zapada iz jedne u drugu dogmu, a da ostane dovoljno fleksibilan za nove impulse na koje nailazi na svom umetničkom putu. Govorio je dalje, da radikalnost bez trensparencije vodi u najdublje ponore ljudskog postojanja. Koristio je često metaforu umetnik kao riba u vodi. Druga umetnička strategija na koju želim da se nadovežem je sublimirana u opštepoznatom iskazu „Revolucija to smo mi“, umetnika Jozefa Bojsa. Po rečima nemačkog istoričara umetnosti Klausa Petera Šustera, Bojsova teza „Revolucija to smo mi“1 predstavlja jedan od najvećih utopijskih projekata koje je jedan umetnik ikada pokrenuo. Cilj je ništa manji nego promeniti celokupno društvo kroz umetnost. Bojsova centralna namera je afirmacija pojma „Prošireni pojam umetnosti“ kroz prevazilaženje i najekstremnijih avangardnih pozicija i namera kroz istinsko delovanje i razmišljanje.

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Blume, Eugen, Nichols, Catherine (Hrsg.) (2008). Beuys : Die Revolution sind wir. Göttingen: Steidl.

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UMETNIČKA STRATEGIJA Odavno, kako Bojs još tada tvrdi, nije dovoljno da umetnik sedi u svom ateljeu i razvija određene forme, već je neophodno da umetnik preuzme inicijativu u društvu, da aktivno utiče na događanja u društvu kroz umetnički jezik. Bojs takvo delovanje naziva socijalna plastika2 odnosno socijalna skulptura kao pojam izveden iz već pomenutog pojma proširenog shvatanja umetnosti. On koristi taj pojam da objasni viziju one vrste umetnosti koja je u stanju da menja društvo. Treća referenca na koju želim da se nadovežem u razmišljanju o ovom aspektu strategije je stav umetnika i, ranije, profesora na Akademiji umetnosti u Diseldorfu, Klausa Rinkea, koji u svom tekstu u knjizi Saldo3, u vezi sa izložbom njegove klase u Muzeju Kunstpalast 1997. godine, govorio o neophodnosti ponovnog prepoznavanja etike u ponašanju i delanju umetnika unutar umetničkog rada, radikalnom i beskompromisnom pristupanju umetničkom mišljenju. On je u svojim predavanjima često govorio o slobodi i odgovornosti, istovremeno, u trenutku suočavanja sa umetnosću. Ti stavovi su predstavljali okosnicu njegovog umetničko-pedagoškog rada. Iz ova tri primera se izdvajaju tri pristupa: kompleksna strategija sa malo cinizma, savremena socijalna plastika i pitanje etike i slobode. Etika ili bolje reći umetnička etika, u ovom slučaju može se razumeti kao svojevrstan princip u pristupu samom procesu umetničkog mišljenja koji proizilazi iz integriteta mišljenja i ponašanja pojedinca, a ne iz neke dogme ili moralne datosti druge vrste. Pojam istovremene slobode i odgovornosti bi se mogao razumeti upravo kroz ovaj iskaz. Ustanovljenje takvog pristupa u umetničkom mišljenju, koji bi u krajnjoj instanci, metaforično, vodio ka otkrivanju umetničke istine, osovina je oko koje je moguće graditi umetničku strategiju danas. Ovde se, dalje, radi i o traženju smisla postojanja neke umetničke pozicije ili nekog konkretnog umetničkog rada. Zašto uopšte razvijati neku formu, neku strategiju? Umetnička strategija danas mogla bi da sadrži najmanje dva važna i krupna elementa. Prvi element bi mogao da se definiše kao strategija u procesu umetničkog mišljenja ili unutrašnja strategija. Drugi element umetničke strategije sam definisao kao strategija ponašanja ili spoljašnja strategija.

DNK Anđeo, grafit na papiru, 2007. godina 2 3

Beuys, Joseph (1978). Auf dem Weg zur Freiheitsgestalt des sozialen Organismus Internationales. Achberg: Kulturzentrum Rinke Klasse (1997). SALDO: 23 Jahre Rinke Klasse : Kunstmuseum Düsseldorf im Ehrenhof, 12. April bis 13. Juli 1997.

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STRATEGIJA UMETNIČKOG MIŠLJENJA (Unutrašnja strategija)

Unutrašnja strategija podrazumeva, između ostalog, stav o tome da umetnik danas mora biti intelektualac svestan konteksta i situacije u kojima njegova umetnost treba da nastane. Pretpostavka kako bi neki umetnički rad potenicijalno mogao da funkcioniše na nekoj velikoj svetskoj izložbi je referentna vrednost koja daje smisao postojanju tog konkretnog umetničkog rada. Shodno tome, svest o smislu vizuelnog iskaza koje umetnik želi da razvije i svest o opravdanosti materijalizacije nekog umetničkog mišljenja u današnjem vremenu veoma je bitna kategorija. To mislim zato što smo svedoci beskrajnog ponavljanja i recikliranja već odavno istrošenih ideja i akademizovanih umetničkih pozicija. Unutrašnja strategija bi morala biti okrenuta ka istraživanju nepoznatog, ka nepoznatoj zemlji, u prenesenom smislu reči. Umetnička istina je u svakoj istorijskoj epohi bila Terra incognita, pa tako i u našem vremenu ta nepoznata mentalna teritorija se mora otkriti. Kada to kažem ja ne mislim da je u pitanju nešto novo što nikada ranije nije viđeno, već novo koje nikada ranije nije viđeno na određeni način. Kada se pristupi razvoju određenih likovnih formi prvo se postavlja pitanje vrednosti kojima umetnik teži. Šta je to što umetnik može da uradi u sadržinskom smislu. Nakon toga se postavlja pitanje kakav vizuelni jezik je uopšte moguć. Pitanje vizuelnog jezika je jedno od ključnih ishodišta unutrašnje strategije! To je ujedno i pitanje moguće, nove slike, slike kao mentalne projekcije, pitanje kako umetnik artikuliše viđenje sveta, dakle sliku sveta! Bez unapred promišljenog pristupa, koji uzima u obzir kompleksnost situacije u umetničkom mišljenju, određena umetnička pozicija osuđena je na totalnu marginalizaciju. Filozofija umetnosti, u tom smislu, može biti umetniku od velike koristi jer mu može pomoći u organizovanju sopstvene strukture mišljenja. Ona bi se metaforično mogla poistovetiti sa sigurnosnom mrežom u procesu izvođenja salta mortale. Kao što akrobata zna da je mreža ispod njega i zato se oseća sigurnim, tako se i umetnik na isti način oseća sigurnim u procesu razvijanja određene forme kada se oslanja na neku njemu blisku filozofsku poziciju. U pitanju je i psihološki fenomen. Filozof Alen Badju, na primer, u svom filozofskom mišljenju polazi od koncepta istine kada govori o umetnosti! Nauka, ljubav, umetnost i politika za njega su procedure istine. Istina je, pre svega, nešto novo, a znanje se prenosi i ponavlja. Razlikovanje istine od znanja je ključno4! Postoje mnoge definicije istine od Aristotela pa do danas, ali su one u mom umetničkom istraživanju na periferiji interesovanja. Neki mislioci opšti kriterijum za istinu nalaze u očiglednosti. Drugi su taj kriterijum tražili u opštem slaganju većine ljudi oko sadržaja nekih uverenja. Treći tip je odustajanje da se nađe bilo koji opšti kriterijum već da treba da važe specifični posebni kriterijumi za specifične i posebne prilike. 4

Badiou, Alain (2001). Manifest za filozofiju. Zagreb: Jesenski i Turk, 2001.

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UMETNIČKA STRATEGIJA U Badjuovoj poziciji u vezi sa procedurama istine mene zanima samo teza da je neophodan određeni proces da bi se do istine došlo, odnosno procedura istine (ljubav, umetnost, politka i nauka), što u umetnčikom procesu znači dovođenje svesti u takvo stanje da je spoznaja istine uopšte moguća, odnosno da je saglasnost svesti i stvarnosti moguća, uprkos činjenici da se stvarnost a i svest veoma brzo menjaju. Postoji nesporna potreba da se u svakom vremenu, svakoj generaciji, kod svakog umetnika pojedinačno, istina nanovo prepozna kroz umetnički jezik. Umetnički jezik je, u stvari, uvek optimalan način kako umetnik te, ponovo prepoznate, istine saopštava svetu. Pitanje strategije je, takođe, pitanje kako umetnik razume svet, odnosno kako svet razume umetnika, dakle, razumevanje u oba smera! Primer sprovođenja ideje o unutrašnjoj strategiji i značenje tog pojma u umetničkoj praksi mogao bih početi od konkretnih izložbi i umetničkih radova u kojima sam težio da razvijem određeni lični sistem, odnosno unutrašnju strategiju. Krenuo bih od izložbe „...što traže ekstremnosti da bi znali gde je sredina” u Smederevu 2007. godine. U predgovoru kataloga povodom te izložbe napisao sam da kada se umetnik kroz tekst suočava sa svojim radom, kada nekome želi da objasni sopstvenu viziju, on se po prirodi stvari nađe pred ogromnim problemom. Tekst ili govor nisu mediji u kojima se jedan likovni umetnik primarno izražava. Problem leži u tome da se ne upadne u zamku pričanja priče, objašnjavanja vizuelnog rada putem literarnog. Možda je jedan od načina da se taj problem reši u tome da se nađe misao koja, matematičkim jezikom rečeno, predstavlja najmanji zajednički sadržalac za značenje, način, razlog i smisao nekog likovnog mišljenja. Pitanje ekstremnosti u umetničkom mišljenju povezano je sa ekstremnostima u životu. Pomenuta izložba, na primer, posledica je mog neposrednog susreta sa smrću. Smrt je, u ovom slučaju, u prenesenom smislu, bila dobar savetnik! Shvatio sam da mi je vreme na ovoj planeti ograničeno i da nemam vremena za gubljenje. Dovoljno je da umetnik sebi u trenutku kada odlazi sa ovog sveta može reći da je uradio najbolje što je mogao od onog što mu je dato, i da bolje nije mogao. To je dovoljno! S tim u vezi bih jednu od krajnosti u životu poistovetio sa incidentom, sa događajem ili pojavom koja može imati ozbiljne posledice po dalji životni tok, a sa druge strane bi to bila ekstremnost koja se može poistovetiti sa uništenjem. Destrukcija se može javiti u dva oblika, kao autodestrukcija ili kao destruktivna energija okrenuta prema drugima. Obe krajnosti podrazumevaju anomaliju u životu i nemoguće je živeti i raditi u tom ekstremnom prostoru. Uprkos tome, iskustvo ekstremnosti je neizbežno, a svest o krajnostima, njihovim posledicama i implikacijama veoma je bitan element u formiranju unutrašnje strategije. U seriji digitalnih fotografija hronološki je prikazan preobražaj mog stomaka. Prva fotografija prikazuje stomak izobličen prekomernom telesnom težinom koja je posledica nedisciplinovag života, nakon toga se vidi fotografija stomaka sa velikim ožiljkom (posledica više hirurških zahvata), drastično promenjene forme i treća fotografija je tetovaža, intervencija, crtež na tom ožiljku. Tetovaža je preobrazila ožiljak i posledicu dramatičnog događaja, odnosno to životno iskustvo i mutirala ga u svojevrsni umetnički iskaz. Ovaj rad je, osim što predstavlja umetnički iskaz, rečeno vizuelnim jezikom, autentičan doku-

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Selman Trtovac ment jednog misaonog i telesnog preobražaja i suočavanja sa najdubljim strahom. U toku formiranja odluke o neophodnosti artikulacije ovog rada i početku razmišljanja o unutrašnjoj strategiji, postao sam svestan neophodnosti da umetnik pre svega ustanovi prioritete, da odvoji bitno od nebitnog. Ustanovio sam, dalje, da je ključna stvar i kako rasporediti vreme, jer nam je ono ograničeno. Suočavanje sa smrću veoma je delotvorno iskustvo, pod pretpostavkom da se taj događaj preživi, jer umetnik jasno shvati značenje vremenskog ograničenja. Istovremeno sa svešću o vremenskom ograničenju shvatio sam neophodnost suočavanja sa sopstvenim strahovima i, na kraju, neophodnost dekonstrukcije samoljublja. Iz svega toga sam ustanovio prve premise za plan kako da doprem do odgovora na pitanje o istini u umetnosti. Maska u radu Drugo lice Janusa napravljena je od srebra, uzeta je sa mog lica kao otisak krajem 1996. godine za potrebe performansa povodom izložbe Saldo u Muzeju Kunstpalast u Diseldorfu. Maska, sama po sebi, ima dve funkcije, s jedne strane ona otkriva, a s druge strane prikriva nešto. Ona je prvobitno predstavljala samo jedan element u performansu. Tada kada je nastala bila je ispolirana, odnosno imala je karakter ogledala. Performans je tekao tako što sam stajao na jednom određenom mestu unutar izložbenog prostora i rotirao se oko vertikalne središnje ose mog tela. Na potiljku mi je, uslovno rečeno, drugo lice, a doslovno rečeno, maska. Tokom rotacije publika je mogla u jednom trenutku videti moje ljudsko lice, a ubrzo zatim i svoje sopstveno lice kroz odraz na srebrnom licu Janusa! Drugo lice Janusa je, u tom smislu, jedan ambivalentan objekat, koji stvara situaciju gde drugi vidi odraz sopstvenog lika na površini maske. Umetnik je, dakle, tu da bi neko drugi video sebe, odnosno, još preciznije, na neki način videvši umetnika posmatrač vidi samog sebe! Taj performans je naknadno mutirao u seriju fotografija, odnosno u sliku i ostao da traje kao slika. U toj formi je i izložen u smederevskoj galeriji 2007. godine. Sledeća izložba pod naslovom “Ex nihilo nihil fit” ili prevedeno sa latinskog Od ničega ništa u galeriji Magacin 2008. godine uvodi još direktnije pitanje odnosa umetnika prema strahu. Na toj izložbi, između ostalih radova, bio je izložen i rad Spirala straha, idejno povezan sa predhodnom izložbom „... što traže ekstremnosti da bi znali gde je sredina”. Radi se o instalaciji na podu koja je nastala od elemenata naglo ohlađenog, otopljenog tečnog olova. Ti olovni elementi i način kako sam do tih olovnih elemenata došao su povezani sa magijskim ritualom salivanja straha. Magijsko, arhetipsko, mistično su elementi koji su usađeni u najdublje slojeve naše svesti. Strah se, u simbolici tog rituala, materijalizuje kroz proces hlađenja olova. Forma koja tom prilikom nastaje ima značenje i duboke posledice! Sam magijski ritual, odnosno magijski aspekt, nije mi direktno bio cilj istraživanja, već me je zanimala likovnost koja iz toga rituala proizilazi. Kada kažem likovnost, u ovom konkretnom slučaju, ja mislim na analogiju sa performansom, na sve elemente koje performans ima, sugestivnost, tajming, energiju koju nosi, scenu, kompoziciju itd. i mislim posebno na suočavanje sa strahom kroz vizuelni jezik. Strah je najveći neprijatelj u životu svakog čoveka, a naročito na putu umetnika. Strah svako oseća i svako ga razume, strah je, dakle, svakom neprijatelj. Strah ima osobinu da nas blokira, parališe, da nam spreči kretanje i mišljenje. Time strah može da ugrozi naš umetnički i životni integritet i da nas dovede do toga da prestanemo da se bavimo umetnošću ili da se toliko udaljimo od umetnosti da u jednom trenutku, obično kada je suviše kasno, ustanovimo da smo došli do 13


UMETNIČKA STRATEGIJA

Preobražaj, fotografije, tetovaža, ožiljak, 2008. godina 14


Selman Trtovac tačke odakle povratka više nema. U tom smislu je suočavanje sa strahom, a u korenu toga sa strahom od smrti, osnovni zadatak za umetnika. Pitanje straha i odnosa prema njemu je, dakle, važan element unutrašnje strategije. Ključni zadatak u formiranju unutrašnje strategije je kako razviti sposobnost da se ide dalje, konstantno učeći, uprkos velikom strahu. U septembru 2009. godine u galeriji Arte u Beogadu priredio sam, zajedno sa umetnikom Ilijom Šoškićem, izložbu Ruka umjetnika - Crna ruka / Ruka ubice. Moj rad je bio autentični odlivak otiska uzetog sa ruke ubice. Tu sam, pored svega ostalog što sam rad implicira, postavio pitanje istinitosti u umetničkom radu, pa samim tim i u unutrašnjoj strategiji. Uprkos tome što nam je postmoderno vreme donelo svest o tome da ne postoji monopol na istinu, da je pluralizam mišljenja, stavova i istina skoro beskrajan, mislim da je bitno reći da istina u umetnosti, ipak, nije relativna. Sloboda mišljenja koja je danas prividno moguća ne znači da možemo činiti šta nam se prohte i da je to neki veliki domet. Mislim da sloboda mora imati smisao. Pravila i principe našeg ponašanja danas definišemo sami, danas ne moramo biti ovisni o nekoj verskoj, političkoj ili ideološkoj dogmi. Zato je u današnjem vremenu definisanje pravila ponašanja, smisla i logike misaonog procesa mnogo teži zadatak nego što je to bio u ranijim periodima. Sloboda znači i odgovornost, prvo prema samom sebi, a onda i prema drugima. Vrline koje poznajemo oduvek, a koje su se vremenom potvrdile i postale univerzalne, kao što su humanost, blagostanje, altruizam, ljubav, empatija itd. ne mogu biti zaboravljene samo zato što je prividno sve moguće. Tako je i u umetnosti pitanje istinitosti u procesu mišljenja ili u procesu materijalizacije rada jedno izuzetno važno pitanje. To pitanje vezano je za smisao, svrhu našeg umetničkog postojanja i ključni je element u definisanju unutrašnje strategije. Uspostavljanje sopstvenih principa ponašanja osnažuje našu pojedinačnu umetničku poziciju u trenucima velikih dilema ili u periodima krize koje svaki umetnik preživljava. Ta unutarnja snaga nam pomaže da ne padamo, kako je Kunelis često govorio, iz jedne u drugu dogmu. Prvobitno performans sa umetnikom Robertom Kokobijem za vreme studija u Diseldrofu, posle toga zajedničke izložbe: sa Ilijom Šoškićem, potom izložba sa umetnikom Radošem Antonijevićem pod naslovom Dijalektika krajem 2009. godine u galeriji Magacin i na kraju zajednički rad na umetničkom projektu pod naslovom Treći čovek sa umetnikom Rankom Đankovićem tokom 2010. i 2011. imale su i imaju formu svojevrsnog vizuelnog dijaloga. U tom dijalogu se uvek postavlja pitanje odnosa dve umetničke pozicije i pitanje razumevanja umetničkog rada onog drugoga umetnika. Svako od nas ima svoje granice, bez obzira koliko je daleko otišao u procesu mišljenja, svako se kreće u jednom ograničenom prostoru. Može se reći da se svaki umetnik kreće po određenoj energetskoj orbitali. Da bi se izmestio iz takvog kretanja, u prenesenom smislu reči, neophodan je uticaj spolja, potrebna je nekakva sila, neko iskustvo koje će mu dati energiju da pređe na neku drugu energetsku orbitalu. Dijalog je jedan od načina kako da se umetnik podstakne da razmisli o sopstvenim predrasudama, odnosno kako da dođe do kvalitativno novog mišljenja. Svaki čovek je sklon oportunizmu, intelektualnoj lenjosti, liniji manjeg otpora, pa tako i umetnik u sferi vizuelnog mišljenja teži već isprobanim prostorima, prostorima za koje misli da su sigurni i u kojim se oseća suvereno. Dijalog je, u tom smislu, dobra tehnika unutrašnje strategije kojom svaki učesnik u dijalogu može da proveri sopstvenu misaonu poziciju. Osim što se kroz interakciju unutar performansa ili unutar izložbe uvek uspostavlja

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UMETNIČKA STRATEGIJA svojevrsni vizuelni dijalog, mi smo u svakom konkretnom slučaju snimali naše razgovore, dijaloge, a onda te dijaloge transformisali u tekst. Svaki put smo polazili od stava da ako dva umetnika govore o stvarima u umetnosti pri čemu u te razgovore unose jak emocionalni naboj (jer su im te teme jako bitne u tom trenutku), ako se te teme pojavljuju i u razgovorima drugih umetnika, onda takav tekst, izvesno, može biti zanimljiv i široj publici. U daljem toku teksta daću izvode iz tri transkripta razgovora u svrhu analize misaonog procesa dijaloga. Dva razgovora-dijaloga su između umetnika, a jedan dijalog je na relaciji umetnik - teoretičar. Za analizu karaktera unutrašnje strategije u praksi su integralni tekstovi, transkripti dijaloga veoma važni jer eksplicitno ilustruju umetnička iskustva i razmišljanja. Pojam dijalektike smo umetnik Radoš Antonijević i ja uzeli za naslov zajedniče izložbe upravo zato što je značenje samog pojma odražavalo karakter te izložbe. Pod pojmom dijalektike podrazumeva se umeće dijaloga, odnosno razgovaranja. U filozofskom smislu, taj pojam označava kretanje mišljenja kroz protivurečnosti koja se, na kraju, kroz proces mišljenja ukidaju; reč je o Hegelovoj strukturi teza-antiteza-sinteza5.

Sinhronizacija, performans sa Džems Robert Kokobijem, Akademija umetnosti u Diseldorfu, 1998. godina

5 Hegel, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich (1958). Dijalektika i osnovni zakoni formalne logike: odlomak iz Hegelove Nauke logike. Beograd: Kultura.

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Selman Trtovac

Drugo lice Janusa, performans, fotografije, 2007. godina

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Transkript razgovora Radoša Antonijevića i Selmana Trtovca od 02. novembra 2009. povodom zajedničke izložbe Dijalektika6 u galeriji Magacin u Beogradu (primer dijaloga, dva umetnika iste generacije):

Radoš: Pre svega, moram reći da se vrlo radujem zajedničkom izlaganju, odnosno dijalogu kroz naš umetnički rad. Mislim, dalje, da ćemo naš dijalog proširiti i na publiku, na ljude koji vole umetnost i da ćemo tako stvoriti mogućnost kolektivnog razmišljanja o problemima koji nas interesuju. Čini mi se da je bitan element naše motivacije za zajedničko izlaganje obostrano prepoznavanje namere da se u umetnički rad unesu neuralgične tačke iz naših života. Ti si to prepoznao u mom radu Šator Dečani M-1 ja u tvom radu Crna ruka i u radu Dijalektika čiji naziv smo i preuzeli kao naziv naše izložbe. Selman: Ja, takođe, imam duboku emociju vezano za našu izložbu. Kada sam, sa svoje strane, razmišljao o smislu naše izložbe, o suštini naše namere, ustanovio sam da i kod tebe i kod mene u osnovi svega leži jedna duboka egzistencijalna potreba da se dođe do jake likovne forme. To znači da ta forma mora da ima jak razlog postojanja i izlaganja. Postavlja se pitanje kako da se dođe do te forme, kako da se nađe smisao umetničkog rada u današnjem vremenu. To je najteže pitanje! Nakon toga se dolazi i do pitanja odnosa dva rada, dve umetničke pozicije u jednom prostoru? Radoš: Šta misliš pod tim? Selman: Prvo što mi se nameće jeste da bi trebalo ustanoviti sličnosti, dodirne tačke, a potom i različitosti. Mi pripadamo istoj generaciji, što znači da smo odrastali i formirali se u istom kontekstu, u istom društvu. To su bitni elementi u procesu formiranja jedne umetničke pozije i jedne ličnosti uopšte. Pitanje identita je sledeće pitanje koje je na ovim prostorima jako bitno, toliko bitno da je poslužilo kao element u generisanju jednog krvavog rata. Ti si mi jednom rekao da je tvoj otac iz Novog Pazara. Moj otac je, takođe, iz tog kraja što implicira našu mentalnu povezanost kroz element kolektivnog sećanja, kroz zaostavštinu naših predaka, koju nosimo u sebi. Ti si pravoslavni Srbin! Ja, u svom identitetu imam dualizam, sa jedne strane islamski uticaj preko oca, a samim tim i elemente turske kulture i sve što ona sa sobom nosi, a sa druge strane imam uticaj renesansne Evrope preko majke koja je Italijanka katolkinja iz Dalmacije. E sada, ja sam celo detinjstvo i veći deo mog života proveo u Beogradu, tu su moji prijatelji moja supruga je odavde, dakle, jako sam vezan za ovaj pravoslavni svet. Zašto govorim o ovim, možda naizgled, privatnim biografskim podacima? Mislim da je to pitanje jako bitno jer se ti elementi identiteta javljaju, i kod tebe i kod mene, u našim umetničkim radovima i zato što je taj element upravo onaj koji nas je doveo do ove izložbe i do ovog naslova Dijalektika!

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Trtovac, Selman - Antonijević, Radoš (2009). Dijalektika. Beograd: Pro Art Org.

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Selman Trtovac Pitanje identiteta se nametnulo kao jedno od važnih pitanja u okviru ovog dijaloga. Identitet je vezan za mesto na kome je neko rođen, za mesto na kome su rođeni njegovi preci i za nasleđe koje je pojedinac dobio od tog mesta. Ta činjenica se podrazumeva jer to nije pitanje lične odluke, već je pitanje datosti. Identitet je vezan i za mesto na kome pojedinac živi i nasleđe koje prima sa tog mesta po sopstvenom izboru. Ovo je veoma važno pitanje u razmišljanju o unutrašnjoj strategiji jer smo danas suočeni sa činjenicom velike brzine kretanja, promene mesta, sažimanjem prostora i vremena. Naslovi tvojih radova kao što su Dečani M1, Ima li života posle smrti, Gde vodi ovaj put, Krst, kavez, krevetac itd, i naslovi moji radova kao što su Crven fesić nano, Spirala straha, Crna ruka, Sevdalinke, Dijalktika, Sofre itd. ukazuju na suštinu i karakter ideje sa kojom se naša umetnost suočava. Treći element koji nas spaja je beogradska umetnička škola. Obojica smo u jednom periodu umetničkog sazrevanja učili, studirali na beogradskoj Likovnoj akademiji. Posle smo imali različite puteve, ali taj element koji smo dobili na beogradskoj Akademiji je svakako zajednički. Kada to kažem mislim najviše na crtež! Ti si kasnije završio studije vajarstva i ostao kao predavač na Akademiji, dok sam ja otišao u Nemačku i tamo studirao u uslovno rečeno vajarskoj klasi, tokom tih dramatičnih, tragičnih i traumatičnih devedesetih. Tamo sam morao da se borim za opstanak i istovremeno sam sakupljao iskustva koja su bitno formirala moju umetničku poetiku. Nakon Nemačke sam se vratio ovde, zato što sam tada mislio, a mislim to i sada, da za mene ovde ima mnogo više razloga da pravim umetnost. Radoš: Vrlo inspirativno si opisao aspekte svog identiteta i razlog zašto je to bitno reći i u kakvom je odnosu taj background sa tvojom umetnošću. Sa druge strane si dobro osetio da su i kod mene ti elementi jako bitni. U pitanju je i jedna dramatična istorijska situacija na ovom prostoru, mnogo seoba, mnogo premeštanja, mnogo migracija. U tome ima dovoljno materijala i razloga, za nastajanje radova koji mogu imati duboku vezu sa našom prošlošću sa jedne strane, a sa druge strane da imaju utemeljenje u sadašnjosti. Oni lako mogu biti prepoznati kao savremeni, kao radovi ovog trenutka, kao radovi koji su formulisani kroz savremeni jezik, kao radovi koji se suočavaju sa živim problemima. Selman: Mi pored sadržine koju nosi određeni rad postavljamo i pitanje jednog mogućeg vizuelnog jezika danas. To je pitanje te jake forme! Govorimo, u likovnom smilu, jezikom današnjice. Naši radovi nisu folklorni, niti patetični. Mi koristimo sve medije i tekovine istorijskih spoznaja u umetnosti koji su nam na raspolaganju, a u funkciji su neke naše konkretne ideje. E sada, koja ideja je tako moćna da bi se umetnik sa njom suočio? Koja je to utopija za koju možemo da živimo, kao umetnici, mislim? Radoš: Forma sama po sebi se osvaja kroz lični osećaj estetike. Tu postoje i mnogi drugi uticaji koji nisu vezani za samu umetnost direktno, ali se kroz umetnost manifestuju. Forma je bitna kao lični rukopis. Sebe doživljavam kao skulptora, u tom smislu vidim specifičnost svojih radova. Mi živimo u trodimenzionalnom svetu, mi ,shodno tome, živimo u nekoj vrsti skulpture i mi smo delom skulpture. Ovom osećaju je prilagođen i moj likovni jezik i težnja da umetnost deluje i pojmovno i telesno.

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UMETNIČKA STRATEGIJA Selman:. Kod mene je u pitanju slika, ali je suština ista, jer kad kažem slika ja mislim na „sliku sveta“, na viziju sveta. Mislim na slikarstvo, skulpturu, performans, video, film, hepening, instalaciju, fotografiju, tekst ili bilo šta što na likovni način može tu sliku da prenese. Taj pojam slika je, dakle, po mom poimanju umetnosti beskrajno mnogo širi od slikarstva. Kada to izgovorim, vidim da je to jedno opšte mesto, i da se to može razumeti kao rupa na saksiji. Stvar je, ipak, malo kompleksnija jer se tu radi o iskustvu, o iskustvenoj spoznaji koja prevazilazi teorijski iskaz. Kao u slučaju neke ptice koja je boravila u kavezu i kojoj otvorite vratanca, a ona tek kasnije ukapira da može da odleti iz kaveza. U pitanju je sloboda izbora koju umetnik ima na raspolaganju u izražavanju i formiranju likovnog iskaza. U Beogradu sam studirao na Odseku za slikarstvo a u Diseldorfu na Odseku za skulpturu. Ti, dakle, kažeš skulptura, a ja kažem isto to samo sam sa druge strane došao do tog mesta. Radoš: Mi svet prepoznajemo u slikama, u informacijama. Dakle, slika ako bi je shvatili kao informaciju, kao reč, kao pojam. Međutim vajarstvo me je naučilo da je skulptura to što jeste ona je „banalna“. Materijalni svet je podjednako mističan kao i svet ideja, ali može da se pipne i on je u tom smislu „banalan“. Dakle aspekt skulpture nije ništa drugo osim onog što materijalno jeste. Selman: U sadržini naših radova, dalje, nameću se pitanja identiteta i paradoksa koji iz tog pitanja proističu, pitanje istorije, politička pitanja, pitanje uloge umetnosti danas, pitanje humanizma i vrednosti, pitanje dijalektičkog suživota ljudi. Radoš: Zaista to jesu motivi koji su prisutni i kod tebe i kod mene. Ja bih tu naročito izdvojio jednu stvar, to je pitanje humanizma! Sva druga pitanja proističu iz pitanja humanizma.

Radoš Antonijević i Selman Trtovac, galerija Treći Beogad, 2010. godina

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Selman Trtovac Selman: Pitanje istine, pa i istine u umetnosti je jedno besmrtno, univerzalno pitanje koje je oduvek važilo u našem svetu, u svetu umetnosti. Istina i istinitost u iskazu! Odatle bi trebalo da proističe etičnost i kredibilitet. Ja mislim da smo mi, potpuno autentično i nezavisno zauzeli poziciju kretanja ka pojmu istine, kroz naš jezik umetnosti. Sam pojam istine je toliko kompleksan i ako se posmatra samo racionalno veoma relativan. Ipak svako od nas nepogrešivo prepoznaje istinu u umetničkom radu. Pre skoro dve godine imao sam jednu izložbu u Smederevu, u gradu gde ti živiš. Tu smo se i upoznali! Naslov te moje izložbe je bio „...što traže ekstremnosti da bi znali gde je sredina“. Sa druge strane si ti u jednom našem razgovoru rekao da tvoj rad vibrira između dve krajnosti. Radoš:. Uvek je tako u mom slučaju, uvek se rad bazira na dva kontrapunkta izmedju kojih vibrira. To mi je neophodno da bi mi se u radu pojavila ta „pukotina smisla“. Kad u skulpturi predmete objedinjujem u neke nove hibridne objekte ja, zapravo, poništavam njihovu prirodnu funkcionalnost i otvaram ih ka umetničkoj funkciji, a to je, kako ti reče, epistemiološki rez. Tvoja strategija je malo drugačija? Selman: U stvari se možda može reći da ja u svom sopstvenom životu tražim ekstremnosti, a onda se trudim da iz toga izvedem jednostavnu misao koja bi imala karakter aksioma. Primer je Crna ruka-ruka ubice, olovna Spirala straha, objekat Ex nihilo nihil fit (refleksija na Karavađovu sliku David i Golijat) gde ja držim sopstvenu odsečenu glavu iz rane mladosti. Trudim se dakle da izvedem misao kojoj se ništa ne može dodati niti oduzeti, da nađem optimalnu formu. Definicija pojma aksiom je: “temeljna istina” koja se ne dokazuje i služi kao osnova. Tu dolazim ponovo na pojam istine koji se često pojavljuje kada razmišljam o umetnosti. Najviši domet takvog aksioma kao pojma “temeljna istina” jeste onaj kada posmatrač prepozna taj određeni umetnički rad, kada se dogodi rez i kada taj koji je to video nije više isti kao što je bio. Barem malo! Mislim da, u krajnjoj instanci, postoji dodirna tačka u našim radovima. Mnogi tvoji radovi imaju takođe karakter aksioma. Primer je rad Dečani M1, odnosno Aja Sofija! U tvom procesu mišljenja, po mom mišljenju, jeste u pitanju objekat kao hibrid, međutim, u krajnjoj instanci, ti radovi koje sam naveo su postali aksiomi. Ti kažeš da je skulptura zapanjujuće jednostavna, banalna? Radoš: Ja koristim izraz „skulptura je banalna“ zato što je šokantan. Želim da on prodrma uspavanog posmatrača, da ga probudi za stvarni svet. Prva pomisao jeste da taj iskaz „skulptura je banalna“ ima jednu negativnu konotaciju, međutim to je samo jedan direktan opis. Kao u priči „Carevo novo odelo“ svi su videli istinu, ali dok je dete nije formulisalo u iskazu „CAR JE GO!“ nisu bili sposobni da po toj istini i deluju. Skulptura je to što jeste, ona i kada pretenduje da govori kroz određenu predstavu ona to ne može dalje od onog što je ona zaista, tu nema iluzije, merljiva je, razumeš! Od nje ne treba tražiti ono što ona ne može da da, ali joj ni oduzimati ono što je njena priroda, a ja tvrdim da je ona duboka i mistična. To je moj koncept. Za ove radove koje si pomenuo, međutim, mislim da sam ih dobro pomerio u odnosu na njihovu eventualnu funkcionalnost koja ih drži u stvarnosti, ali istovremeno nedovoljno jako, tako da se tu dešava ta vibracija o kojoj smo pričali između funkcije šatora i njegovog kontroverznog oblika. To je moj 21


UMETNIČKA STRATEGIJA drugi princip koncipiranja rada koji se dešava na nivou korišćenja predznanja posmatrača o motivu i o njegovoj funkciji. Ako bih govorio o mojim težnjama u toku nastajanja dela, ja sam za brzu sagledivost rada, jednostavnost koja ti omogućava da koncept rada i prvi vizuelni utisak lako poneseš sa sobom. Moram priznati da mi to retko polazi za rukom, ipak to je namera. Selman: Da! Ako umetnik želi da dodirne srce posmatrača, on mora da se izrazi razumljivo i što jednostavnije. Bez mistifikacije! Ljudi prepoznaju umetnički iskaz koji ima moć. Isto tako dolazi do otuđenja posmatrača kada je u pitanju mistifikacija koja najčešće prikriva ispraznost. Mi, pre svega, u ovoj izložbi težimo da uspostavimo jasan govor, jasan dijalog! Radoš: To bi bile osobine vrhunskog rada, o takvom radu svaki umetnika mašta. To je kao hit! Takvi radovi jako retko nastaju. Naravno za vrhunski rad se mora biti spreman i kao umetnik i kao posmatrač. To je jedan kompleksan fenomen. Selman: Kad kažeš hit, nameće se razmišljanje o umetničkoj ambiciji. Ambicija u umetnosti ima smisla ako je usmerena ka umetnosti samoj, ka želji da se dođe do vrhunskog rada. Ambicija umetnika je besmislena ako je primarno vezana za karijeru, novac ili status, gledano iz ugla umetnosti kao duhovnosti. Svi ti elementi društvenog statusa mogu biti sporedna pojava. Umetnička ambicija koja ima smisla je, međutim ,usmerena ka duhovnosti, ka utopiji u kojoj ima smisla raditi umetnost. Ambicija je tada kao asimptota, kao linija koja se stalno približava idealnoj osi, a nikada je ne dodirne...

Dijalog sa umetnikom Radošem Antonijevićem je, naknadno se ispostavilo, otvorio čitavu seriju interakcija, saradnju u kreiranju umetničke utopije Treći Beograd i seriju zajedničkih izložbi. Zajednički rad, zajedno sa drugim članovima, na osmišljavanju i razvoju Trećeg Beogada predstavlja takođe oblik sinteze mišljenja koji je proizašao dijalektičkog principa, čestih razgovora i zajedničkog razmišljanja o ključnim pitanjima u umetnosti. Godine 1994. učestvovao sam na izložbi pod naslovom Mi volimo i umetnost drugih. Idejni okvir te izložbe bio je zadatak da se razmisli koji su to umetnički radovi, odnosno koji su to umetnici čiju umetnost volimo. Tom prilikom sam promenio uobičajeni misaoni tok koji je po pravilu okrenut ka sebi, na nekog drugog i njegov rad. Pokušao sam da se stavim u situaciju drugog umetnika, šta je taj umetnik mogao misliti kada je neki određeni rad nastajao. To iskustvo ima dvostruki efekat. Prvi efekat je spoznaja neophodnosti dekonstrukcije samoljublja i sebične usmerenosti na samoga sebe, jer nas to sprečava da postanemo svesni mnoštva drugih mogućnosti. Drugi efekat jeste iskustvo drugačijeg mišljenja i svest o mogućnostima koje do tada nisam uzimao u obzir. Pošto samoljublje ima osobinu da nam daje određenu prepoznatljivost, profil i čak elemente karaktera, dekonstrukcija samoljublja nas dovodi u opasnost da budemo suviše rasplinuti, konfuzni, amorfni, bez jasnog umetničkog profila, odnosno pozicije. Zato bi taj proces dekonstrukcije samoljublja morao biti istovremen sa osmišljavanjem jedne unutrašnje tehnike koja bi služila kao substitut samoljublju. Iz takvog procesa mišljenja došao sam do konačnog zaključka da je unutrašnja strategija substitut za umetničko samoljublje. 22


Selman Trtovac Kazimir Maljevič je u svom delu Suprematizam7 uveo substitutivni objekat umesto figure kao formu unutar vizuelnog jezika, a konceptualni umetnici su uveli koncept kao supstitut estetici. Tim velikim spoznajama u svetu vizuelne umetnosti Maljevič i umetnici konceptualisti su otvorili ogroman prostor tada novih mogućnosti. U današnjem vremenu postoji pluralizam umetničkih pozicija, mikro- narativa, bezbroj interpretacija i varijacija nekih davno spoznatih umetničkih istina. Neko bi mogao pomisliti da je to baš fantastično, jer je u pitanju velika sloboda i demokratija. Ovde se ne radi o demokratiji vizuelnog ili nekog drugog mišljenja, niti o slobodi izražavanja, ovde smo samo svedoci velike konfuzije i beznačajnosti bilo kog mišljenja i izražavanja, sem onog koje donosi profit ili je u funkciji nekog interesa, političkog ili ekonomskog. U takvoj situaciji umetnik pojedinac je suočen, više nego ikada pre, sa zadatkom kako da opstane kao umetnik. U tom smislu metoda supstitucije samoljublja nekim drugim strateškim elementom, mi se učinila svrsishodnom u okviru unutrašnje strategije. Commedia dell’arte je pozorišna forma koja bi na ovom mestu bila dobro poređenje sa onim što želim da definišem kao odnos sa samoljubljem. Umetnik može da igra jednu određenu ulogu u umetnosti, ili više uloga u zavisnosti od sklonosti i karaktera samog umetnika. Kako ta forma teatra implicira, umetnik ulogu u potpunosti improvizuje, što znači da ne postoji neki unapred utvrđeni scenario već postoji samo opšta predstava, odnosno tema kao baza za improvizaciju. Bitno je reći da umetnik pri tom nije neko drugi do on sam, niti umetnik lažira svoju istinsku prirodu i karakter, već je to jedna unutrašnja tehnika, metoda, odnosno strategija kojom se samoljublje supstituiše, zamenjuje. Kroz tu tehniku umetnik gradi određeni otklon prema samom sebi i time osvaja najmanje dve perspektive u vezi sa predmetom interesovanja i razmišljanja! U razgovoru između istoričara umetnosti Ješe Denegrija i mene, vođenog 15.11.2008. povodom moje izložbe u galeriji Osmica (MKM), pod naslovom Ex nihilo nihil fit (Od ničega ništa) postavilo se pitanje dijaloga između umetnika i istoričara. Dva predstavnika različitih generacija, dve različite polazne tačke u umetnosti. Sa jedne strane čovek velikog teorijskog znanja, svedok mnogih pojava u savremenoj umetnosti poslednjih 40 godina, a s druge strane umetnik koji se rodio pre 40 godina. Nakon tog razgovora koji je predstavljao svojevrsnu rekapitulaciju mi se javila misao o neophodnosti uvođenja unutrašnje tehnike supstitucije za samoljublje. Selman: Počeću svoje komentare sećanjem na jedan poseban događaj. Krajem juna 1991. grupa mlađih umetnika, istoričara umetnosti i kritičara putovala je vozom, što predstavlja interesantnu metaforu, za Rijeku na Jugoslovensko bijenale mladih. Prolazili smo vozom kroz sve one krajeve koji će ubrzo potom biti poprišta krvavih ratnih sukoba. Prvi dan, pre otvaranja, kupujemo novine, Vjesnik, na prvoj strani je bio veliki naslov “Slovenija će se braniti” sa fotografijom tenka koji gazi malog fiću. Bili smo zatečeni vešću! Istog dana, 27. juna 1991, odlazimo na otvaranje bijenala i direktor Berislav Valušek, prvo objavljuje da umetnici iz Slovenije nisu bili u mogućnosti da dođu zbog političkih razloga. Održava se svečano otvaranje, dodela nagrada 7

Malewitsch , Kasimir (1962). Suprematismus : die gegenstandslose Welt. Köln : DuMont Schaubert.

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UMETNIČKA STRATEGIJA i povratak. Bio sam tek na prvoj godini studija na Akademiji u Beogradu kada sam učestvovao na riječkom bijenalu. Ješa: Bijenale u Rijeci ostalo je zapamćeno kao poslednje Jugoslovenski bijenale mladih. Od šedsesetih godina važilo je za smotru koja je promovisale mnoge generacije umetnika. Vi ste bili poslednja generacija, da tako kažem, sa jugoslovenskog umetničkog prostora. Posle se bijenale održavalo i dalje kao Bijenale mediteranskih zemalja. Na područiju Srbije osnovano je bijenale u Vršcu. Ti si u to vreme već bio u Nemačkoj. Da li si učestvovao na Vršačkom bijenalu? Selman: Jesam! Na petom 2002. i mislim da je to bilo jedno od poslednjih. Ješa: Vidim iz tvoje biografije da si imao nekoliko izložbi u SKC-u. Kako je do toga došlo, šta je za tebe bio SKC tih godina? Selman: Na prvoj godini studija bio sam u klasi sa umetnicima Nenadom Glišićem i Dejanom Damnjanovićem i oni su me, na neki način, povezali sa programom radionica i izložbi u SKC-u. Prvi rad koji sam izlagao u Galeriji SKC-a 30. marta 1991. zvao se Prostorna pukotina. Taj rad je kasnije izlagan i na Bijenalu u Rijeci. Na početku 90-ih oko Galrije SKC-a okupljao se veliki broj mladih različitih profila i studija, zainteresovani da predstave svoje projekte i učestvuju u programima izložbi, radionica, performansima, na razgovorima ili prezentacijama... U programe su bili uključeni umetnici starijih i mlađih generacija i brojna publika. Osećala se intenzivna atmosfera dešavanja na svim nivoima. Meni je to, kao mladom umetniku, bilo fascinantno. U Galeriji SKC-a sam imao mogućnost rada u nekoj vrsti laboratorije, radionice sa ljudima moje generacije koji su imali slična interesovanja. Na tom mestu je bilo moguće baviti se umetničkim eksperimentima i imati slobodniji pristup umetnosti i radu. Ješa: Da li ti ti radovi i danas nešto znače ili su oni čisto studentski? Selman: Ja mislim da su oni veoma bitni. Pada mi na pamet misao Ive Andrića: “Svi smo mi iskopine svog detinjstva”. Početak je uvek važan, kao neka baza, otkrivanje primaranog, sopstvenog senzibiliteta i poetike. Tako i to moje umetničko detinjstvo ima za mene veliki značaj. Tokom 1992. u okviru radionica izlagao sam više puta u Galeriji SKC-a. Realzovani su različiti radovi po tipologiji materijala, funkcionisanja u prostoru i načina izvođenja. Tada su me zanimali prirodni fenomeni, tehnološki postupci i veze nauke i umetnosti. U galeriji sam 27. marta te iste godine, u poliesteru izveo jednu prostornu instalaciju „ Stalaktiti – Stalagmiti“, 9. juna, postavio sam drugu inastalaciju pod nazivom „Led“, i 8. decembra, sam uradio „Vatrene cvetove“. Takođe sam učestvovao na grupnoj izložbi u Srećnoj galeriji, povodom programa ‘72 SUSRETI ‘92 (8-15. maj) 20 godina od prvih Aprilskih susreta. Ješa: Za tebe je vezana priča oko školovanja u Dizeldorfu. Kako je do toga došlo? Na šta si tamo naišao?

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Selman Trtovac Selman: Početak rata je najviše doprineo mom odlasku za Diseldorf. Bilo je to mračno, depresivno vreme koje je svima donelo veliko zlo. U tom odlaženju mi je pomogao SKC, odnosno Biljana Tomić i Dejan Mujčić koji je pre mene otišao. On je već bio u klasi Klausa Rinkea, kao i jedan hrvatski umetnik Krunoslav Stipešević. Ušao sam 17. marta 1993, u klasu Klausa Rinkea. Pokazao sam mu svoju mapu, ono što sam radio u SKC-u, umetničke eksperimente, kao i ono što sam radio na Akademiji. Klaus me je odmah primio, ali je taj suset za mene predstavljao veliki stres. Inače, želim da napomenem, kroz klase profsora Klausa Rinkea, Janisa Kunelisa, Magdalene Jetilove, Rabinoviča i Nam Džun Pajka prošli su mnogi naši umetnici sa dužim ili kraćim zadržavanjem od osamdesetih: Ivo Deković, Jusuf Hadžifeizović, Radomir Stančić, Danica Dakić, i tokom devedesetih: Dejan Mujčić, ja, Tatjana Ilić, Mirjana Đorđević i Ivan Ilić kao gosti studenti, Dejan Sarić, Nenad Glišić, i drugi. Drugi talas studenata na Akademiji u Diseldorfu bili su, dakle, umetnici sa balkanskog područija, iz novih zemalja u tranziciji. U klasi Klausa Rinkea vladao je metod samoorganzovanja, zajedničkog učestvovanja u svim temama i odlukama koje su se odnosile na rad u klasi, izlaganja i stručna putovanja. Prva izložba na Akademiji umetnosti u Diseldorfu “On the road” održana je 1993. sa crtežima, skulpturama i objektima. Sledeće 1994. godine, organizujem samostalnu izložbu „Future“, predstavljajući nove crteže, skulpture i objekte u galeriji Kulturgut, Gelzenkirhen. Posebno smatram važnom u svom radu izložbu organizovanu 1994. „Mi volimo i umetnost drugih“. Projekat izložbe na predlog Rinkea i klase sastojao se u konceptu da studenti izaberu umetnički rad nekog drugog umetnika za autorsku postavku. Aludiralo se na činjenice da su umetnici, po prirodi stvari, usredsređeni na sebe i sopstveni rad. Ovde je bila u pitanju mentalna vežba usredsređivanja na drugog. Pitao sam Kunelisa da mi pozajmi jedan njegov rad za tu izložbu. Kunelis je to shvatio na pravi način. Pitao me je koji rad želim. Ja sam tada, intuitivno, zatražio rad pod naslovom Robespjer (rad sa tablom na kojoj je napisano Robespjer i sa svećom ispred).

(R)evolution, slika, objekt, DNK materijal, 2009. godina 25


UMETNIČKA STRATEGIJA On mi je kroz osmeh rekao: ‘’Oooo, mladiću, ti baš ne znaš šta treba!’’. Poslao me je tim povodom kod poznatog kolekcionara dr Špeka u Keln. Dobio sam odgovor da je rad na izložbi Arte Povere, te da nije u mogućnosti da mi ga stavi na raspolaganje. Kontakt sa dr Špekom ispostavio se komplikovanim pa je Kunelis napravio poseban rad sa šinama i cipelama i lično ga je postavio u klasi, tik pored slike Sema Frensisa koji je bio Rinkeov izbor. To je za mene bila velika lekcija. Moj prvi kreativni susret sa Kunelisom. Iako nisam bio u njegovoj klasi koju je tada formirao, doživljavao sam ga kao mog profesora. Ješa: U čemu se sastojao edukativni proces kod umetnika poput Rinkea i Kunelisa? Kako su oni sa vama kao mladim umetnicima komunicirali? Šta ste vi od njih tražili? Šta su oni vama davali? Selman: Sećam se nekih anegdota kao važnih momenata u tom vremenu! Puno se radilo i razmišljalo. Uvek je bilo nekih turbulencija. Sećam se, recimo, da je Rinke jednom rekao: “Ja ne mogu da vam dam nikakav recept, ne postoji recept za umetnost! I ja još uvek tražim! Mogu, možda, da vam pomognem u vašem ličnom traganju, da, možda, ne pravite velike greške i da ne gubite previše vremena na nekim tačkama i elementima koji su nebitni“. To je za mene bilo fascinantno! Tako nešto, recimo, nikada nisam čuo ovde. Kunelis je imao suptilnije metode. Ja sam u njegovoj klasi bio pridruženi član. Pitao sam ga kada je formirao klasu 1994. mogu li da budem gost student. On je rekao: Naravno. Certo! Smatrao sam nebitnim da formalizujem taj status. Važnija je bila mentalna veza, što je i suština stvari. Išao sam sa njegovom klasom 1995, na studijsko putovanje u Toskanu. On je želeo tom prilikom da nam pokaže Mazača i da nam govori o Karavađu! Polazio je od teze da smo svi mi počeli od grčke glave. Drugo, mislio je da su Mazačo i Karavađo zapravo bili prvi moderni umetnici. Savremena umetnost, po njemu, ne može da postoji bez Karavađa i Mazača. Konkretno! On je to dao kao metaforu. Mislio je uopšte na celu tekovinu - mora se imati jasna svest o onome što je bilo, da bi se pravila umetnost koja će biti. On je, na primer, jako voleo Sokrata! Grk! Znajući da sam kod Rinkea u klasi, uputio mi je jednom rečenicu koja mi je ostala duboko urezana u svest i sećanje. Kao lekcija! Sedeli smo u jednoj potpuno običnoj poslastičarnici u Kortoni. To je mesto u Toskani gde je rođen Pjetro da Kortona. U toj poslastičarnici je stajao upaljeni televizor u uglu, grupa studenata, među njima Kunelis i ja sedeli smo i razgovarali. Prividno neobavezno! Na televiziji se u jednom trenutku govorilo nešto o ekstremnosti, ekstremizmu, terorizmu.... Ja sam, ne sećam se više precizno, nekako prokomentarisao to što sam čuo. On se okrenuo ka meni, pa pošto je znao da sam ja kod Rinkea i da Rinke gaji, da kažem, nemački pristup i zagovara tezu da po pitanju umetnosti treba biti radikalan i da ne treba praviti kompromise... Kunelis mi je rekao sledeće: “U redu radikalnost! To je, naravno, poželjno, ali govoreći u savremenom kontekstu, radikalnost bez transparencije vodi u najdublje ponore ljudskog postojanja!”. Posle toga se samo okrenuo i više nije govorio. Ta rečenica je ostala da odzvanja. Razmišljao sam puno nakon toga, pa i dan danas razmišljam o toj njegovoj rečenici. E! To je pitanje koje sam postavio sebi u prošloj izložbi: Šta je onda mera stvari? Iz toga razmišljanja je nastala rečenica «...što traže ekstremnosti da bi znali gde je sredina.». To je najmanji zajednički

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Selman Trtovac sadržalac koji na neki način slikovito opisuje moju poziciju u umetnosti i sadašnji umetnički rad. Traganje za optimalnim putem. To je, da kažem, više jedna filozofska ravan razmišljanja o strategiji umetnosti uopšte. Ješa: Znači kroz edukaciju, više se govorilo o principima i o mentalnim pristupima nego o samoj tehnologiji i zanatu? Selman: Mentalni pristup, je precizan, tačan termin za način našeg rada. Diseldorfska faza istovremeno može da se poveže sa istorijskim događanjima kod nas, sa ratovima od 1991. do 1995. godine, sa stravičnim zločinima, sa ogromnim migracijama stanovništva, sa nesrećom, sa jednim od najtežih perioda u našoj istoriji. Ješa: Vi kao studenti, koliko ste znali, koliko je na vas uticalo to što se dešavalo ovde u zemlji? Selman: Uticalo je jako! Intuitivno smo osećali i znali smo sta se događa... Moglo se videti i čuti preko snažne medijske propagande. Duboko smo patili zbog toga! Mnogi moji radovi koje sam tada uradio su bili delom refleksija na vreme u kome smo živeli. To je bilo, uostalom, i nemoguće izbeći. Čak i danas, ponekad, neki elementi u nekim radovima imaju za cilj savladavanje tog vremena. Umetnički i istorijski događaji devedesetih su se preklopili i nastali su radovi: Crna ruka, Drugo lice Janusa, performans Sinhronizacija sa umetnikom iz Afrike. Jema: Znači, tamo ste zatekli različite umetnike, nemačke i iz drugih krajeva sveta? Selman: Akademija u Diseldorfu je multikulturalna po svojim programima. Upisani su studenti sa svih kontinenata i različiti kulturni predlošci i tradicije čine široko područje zastupljenih umetničkih koncepata. Akademija ima više stotina stidenata, kao i veliki broj profesora, pa su, samim tim, tendencije interesovanja veoma razvijene i usmerene u različite pravce umetničkog, društvenog, socijalnog i političkog angažovanja. Ješa: Šta podrazumeva politička svest? Selman: Umetnik je onaj koji umetničkim jezikom i političkim stavom pokušava da ljudima saopšti neuralgične tačke društva u akutnim trenucima ili uopšte. Ja sam formulisao svoj stav kroz Crnu ruku! Taj rad je nastao povodom izložbe koja je imala za tematiku nasleđe koje mi kao umetnici nosimo iz našeg kulturog, društvenog ili istorijskog nasleđa. Kada sam razmišljao o temi imao sam problem šta je to baš tipično, autentično za naš prostor. Kada kažem naš mislim na sve južne Slovene na Balkanu. Ustanovio sam da je istorijskopolitički element važniji i prezentniji od umetničkog. Crna ruka je aksiom, tako bi prokomentarisao Ilija Šoškić. Ona je nastala tako što sam tražio od Rinkea da mi pomogne da nađem ubicu. Na Akademiji su mi pomogli i napisali zvanično pismo. Ja sam potom išao u diseldorfski zatvor, predao sam to pismo, objasnio o čemu se tu radi i zašto mi to treba i da mi identitet tog čoveka nije bitan, nego mi je bitno samo da je on ubio nekog. Oni su odgovorili da nisu u mogućnosti da mi izađu u susret jer postoje prepreke u zatvorskim pravilima koja su jako komplikovana. Jednostavno su me odbili!

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UMETNIČKA STRATEGIJA Ja sam tražio ubicu od koga bi mogu da uzmem otisak ruke kojom je ubio čoveka! Preko jednog prijatelja koji je tada radio u venecijanskom ženskom zatvoru, a koji je tamo držao časove keramike i vajanja, došao sam u mogućnost da dobijem otisak ruke jedne žene koja je ubila muža sekirom. Taj moj prijatelj mi je tada rekao da se radi o jednoj jako senzibilnoj i inteligentnoj osobi koja je na pravi način razumela moj motiv i potrebu da imam otisak takve ruke. Ona je, dakle, pristala da se uzme otisak njene ruke! Ja sam njemu zahvalio i rekao da je za moj rad neophodna muška ruka, i da bih u krajnjoj nuždi možda uzeo otisak i njene ruke. A onda sam ovde, u Beogradu, igrom slučaja našao čoveka koji je ubio drugog čoveka iz vatrenog oružja i uzeo otisak njegove ruke. Meni njegov identitet nije bio bitan, niti razlog. On je bio bitan samo kao simbol. Poslužio bih se Bojsovim nazivom socijalna plastika. Taj rad jeste plastika sa socijalnom konotacijom! Mnogi ljudi kada vide taj rad osećaju neku vrstu straha, nije im baš svejedno, osete neki nemir. Od tada je prošlo puno vremena! Imao sam potrebu da čekam..... Sada osećam da više nema čekanja. Prvo sam organizovao izložbu u Smederevu kao vrstu rekapitulacije, koja uključuje neke nove radove. Sada je ova izložba u Magacinu! Ješa: Što sada radiš, što sada spremaš, šta će to biti? Selman: Moram da počnem od onog što sam izložio u Smederevu! U Smederevu je bilo mnogo novih crteža koje sam sve podveo pod jedan ciklus koji se zove Spiritus movens, pokretački duh. Zapazio sam u svom radu da postoje tri paralelne linije kretanja. Prvo, jedna koja je vrlo racionalna, promišljena, da kažem konceptualna, koja je, možda, posledica nasleđa koje sam primio putem školovanja. Postoji i drugi element koji se može, grubo rečeno, podvesti pod interesovanje za mistično i magijsko. Treće je socijalno angažovanje! Sva ta tri elementa su za mene jako bitna i na ovoj izložbi bih voleo da to bude jasno vidljivo. Nije to namerno planirano, nego sam kroz koncipiranje izložbu, shvatio da sva ta tri elementa postoje. Jedan od novih radova koji nisu izlagani u Beogradu ima naziv Spirala straha. Postoji u našem narodu, zanimljivo u svim religijama na Balkanu, jedan magijski obred koji se zove salivanje strave. To se uglavnom odigrava tako što se istopi olovo i naglo ohladi u vodi pri čemu nastanu neki čudni oblici iz kojih onaj koji se u to razume može da vidi uzrok straha. Ja sam taj magijski element uzeo za svoj rad kao simbol. Taj rad nije posledica magijskog obreda u bukvalnom smislu reči već su uzeti samo elementi koji su mi bitni u svom značenju, kao metafora. Od tih oblika koji su nastali naglim hlađenjem olova, napravio sam instalaciju na podu u obliku spirale. Nazvao sam je Spirala straha pošto je ona nastala nakon direktnog suočavanja sa smrću. U pitanju je, znači, jedno egzistencijalno iskustvo. Meni je bilo bitno da taj rad ne bude intiman nego da ima univerzalnu dimenziju, da svako može da se prepozna u tome. Spirala je univerzalna forma koja ima direktnu asocijaciju na strah. Pada mi na pamet Hičkok kao primer i njegov film Vertigo. Ima još mnogo primera gde umetnici koriste spiralu u kontekstu straha. Dakle, jedan magijski element, materijalizaciju straha u olovo, ja sam jednostavno postavio u oblik spirale i to je to.

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Selman Trtovac Ješa: Kako to izgleda kao rad? Šta je to? Selman: Ona je od nekih čudnih, nepravilnih olovnih formi, koje izgledaju lake, skoro kao neka čipka, iako su teške kao olovo, a stoje na podu u obliku spirale. Dijametar te spirale je vezan za visinu mog tela. To je jedan skulptorski rad na izložbi. Drugi je slika, jedna potpuno minimalna slika, naslikana korišćenjem žuči i meda, kao pigmentima. Baš prava žuč i pravi med! Slika izgleda kao diptih sa jasnim celinama. Skoro kao formalna minimalna slika. Tek kada se posmatrač približi, on shvati o čemu se tu radi. Treći rad je figuralna skulptura, kao refleskija na Karavađa. Na ovom mestu moram da pomenem i prisetim se iskustva odnosno razgovora sa Kunelisom. Ove godine sam dvaput video Karavađove radove. Prvi put u Kunsthistorisches Museum-u u Beču sliku “David i Golijat”, a drugi put na Malti, u Valeti sam video sliku “Odsecanje glave sv. Jovana”. Tada sam odlučio da napravim skulpturu koja ima vezu sa Karavađom. Napravio sam samog sebe kako držim svoju odsečenu glavu. Zna se da su na slici i David i Golijat u stvari sam Karavađo - mladi Karavađo koji je odsekao glavu malo starijem Karavađu. Kod mog rada je obrnuto, ja kao stariji, u sadašnjem vremenu, držim odsečenu svoju glavu iz rane mladosti. Ješa: Znači, ovde se vidi Kunelisova pouka da treba gledati stare majstore, kada si pomenuo Mazača i Karavađa..... Selman: To je citat koji sam sa namerom preuzeo! Može se prepoznati kao konceptualni element u mom skulptorskom jeziku. Simbol odsecanja glave je i u našem narodu kroz istoriju jako upečatljiva slika. Ješa: Kako izgleda taj rad? Selman: U pitanju je skulptura odlivena u gipsu, možda će biti u nekom drugom materijalu, ali za sada je gips u pitanju. Ono što je bitno reći je da je u pitanju otisak mog tela, realna fizionomija mog tela. Način kako je uzet otisak podseća na scenu na Karavađovoj slici David i Golijat. Naziv tog rada, a i znak cele izložbe je Od ničega ništa. Pored toga biće još čitav niz crteža koji još jasnije ukazuju na proces mog umetničkog mišljenja. Cela misao o tome nije došla ni iz čega već ima jasnu genezu. Meni je način nastajanja rada uvek bitan. Tako da će sve to biti izloženo zajedno. Biće tri rada u tri prostora, tri odvojene celine koje ipak pripadaju zajedno. Ješa: Kada pominješ racionalne, metafizičke i socijalno angažovane odlike rada, u kom je odnosu ovi stavov stoje? Kakav je to tip angažmana? Šta se pod tim podrazumeva? Selman: Pre nekog vremena sam sa još dva umetnika bio aktivan u jednoj umetničkoj inicijativi koja se zvala Faust-Manifest. O tome sam već više puta javno pisao i govorio. Možda se sećaš slike Duh vremena koja je bila izložena u Muzeju savremene umetnosti u Beogradu. Zeitgeist kao filozofska premisa za umetnički rad na osnovu koje smo mi umetnici razvijali sistem termina koji tretiraju neuralgične tačke u današnjem društvu. Mislim da rad ljudi nisu razumeli na pravi način. Kao da nije bio pristupačan. Nekako zatvoren! Problem je u jeziku kod te vrste izražavanja. Neko ko ne govori tvoj jezik, on te prosto ne razume. 29


UMETNIČKA STRATEGIJA

Strah, crtež, grafit na papiru, 2007. godina

U tom zajedničkom radu se videlo da ja kao umetnik imam potrebu da direktno napadnem probleme koje svi uočavamo u društvu. Bilo da su u pitanju politički problemi, problemi manipulacije, nepotizam, korupcija, monopol, različite apologije, populizmi itd.. Bilo šta! Sve što utiče na naše živote i na umetnost u krajnjoj liniji. Kritika iskazana kroz umetnički jezik se onda odigrava na polju umetničkog rada. Umetnik u prenesenom smislu mora da uzme macolu i udari ljude u glavu i tako im saopšti šta se dešava. Ješa: Koji su to problemi sadašnji, koje ti vidiš da bi trebalo tako saopštiti? Selman: Već sam ih naveo. U suštini svih problema leži degeneracija ili čak nepostojanje sistema vrednosti. To je najveći problem. Postavlja se pitanje šta su vrednosti, koje su vrednosti današnjeg društva!? To je meni kao umetniku sada najveći izazov. Kako je moguće da je sve relativno. Gde su uzroci toga? Ješa: Kako te stavove iznosiš u jeziku umetnosti? Selman: Ja kao pojedinac, nakon, da kažem, i kolektivnog iskustva tražim sopstvene načine da to izrazim. Mislim da je meni najbliži onaj subverzivan način koji se vidi kroz umetničke aksiome poput Crne ruke. Želim da stvari posmatram slojevito i oprezno. Mislim da je to jedan od načina da umetnici “menjaju svet” i da istovremeno žive svoju utopiju o idealnom društvu. Suština je da ti kao umetnik na autentičan, na istinit način ljudima preneseš univerzalne vrednosti kroz svoj rad. Tako da te svi razumeju! Ješa: Koliko nalaziš da je društvo, pa i sam svet umetnika i umetnosti, pripremljen na tu vrstu dijaloga, na takav kontakt?

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Selman Trtovac Selman: U onom što sada želim da kažem prepoznajem nasleđe iz Diseldorfa. Bojs je svojevremeno govorio da je svaki čovek umetnik i govorio je: “Ich suche den Dummsten” (tražim najglupljeg), a to znači da ako onaj najgluplji” razume o čemu govoriš onda ti kao umetnik više nemaš problema sa komunikacijom. Sa druge strane, mislim da ljudi razumeju više nego što mi umetnici očekujemo i mislimo. Glavno je pitanje, dakle, da umetnik iznađe razumljiv način i jezik, a da pri tom ne prilagođava sadržinu onog što želi da saopšti. Taj jezik opet mora imati uporište u vremenu u kome živimo. Ješa: Koliko je u tom osvešćenju umetnost doprinela ili nije? Šta misliš? Selman: Umetnost je subverzivna sila! Umetnost nema direktan efekat. Ona je element Zeitgeist-a. Umetnost je u trenutku nastajanja elitistička, što je paradoks u odnosu na ono što sam prethodno govorio. Uvek je prvo razume uzak krug ljudi. Naknadno ostali, po prirodi stvari. Na kraju ona postane akademizovana. Ješa: Zapažam da je svaki tvoj rad nekako za sebe. U medijima imaš crteže, imaš oblike, nešto što je instalacija, fotografije, performans. Šta ih objedinjuje? Selman: Mislim, kao prvo, da je to što ih objedinjuje dosledno umetničko mišljenje. Istovremeno se trudim da to mišljenje bude fleksibilno i transparentno. Otvoreno za nove impulse. Bitno je da kao umetnik ne slušaš samo sebe i da si fokusiran samo na sebe jer, pre ili kasnije, počneš da se vrtiš u krug. Svako ima granice! Zato su meni dijalozi i interakcije sa ljudima koje poštujem jako važni. Sami radovi, sa druge strane, međusobno imaju neku mentalnu unutarnju vezu. Postoji mentalna koheziona sila koja ih objedinjuje. Iako su oni u različitim medijima, mislim da su prepoznatljivi kao moj rad. Potvrdu za tu tvrdnju sam dobio u dijalogu sa drugim umetnicima i publikom uopšte. Šta ih u formalnom smislu povezuje, možda se može reći da postoji rukopis, stil koji se vidi u različitim medijima. Ješa: Kako ti koncipiraš tvoj rad, jer vidim da svaki ima neko svoje značenje? Tvoji radovi nisu u seriji već su za sebe vrlo koncentrisani po nekoj ideji! Dugo se razmišlja o tome, dugo ga sažimaš! Izvođenje u materijalu sledi kada je ideja već završena? Selman: Izvođenje u materijalu je poslednja faza rada! Takođe jedna bitna faza! Za mene je bitno da radove potpuno vizualizujem u glavi pa onda materijalizujem u stvarnosti. Ješa: Recimo kao Crna ruka! Mislim ti si sve znao šta želiš?! Selman: Da! Meni je to jako bitno! Ješa: Da li je svaki rad takav? Baš svaki? Selman: Nisu crteži! Crteži su mi sredstvo primarnog mišljenja. Tu se vidi razvoj neke ideje, nekog mišljenja. Ješa: Da, to je u prirodi crteža! Takva je priroda medija. Selman: Mislim da crtež kao medij dopušta intuiciji i memoriji ruke da ispolji tekovine “klasične” likovne umetnosti. Likovnost i likovni elementi su mi, takođe, jako bitni! Kompozicija, linija, površina itd. 31


UMETNIČKA STRATEGIJA Kvaliteti tog likovnog jezika su ugrađeni u likovno mišljenje koje bismo, radi lakšeg razumevanja, mogli da nazovemo konceptom. Da sam filozof, pravnik ili teoretičar neke druge vrste po profesiji, dakle da nemam praktično likovno iskustvo sigurno ne bih mogao da vizualizujem i materijalizujem rad kako to sada činim. Praktično iskustvo predstavlja jedan neizbežan kvalitet u umetničkom mišljenju. Mogu da kažem da su mi poslednji radovi nekako kao neki simboli koje ostavljam. Kao neki znakovi! Ješa: Koliko dugo i na koji način se ta ideja, recimo, inkubira? Selman: Ima raznih slučajeva. Nema pravila, mislim. Nekada se to brzo desi, nekad sporo, nekad je proces, nekad odustanem od procesa pa se posle vratim. Pojavi se posle, naknadno. Nisam ušao u zakonitosti procesa nastajanja ideje. Nema pravila, izgleda. Teško mi je da to seciram. Suviše je sve kompleksno. Meni izgleda kao kretanje kroz nepoznato. Mislim da je tako jer se dešava izvan racionalnog i analitičkog. Zato je i uzbudljivo. Racio i analiza samo pomažu u procesu likovnog mišljenja. Ješa: Da li reflektuješ, potom, šta se zbilo? Selman: Mogu da analiziram, naknadno, šta se zbilo. To da! Osećam se kao planinar koji ima svu potrebnu opremu, kompas, cipele, odeću, ranac, uređaj za komunikaciju, kanape, kuke i sve ostalo i krenuo sam ka vrhu neke opake planine i ne znam šta me sve čeka. Krenuo sam u nepoznato. Nisam siguran da li će vreme da se promeni, da li će da krene neki vetar, oluja ili neki odron. Kakve su sve strmine? Da li ima leda, pukotina, provalija itd. Dakle, osećam strah, strahopoštovanje i jako sam oprezan i pripremljen na nepoznato u tom kretanju. To je možda dobra analogija. Selman: Ono što je meni bitno u našem razgovoru, jeste, osim ovog što sam ja pričao, šta ti misliš uopšte o svemu? Dakle o mojoj generaciji, o mom radu, o današnjem vremenu i o tome kakve su perspektive iz ugla jednog istoričara umetnosti koji predstavlja paradigmu teoretičara? Zanimljivo mi je to pitanje kao diskurs između umetnika i istoričara umetnosti. Gde je umetnost danas? Ješa: Pitanje tvoje generacije? Svi vi koji ste otišli za Diseldorf, kao i mnogi drugi u neke druge evropske zemlje pripadate kao genercija post jugoslovenkom vremenu, tranzicijskom dobu i značajnim političkim i demokratskim promenama. Takođe, kao mladi ljudi na početku devedesetih godina krećući se oko SKC-a činite specifičnu pojavu u širokom polju umetničkih dešavanja mnogih predhodnih generacija. Čini mi se više po izvesnoj mentalnoj dimenziji nego po drugim svojstvima. To se potvrđuje vašim kontaktima i prijateljstvom sa Ilijom Šoškićem. Sve pojave oko SKC-a su imale težnju da nisu samo umetničke nego da su i forme ponašanja. Najviše su se odnosile na formacije umetnika u ovim sredinama gde je vladao pretežno akademizam. Prilično restriktivne i sužene mogućnosti odgoja mladih dovodile su do subverzivnih ponašanja, odnosno jezičkih promena. Postavljana su kroz rad konkretna pitanje kako funkcionišu institucije koje su u društvu priznate i formirane, a koje zakazuju u odnosu na potrebe ljudi koji bi želeli da se iskažu drugim principima i perceptivnim pristupima. Umetnici su najčešće alarmirali stenja praznine u sistemu umetnosti. O svetu umetnosti kroz boravak u Nemačkoj mogao da vidiš da su načini izražavanja umetnika krajnje široki. Danas je apsolutno neuklopljivo sve u jednu bilo kakvu zajedničku ideju. Malo pre si pomenuo 32


Selman Trtovac pitanje koje te naročito zanima. Sistem vrednosti, šta su vrednosti u umetnosti, u društvu i to sve zajdno. Tu se možda nalazi sukob koji ti možda iniciraš u odnosu na sredinu. Kako se prepoznavaju vrednosti umetnosti u današnjem svetu. Vrednosti su postale promenljive norme, stvarajući mnoge mreže sistema jednih naspram drugih što proizvodi konfliktnost i tenziju razumevanja. U principu sve je moguće, svi nalaze načina da se iskažu, ali bez prepoznatljive konzistentnosti oko nečega šta je uloga umetnosti danas, govoreći u klasičnom smislu. Pomerene su koncepcije vrednosti, pozicije umetnika, kulturnih institucija, tržišta, opšteg sistema funkcionisanja i egzstencije. Desili su se mnogi gubici ali i veliki pomaci napred uprkos tekućim krizama. Da zaključim, umetnost danas nije izgubila svoju duhovnu suštinu i pored svih turbulencija. Činjenica je da umetnik sa osvešćenim stavovima i dubinskom spoznajom sebe može da produkuje one lične i opšte istine koje kao pojedinačni segmnenti celine čine strukturu savremene kulture.

Razgovor sa Ješom Denegrijem je imao karakter rekapitualcije perioda školovanja i formiranja umetničke poetike. Ješa Denegri se u tom razgovoru postavio kao neko ko mene intervjuiše, manje kao učesnik u dijalogu. To je bitna razlika u odnosu na dijalog sa umetnicima. Sagledavanje jednog perioda i spoznaja šta taj određeni period znači za umetnost samog umetnika je veoma bitan element u razvoju unutrašnje strategije, zato je način komunikacije koji je Denegri uspostavio predstavljao značajno novo iskustvo. Treći u hronološkom nizu dijaloga je razgovor između dva umetnika različitih generacija, Ilije Šoškića rođenog 1935. godine i mene rođenog 1970. godine. Razgovor je vođen 22. jula 2009. godine povodom zajedničke izložbe pod naslovom “Ruka umjetnika – Crna ruka / Ruka ubice” u galeriji Arte u Beogradu. Taj razgovor je za ovaj kontekst bitan zbog toga što ilustruje nameru uspostavljanja kontinuiteta mišljenja između dve različite generacije. Kontinuitet, ili bar osećaj logike i kontinuiteta je činjenica koja doprinosi da se izbegne već pomenuta konfuzija u procesu mišljenja. Kontinuitet je u ovom slučaju i pitanje toka, poetskih i vrednosnih međugeneracijskih veza! Selman: Kada sam razmišljao o čemu da razgovaramo, ili šta bih ja mogao da kažem vezano za “moju ruku”, setio sam se tvog iskaza da su te naše ruke aksiomi. To je jedna strana priče, a drugo šta sam želeo da naš razgovor obavezno sadrži jeste proces mišljenja koji je predhodio tome - vreme, mesto, zašto, kako… to su stvari za koje mislim da su bitne zbog vremenskog povezivanja umetnosti dve generacije i istorijske osovine koju mi pokušavamo da uspostavimo ovim našim diskursom u ovoj izložbi i zajedničkim razmišljanjem o te dve ruke! Ti si rekao aksiomi, šta si mislio kada si to rekao? Ilija: Kada sam radio na prvoj fazi, na koncipiranju rada onda sam morao da potražim nekoliko referentnih tačaka. Čak sam se obratio i nekim mitološkim tekstovima koji govore o ruci kao produženom duhu. U razgovoru sa Mariom Diakonom saznao sam da je on imao neka iskustva sa američkim Hopi Indijancima koji imaju jedan ritual sa rukom gde je ruka veza sa onostranim, metafizičkim.

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UMETNIČKA STRATEGIJA To me je navelo da ruku transformišem u ruku kandžu. Na prstima te ruke bili su vezane dugačke bagremove bodlje, a ruka je bila obojena u zeleno i izlazila je iz zida. To je proizašlo iz pritiska koji je postojao krajem 70-ih kada je ideologija avangarde prerastala u anahronizam. Pojavila se reciklaža slike, a ja sam na to odgovorio tom rukom kandžom koja je bila uzidana u zid i koja je bila usmerena na ostala tri zida. Taj iskaz je značio - stavljajte vi samo vaše slike, ali ćete naići na ruku kandžu jednog drugačijeg umetničkog mišljenja. Tako je došla prva varijanta te ruke kandže, kopija leve ruke! Selman: Zašto leve? Ilija: Levu sam uzeo zato što je kod mene leva ruka više vezana za art nego desna! Selman: Znaš li da je Ruka ubice – Crna ruka takođe leva ruka?! Ilija: Vidiš, to je sada ispalo kao slučajno ali... Desna ruka je ruka praktičara, razumeš, a leva nije, ona ima jednu metafizičku dimenziju. Bar moja, ja se ne snalazim sa levom rukom, ja ne znam da uradim ništa praktično sa njom jer nemam sposobnosti u levoj ruci. Ja nju čuvam! Rukuješ se desnom rukom, sve radiš desnom rukom, a ova druga je za umetnost. Posle toga je došla druga verzija tog rada, dve godine kasnije, 1982. u Salonu muzeja savremene umetnosti, ovde u Beogradu, kada sam radio jedan performans u kome sam prezentovao tri ruke. Dve, plus jedna! Tu je bila kopija ove leve ruke. Selman: Kada si izložio tu prvu ruku? Ilija: To je bilo osamdesete! Tačno osamdesete! U Rimu u galeriji Mario Diakono u vreme kada se rimska scena lomila! Mario Diakono, osim toga što je galerista, on je i teoretičar, profesor na univerzitetima u Čikagu i Njujorku. Intelektualac par exellance! A, ruka ima potrebu da se pojavljuje i dalje u nekim okolnostima! Kontekst je neka muka, ruka je rođena u nekoj muci, razumeš. Taj period je za mene bio velika muka. Ja sam to doživljavao tragično! Zato sam i reagovao na taj način. Bilo je stvarno dramatično videti ruku, zelenu kao žaba da izlazi iz zida sa tim dugačkim bodljama! Nokti su

Ilija Šoškić i Selman Trtovac, galerija Arte, Beograd, 2009. godina 34


Selman Trtovac bili ofarbani u crno, a bodlje su bile vezane selotejpom. Ta ruka je stvarala veliku tenziju unutar galerije. Ko je god ušao imao je osećaj... Prenosila je muku na druge! Selman: Na ovom mestu bih se nadovezao. Kada je nastajala ideja o mojoj ruci nisam ni znao da tvoja ruka postoji, ali i da sam znao bilo bi isto! Isto bi se desilo. Moja ruka je nastala 1996. godine i ona je, takođe, posledica razmišljanja o vremenu i o tome kako sam ja doživljavao vreme devedesetih i ne samo ja, nego i svi ljudi na ovom prostoru. To se ispostavilo kao najcrnje, najdramatičnije, najgore vreme dvadesetog veka kod nas. Mnogo dugo je sve to trajalo, bila je serija raznih ratova i nisi mogao videti kraja svemu tome. Drugi svetski rat je trajao četiri godine i završio se, a ovo je bila priča bez kraja i još nije kraj svemu tome. Ilija: Još nije kraj! Selman: Ruka ubice, odnosno Crna ruka je nastala u kontekstu jedne izložbe sa temom etničkih korena naše vizuelne kulture ili naše kulture uopšte. Razmišljajući na tu temu, prvo intuitivno, a posle i sasvim jasno, shvatio sam da je istorijski i politički aspekt nasilja element koji mnogo određuje našu kulturu i naš način mišljenja na ovim prostorima, bez obzira o kom narodu govorili. Tada sam mojim prijateljima umetnicima koji su učestvovali na toj izložbi i Rinkeu rekao da želim da napravim tu ruku! Dakle, da nađem ubicu i da uzmem otisak njegove ruke, te da će to biti moj rad! Oni su svi bili zapanjeni tim mojim iskazom, ali su posle toga reagovali pozitivno! Dobio sam zvanično pismo podrške sa kojim sam otišao u diseldorfski zatvor moleći da mi dozvole da uzmem otisak ruke nekog ubice. Nije mi bio bitan identitet. Oni su me, naravno, glatko odbili zbog raznoraznih proceduralnih i zakonskih ograničenja. Nakon toga se ukazala mogućnost da dobijem otisak ruke jedne žene iz venecijanskog zatvora. Tamo je radio jedan moj prijatelj umetnik koji je držao kurs keramike. Zatvorenice su dolazile na njegove kurseve, to im je, na neki način, bila i zatvorska terapija. Jedna od njih je, na osnovu onoga što mi je ispričao taj moj prijatelj, bila jako inteligentna i senzibilna i razumela je na pravi način potrebu da se izlije ta ruka. Dozvolila je da se uzme otisak njene ruke, međutim meni je bila potrebna muška ruka! Uvek sam mislio da ženska ruka daje život, a muška ga uzima! Onda sam dalje tražio i našao sam jednog čoveka ovde, u Beogradu, slučajno. Moglo je to da bude bilo gde, ali, eto, bilo je u Beogradu! Ilija: Taj put od ideje do realizacije je vrlo zanimljiv. Ta priča, apsolutno mora biti kazana. Sama ruka jedanput izlivena, realizovana, ona je konkluzija! Zaključak te dramaturgije! Selman: Zanimljiv je i taj deo priče kako sam našao tog čoveka. Najpre sam pitao jednog drugara da li zna nekog ubicu koji bi bio voljan da mi dozvoli da uzmem otisak njegove ruke. Znao sam da taj drugar ima neke veze sa sigurnosnim strukturama, da se kretao po ratištima itd... Rekoh sebi - možda zna nekog ko je nekog nekad ubio iz bilo kog razloga! On mi je tada odogovorio da zna jednog čoveka i da mora da ga pita. Rekao sam mu dalje da mi uopšte nije bitno ko je to, zašto je taj neko nekog ubio, kako, da li je kriv ili nije, da li je samoodbrana, da li je zločin. Ništa od toga me ne zanima! Mene samo zanima da je ubio! On je ponovio da zna jednoga i da će ga pitati! Pitao me zašto mi to treba, a ja sam odgovorio za umetnički rad i objasnio mu moju ideju i to kako sam sve tražio i šta sam radio. Dogovorili smo se da se čujemo za dva tri dana. Kada sam ga po dogovoru nazvao, on mi je odgovorio da ga je

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UMETNIČKA STRATEGIJA pitao i da je taj pristao! Dogovorili smo se da se nađemo jedne subote u mom atelju. Tog dana dolazi taj moj drugar sam, nema nikog sa njim. Ja, sav razočaran, pitam njega: “Pa, gde ti je taj čovek?”, a on mi odgovara: “Ja sam taj!”. “Ja sam taj”, kaže! Meni je u tom trenutku bilo jako neprijatno, kao da sam ga razotkrio, nekako! On mi je odgovorio samo da ne želi da mi objašnjava, ali da je imao svoje jake razloge i da to nije bio neki zločin i zato je pristao da mi dozvoli da uzmem otisak! Stavio je nakon toga svoju levu ruku u gumu i tako je nastao otisak! Posle sam orginal odlio u gvožđu, u punom materijalu, patinirao sam ruku u crno i tako je nastala Crna ruka! Prvo sam je bio izložio u Dizeldorfu, onda u Rimu, u galeriji Stefania Mišeti, pa na Vršačkom bijenalu mladih i na kraju u Muzeju savremene umetnosti u Beogradu i sada evo sa tobom, u novom kontekstu. Ljudi su na taj rad uvek reagovali sa strahom. Kad god se ljudi suoče sa tom rukom, ja vidim kod njih strah! Nije im svejedno! Da se vratimo na onaj drugi deo, na vezu između naša dva rada? Različita su vremena nastajanja, različiti su misaoni procesi iza toga, različito je značenje, ali ipak imaju vezu. To pitanje veze između moje i tvoje ruke, između moje i tvoje generacije je ono ključno što bi mi sada trebalo da raspravimo!? Ilija: Pa, da! Te dve ruke jesu nastale u dva vremena kao aksiomi! Moj aksiom, on se vezuje za prelaz između sedamdesetih i osamdesetih godina kada se prelamala scena i kada su postojale dve paralelne situacije! Postojao je terorizam, označen u pojmu olovne godine, i u umetnosti je imao materijalizaciju u konceptualnoj umetnosti i u avangardi tadašnjoj! Takozvana druga avangarda! Ja sam tada imao drugačije mišljenje u smislu reagovanja jezikom arta! Tako mi je došla ta ideja, taj jedan aksiom koji je lansiran u tom momentu. Ovo kod tebe je drugo vreme, ali isto ti imaš rat, imaš drugo vreme olovnih godina, sve to je povezano, je li?! Konačno sve to što se desilo, raspad Jugoslavije, itd., sve se to osećalo ranije. To smo mi umetnici, pošto mi imamo tu sposobnost da anticipiramo budućnost, već mnogo ranije osećali. Onda reaguješ, a drugi se čude šta ti to radiš! Posle im dođe! Kasnije tek! Selman: Reci mi, molim te, ja imam svoje tumačenje, ali reci mi ti zašto si pristao da izložimo te naše radove zajedno? Šta te je vodilo? Ilija: Zašto sam pristao i to drage volje? Zato što verujem u kontinuitet umetnosti i zato što pripadamo generacijama koje pokrivaju četrdeset godina. Posle moje generacije bila je pauza dok se nije pojavila tvoja generacija i tu se nadovezuje naša pozicija. Osamdesete su predstavljale neku drugu poziciju! Sa tvojom generacijom koja je bila u Dizeldorfu se nastavlja stvar! Zato sam se ja 1994. godine i pojavio u Dizeldorfu. Tamo smo se i prvi put sreli na Akademiji u Dizeldorfu! Video sam te velike muke vaše generacije. Video sam da postoji sukcesivnost. Sada treba tražiti određena mesta gde se nalaze određeni ljudi koji misle na određen način. Nije to više onaj masovni pokret što je bila karakteristika moje generacije! Sve to sam video kao jako važno! Da se to desilo i da imamo dva rada koji su u kontinuitetu! Od moje ruke do tvoje je prošlo dvadesetak godina, teških godina. Sada je to jako važno kada smo prošli dvehiljaditu i kada je sve jasno, odnosno nije baš sve, ali je jasno mnogo toga. Jasne su metode, jasni su anahronizmi, šta je to reciklaža... Mi nismo anahronisti, mi smo u kontinuitetu! Selman: To je suština! Zato nam je potreban naš dijalog!

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Selman Trtovac Ilija: Ako se vraćaš nazad, to znači smrt! Selman: Želeo sam da ti kažem zašto je meni bitno da izlažemo zajedno i baš ta dva rada! Moram da počnem od šireg da bih došao na ono što želim da kažem. Mislim da je generacija ljudi koji su devedestih godina bili mladi umetnici, moja generacija, dakle, koja je tada počela da stvara svoju umetničku poziciju, da stvara jedan generacijski duh, istorijski oštećena. Ne želim na ovom mestu da pričam žalopojke, ali je istina da smo oštećeni! Neki nas zovu izgubljena generacija. Ja na to ne pristajem, ni kao čovek, ni kao umetnik. Ne pristajem na taj fatalizam niti da je to završena stvar, nego mislim da mi moramo da učinimo ono najbolje što je u našoj moći i da pokušamo da rehabilitujemo ili da revitalizujemo našu generaciju i našu umetničku poziciju, naše mišljenje u vremenskom toku! To je ono što je meni kao umetniku, između ostalog, jako bitno. Mnogi su ljudi otišli tada, iz naše bivše Jugoslavije, iz Srbije, iz Beograda. Nekoliko destina hiljada ljudi otišlo je u Kanadu, u Ameriku, u zapadnoevropske zemlje... To je bilo opšte mesto, jedna tragedija! Neki su se vratili, neki nisu. Imam utisak da većina nije! To je velika posledica tog tragičnog i dramatičnog vremena. Umetnost koja je nastala devedesetih nije, po mom mišljenju, pravilno iščitana, već je istorija tog vremena, nekako, improvizana. Mi, pripadnici te generacije, moramo da se suočimo sa tim koji je kontinuitet u tom vremenu bio. Ko smo mi? Odakle naša umetnost proizilazi? Odakle naš umetnički jezik, naš senzibilitet, naš motiv i povod da pravimo umetnički rad? Kad sam kao pojedinac razmišljao o tome ustanovio sam da smo mi, a i ja konkretno, učili, ugledali se na tvoju generaciju! Rinke je tvoja generacija, Kunelis takođe, Rihter takođe i još mnogi drugi koji su predavali na Akademiji u Dizeldorfu... To su ljudi, dakle, koji su krajem šezdesetih i sedamdesetih godina bili u naponu svoje umetničke snage. Dakle imamo tu vezu u smislu kontinuiteta, mi smo učili od vas! Mi imamo i pre svega nešto naše svojstveno, otišli smo dalje, imamo svoj deo vezan za naše vreme! To je dodatna stvar! Moj pokušaj da doprinesem uspostavljanju kontinuiteta jeste u tome što sam te pitao da predstavimo naše radove, jo jednom, u istom kontekstu, i da se na taj način, sam po sebi, označi vizuelni kontinuitet u smislu jezika, na primeru jednog rada. Mi, primarno prezentujemo naš rad! Naš rad, naravno, treba sam da kaže kakva veza postoji! Konkretno u umetničkom jeziku, u duhovnom odnosu i u smislu umetničkog mišljenja. Elemente poslednje utopije koja je bila vezana za tvoju generaciju, povoljne globalne okolnosti koje su postojale, ideje koje ste vi kao generacija imali, mi sada tražimo! Mi tražimo viziju moguće utopije koja bi dala smisao našem umetničkom stvaranju. Ono za čim mi prvo posežemo jesu elementi nekog vremena koje je prošlo. Ne možeš da praviš umetnost danas, a da nemaš svest o onom što je bilo pre tebe. Po prirodi stvari mi prvo prepoznajemo ono što je nama blisko, elemente umetničkog mišljenja generacije kojoj i ti pripadaš! To je veza između naše dve ruke iz mog ugla gledanja! Da rezimiram - najpre, vremena u kome su nastale tvoja i moja ruka su različita, ali imaju mnogo sličnosti, drugo vizija o revitalizaciji umetničkog mišljenja i rehabilitacija vrednosti jedne čitave generacije i uspostavljanje njenog umetničkog smisla i kontinuiteta, treće umetnički jezik i način artikulacije. U pitanju su dve, konkretne dve ruke, to je ono kako ja vidim tu našu vezu! Ilija: Da, da! Mi smo prije spominjali aksiom, znači znak. Može tačno da se dovede u vezu sa matematičkim aksiomom. To su dva aksioma koji reprezentuju dva vremena. Između toga smo imali najmanje deset godina praznine, to su osamdesete godine! Za mene je to bila praznina, vi još niste bili stigli.

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UMETNIČKA STRATEGIJA Tvoja generacija dolazi tek devedesetih godina. Imao si sreću da si preskočio taj period anahronizma! Akutnog i agresivnog anahronizma! Ja sam sa tim vremenom morao da se sukobim. Mi smo se tek 1994. godine sreli, kako smo već pomenuli, u Dizeldorfu. Ja sam tada tamo došao jednim krivudavim putem kroz Jugoslaviju. Zatekao me rat, bio sam kao zarobljen embargom u ratnoj zoni! Sticajem raznih okolnosti došao je poziv iz Dizeldorfa, ne znam više ni kako, nekako je stigao, i ja sam ne znam kako, ali sam stigao tamo. Selman: Zanimljivo je da se ta izložba na koju si ti stigao zvala “Mi volimo i umetnost drugih”! Ilija: Da! Sada su to zanimljive stvari koje su se dogodile. Mi znamo da umetnost ima magiju. Ovo je i malo više, skoro da se može smatrati nekim parasnagama. Može se reći da ta naša dva znaka reprezentuju jednu snagu koja proizilazi iz turbulencija tog vremena. Sa umetnošću nema šale, ne možeš biti nepošten! Moraš biti pošten! Tu su u igri energije koje su planetarne! Ja sam tada u Dizeldorf došao kao kući. Svi ti umetnici od Bojsa, pa do Rinkea, oni su dolazili u Rim, u geleriju u kojoj sam i ja radio! Imali smo neprestane komunikacije! I Rinke i ja smo bili motociklisti, radili smo iste stvari... Našli smo se tada na tom mestu kao ljudi koji su preživeli brodolom. Tu sam se ja sreo sa vašom generacijom. To je dramaturgija te čitave stvari, dramaturgija ta dva rada! Interesantno je da ti radovi kao forma imaju magiju, odnosno auru rada kome se kroz vreme menja i čitanje. Čitanje, razumevanje se menja od vremena do vremena, tako i kod ova dva naša rada. Njima se pojačava ta aura! Eto, to bi bilo otprilike kako ja vidim smisao ta dva rada u ovom momentu, kada se priprema izložba, u Beogradu, u jednoj privatnoj galeriji. Ti radovi izlaze još jednom u javnost! Selman: Da, ali u jednom novom odnosu! Ilija: Imam utisak da je aura sada još jača, da su motivi, razlozi jači. Kao da ovo vreme, naprosto, ima još veću potrebu za takvim znakovima nego prethodna vremena. To mi je jedan osećaj! I ne samo osećaj, već vidim da oko ta dva rada, koji su srodni, postoje određena uzbuđenja. Mi smo, sa druge strane, dosta mirni jer smo u logici iz koje proizilazi kredibilitet. Možda za one koji gledaju sa strane, koji su poluverzirani, koji imaju neka znanja o istoriji savremene umetnosti, ali ne dovoljna, ne duboka, može da se desi da te radove ne dožive dobro jer neće razumetni stvar. Selman: Zato je ovaj razgovor jako bitan! Još jedna stvar je bitna da ostane zabeležena, a to je da nije slučajno da si ti na ovoj izložbi kao simbol tvoje generacije, a ja moje generacije. Mi u ovom slučaju, usuđujem se reći, nekako nismo samo umetnici pojedinci nego simbolišemo i generacijske veze! Ilija: Dabome, zato što smo mi napravili ove radove i zato ih spominjemo jer su oni aksiom, koncentrisani znakovi koji jako reprezentuju nešto! I drugi to osećaju, ali su ova dva rada sad izbili, zato što je momenat takav, zato što postoji potreba za jakim rukopisom! Postoji potreba, ali ja ne kažem da se išta dešava. Ne dešava se ništa. Postoji strah, ironija, cinizam itd. Kad god postoji cinizam kao dominantna situacija postoji i potreba da se iz toga izađe. Postoji potreba za jakim stvarima. Kad god ne postoje jake forme pojave se morbidne forme koje ne znače ništa sem pukog preživljavanja. Selman: Još želim da dodam još jedan razlog da smo mi sada zajedno na ovoj izložbi i kako je do toga došlo. Postoji predistorija. Ti si rekao da si u Dizeldorf došao jednim krivudavim putem, te deve38


Selman Trtovac desetčetvrte i to kako sam već rekao na izložbu “Mi volimo i i umetnost drugih”. Ja sam tada, za tu priliku i povodom teme te izložbe, bio izabrao Kunelisa, tvog savremenika. On je napravio jedan rad, specijalno za tu priliku, ali ne želim na ovom mestu još jedanput da govorim o tome, nego je bitno radi rekapitulacije reći da je to bio tvoj i moj prvi susret. Viđali smo se nekoliko puta u međuvremenu, ali drugi konkretni susret je bio tvoje učestvovanje na izložbi Omnibus kada si pisao i jedan kratak tekst pod naslovom Garbage can, jedan jako značajan tekst, koji je bio u katalogu, a bio je vezan za nekoliko umetnika iz te dizeldorfske škole. Mi smo tebe tada, svi zajedno, izabrali da budeš na toj izložbi, što je značilo da smo želeli da definišemo našu jasnu poziciju u smislu kontinuiteta. Treća veza je majstorska radionica na festivalu “Raskršće” u Valjevu na kojoj smo obojica učestvovali, ti si vodio tu radionicu, ja sam ti, između ostalih, pomagao u tome. I sada, evo nas, četvrti put u galeriji Arte! Ilija: Mi odavno, ne znam više od kada mi pričamo o tome kako bi te ruke trebalo izložiti. To nije od juče, mislim! Selman: To je mnogo davno bilo, pokušavam da se setim. Mislim da smo to prvi put pomenuli kada sam ja bio 1999. godine kod tebe u Rimu. Ja sam ti tada pričao o mom radu i pomenuo ti Crnu ruku, a ti si mi rekao kako i ti imaš jednu ruku koju si napravio osamdesete godine. Da li se sećaš toga? Ilija: Da! Selman: Onda je neko od nas rekao, ne znam više ko da bi te ruke trebalo da izložimo u jednom kotekstu, na jednoj izložbi zajedno. To je bila prva ideja! Ilija: Deset godina se o tome razmišljalo! Nije to malo! Selman: To je bilo za vreme bombardovanja! Baš za vreme bombardovanja! Ilija: E, pa da! To je jedan poseban momenat kada se događa teško nasilje. Jedna civilizacijska kriza. Totalna, do kraja! E, onda je ruka ubice stajala perfektno! A i moja ruka kandža takođe! Trebalo je deset godina da se ta ideja realizuje. Zašto? Zato što nismo imali sa kim to da napravimo. Da bi se napravila jedna izložba mora da postoji jedna galerija, jedan prostor, jedan čovek koji to vodi i koji razume i tim ljudi koji tu radi. Nije bilo tih predispozicija jer bismo mi to već napravili. Selman: Postoji takođe i volja, a čim to postoji to će se i desiti, da ta izložba ne bude samo u galeriji Arte već da ta izložba bude na raznim mestima, da ona krene da putuje, da ona bude svima vidljiva! Od Slovenije do Makedonije i dalje da izađe u evropski prostor. U tom slučaju bi taj naš umetnički iskaz dobio pravi intenzitet! Ja mislim da će to morati da se desi i da će izložba morati da putuje. Ilija: To bi bio dobar znak. Ako bi joj se otvorio put, to bi značilo da ima nade, jer ta dva znaka koji na kraju čine jedan aksiom pošto se pojavljuju u paru! To bi značilo da je taj aksiom čitan kako treba. To, takođe znači da taj aksiom reprezentuje nešto i da se to potvrđuje! Umetnost može nešto što ne može obična ljudska aktivnost. Ja se naprosto nadam da to može da bude podstrek da se pokrenu još mlađe generacije. Na primer, umetnici ove generacije sa kojima smo držali ovu radionicu u Valjevu! Izgleda da jeste tako, barem sam ja imao takav utisak! Video sam, na primer, da oni mene ne odbacuju kao staru generaciju, kao nešto što nema dodira sa realnošću, naprotiv oni su se vezali, slušali očima i

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UMETNIČKA STRATEGIJA ušima. Vodio se dijalog! Bila je maksimalna komunikacija! Ja govorim uvek ono što mislim i njima sam govorio ono što mislim bez ikakvih modifikacija, kalkulacija ili pedagoških korerkcija. Govorio sam neposredno, eksplicitno, jasno... Odgovor je bio odličan! Nadam se da će ova dva naša rada imati prijem kod te generacije jer je to buduća beogradska scena. Nadam se da će im to nešto značiti, da će im ostati. Dobro bi bilo da ta mlada generacija razmišlja, da napregne mozak i da traži snažnu formu i jak izraz! Da izađu iz akademizma, da izađu iz konvencija, iz svega toga. Tako jedino mogu da budu nova scena i da se prepoznaju kao nova generacija. Selman: Time bismo mogli da završimo ovaj razgovor. Mislim da smo sve bitne stvari pomenuli i da je ovaj dodatak korak dalje. Ideja da te nove generacije uspostave dalji kontinuitet. Uostalom to što nas dvojica radimo, to i služi tome. Želimo da se uspostavi logična osovina. Ti si rekao jednom jednu misao koju duboko razumem i sa kojom se potpuno slažem, da mi pravimo jedan logos iz kog proizilazi kredibilitet! Ilija: To je logično, ako se nekud ide! Ako ostane ovakva situacija kakva jeste onda se nikuda ne ide, onda se ne dešava ništa. To je, onda, katastrofa! Ne bi bilo vizije, niti horizonta. Sada ćemo da vidimo šta će se desiti. Očekujem jednu pozitivnu tenziju, da ta izložba izazove jedno stanje koje nije svakodnevno. Kao neki udarac od koga postaneš drugačiji! Poslednji u nizu radova koji su nastali kao posledica interakcije sa drugim umetnicima je rad Treći čovek. U pitanju je zajednički umetnički rad dva umetnika, Selmana Trtovca i Ranka Đankovića. Rad ima tri elementa: skulpturu, tekst i video projekciju. Treći čovek je realni otisak, realna fizionomija tela oba umetnika odlivena u poliesteru. Odlivci polovine jednog i polovine drugog tela, po vertikalnoj osi, čine telo trećeg čoveka. Svi elementi skulpture su „našrafljeni“ na metalnu konstrukciju tako da cela skulptura ima karakter arheološke iskopine. Po unutrašnjoj površini skulpture su ispisani pojmovi, sećanja svakog od umetnika od najranije mladosti

Fotografija Stjepana Filipovića, snimak pogubljenja u Valjevu, 1942. godina 40

Treći čovek, Selman Trtovac i Ranko Đanković, FLU, 2011. godina


Selman Trtovac do trenutka nastajanja skulpture. Video nadzor, kamera, pozicionirana u zoni glave, nadgleda unutrašnji prostor skulpture, prenosi video signal do projektora, koji tu sliku projektuje na zid. Projekcija unutrašnjosti skulpture je slika. Povod za početak razmišljanja o zajedničkom radu ova dva autora je bila fotografija Stjepana Filipovića. Na fotografiji snimljenoj neposredno pred pogubljenje Filipovića u Valjevu 1942. godine, može se videti kako se ovaj čovek herojski suočava sa smrću. Može se videti njegova pobeda nad strahom i spremnost da umre za ideju u koju je verovao i za koju se borio. Ova fotografija je ostavila veoma jak utisak na oba umetnika. Oni su bili potreseni i, u prenesenom smislu reči, pomereni tim prizorom. To je bila „inicijalna kapisla“ za razmišljanje, za mnoge debate, razgovore i planove. Sam rad, koji je na kraju materijalizovan u formi skulpture, udaljio se od početnog predloška toliko daleko da je fotografija ostala samo daleki odjek prvobitnog prizora. Jedina sličnost sa fotografijom, u formalnom smislu, jeste položaj figure koja stoji uzdignutih ruku i stisnutih pesnica. Ideološki predznak fotografije nije bio bitan za sam proces umetničkog mišljenja, niti je u fokusu pitanje interpretacije istorije, niti veličanje neke ideologije, ni pitanje herojstva, već se umetničko mišljenje prouzrokovano fotografijom odnosi na vrednosni sistem, kolektivno sećanje, pitanje vizije, ideje, na pitanja straha i smrti. U procesu rada oba, inače veoma različita, autora najpre su se suočila sa problemom definisanja, a potom i artikulacije zajedničkog likovnog jezika u praksi. S tim u vezi skulptura je morala da ispuni nekoliko uslova, morala je biti „jednostavna“ na prvi pogled, morala je biti harmonična i logična. Da bi se do toga došlo autori su prvo tražili sličnosti i zajedniče elemente u pojedinačnim umetničkim pozicijama. Ti elementi su okosnica vizuelnog identiteta skulpture. Idejni deo, unutrašnji prostor je za autore predstavljao pitanje uključivanja “trećeg”. Može se čak reći da je pitanje „trećeg“ u procesu artikulacije ovog umetničkog rada bio ključan princip. Lična memorija svakog od autora je ispisana kao pojmovnik sećanja predstavnika dve generacije. Sećanja su lična, ali su pojmovi univerzalni. Svako može imati takva sećanja. Skoro da se može reći da je u pitanju isečak kolektivnog sećanja! Ovaj rad je za mene predstavljao veliki izazov jer je prevazilazio iskustvo samostalnog umetničkog rada, pa i dijalektički princip u odnosu sa drugim umetnikom i postao je na neki način eksperimentalno polje timskog rada, kolektivnog autorstva u kontekstu skulpture. U ovom poglavlju sam se na jedan možda nekonvecionalan način suočio sa pitanjima formiranja unutrašnje strategije. U dijalozima koje sam kroz duži period vremena vodio sa umetnicima i jednim teoretičarem izložio sam mnoge elemente umetničke biografije koji su bitni za razumevanje geneze moje umetničke pozicije. Pored toga sam pokušao da se suočim sa najvećim pitanjima koje jedan umetnik može sebi i drugima da postavi, sa pitanjima smisla i logike umetničkog stvaranja i mogućeg likovnog jezika danas. Jasan odgovor na ta pitanja nisam našao, ali sam pokušao da razradim plan, ličnu unutrašnju strategiju koja može biti od koristi u toj potrazi.

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STRATEGIJA UMETNIČKOG PONAŠANJA (spoljašnja strategija)

Drugi element umetničke strategije sam definisao kao spoljašnja strategija. Tu se radi o umetničkom ponašanju, o individualnom stavu, promišljanju o politici, pravu, religiji, filozofiji, istoriji, sociologiji, psihologiji, međuljudskim odnosima, ekonomiji, menadžmentu u umetnosti, marketingu, galerijama, trgovini umetničkim radovima, organizaciji, procenama tržišta, ceni umetničkog rada na tržištu, taktici, tajmingu itd, dakle, sve ono što je bitno umetniku pojedincu i njegovom funkcionisanju u sistemu umetnosti i društvu uopšte. Sa druge strane, umetničko ponašanje, kao deo spoljašnje umetničke strategije, podrazumeva doprinos umetnika zajednici u kojoj njegova umetnost nastaje, društvu i čovečanstvu uopšte sa svešću o duhu vremena u kome umetnik kao pojedinac deluje. Postavlja se pitanje šta jedan umetnik može, odnosno šta bi morao da radi! Šta pojedinac radi za druge! To je ono što Bojs shvata kao socijalnu plastiku. Spoljašnja strategija bi danas morala da sadrži ideju o grupisanju, umrežavanju, stvaranju novih struktura na umetničkoj sceni, jednog novog prostora u umetnosti, odnosno u kulturi uopšte. Taj deo razmišljana o strategiji ponašanja odnosi se na pitanje kako da umetnik osvoji jedan novi prostor, gde se taj prostor nalazi i koje su perspektive tog prostora! Pitanje perspektivne utopije. Plansko razvijanje grupnih umetničkih aktivnosti i novih umetničkih struktura jedna je od metoda koja bi mogla da dovede do stvaranja ambijenta gde je moguće preispitati dominantne umetničke, odnosno kulturno-politčke establišmente. Umetničko grupisanje i stvaranje nove strukture može da stvori slobodan prostor u kome se pojavljuju novi umetnički impulsi koji odražavaju duh vremena i predstavljaju time jedan fenomen mnogo jači od neke pojedinačne umetničke pozicije. Takva grupna aktivnost omogućava svakoj od pojedinačnih umetničkih poetika veću vidljivost i ne ugrožava pojedinca, već naprotiv ,mnogostruko ga osnažuje. Tako osmišljene grupne aktivnosti su usmerene ka stvaranju novih ili promeni postojećih kultunih struktura ili stvaranju nove ili promeni postojeće svesti o.

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MENTALNI PROSTOR UMETNIČKOG RADA

Razmišljajući o metodama, praksama i misaonim procesima u sopstvenom radu došao sam do zaključka da postoji nekoliko različitih pristupa u zavisnosti od medija koji sam izabrao za artikulaciju nekog određenog umetničkog iskaza Umetnost crtanja je moj primarni oblik izražavanja, prvi impuls u razvoju neke forme ili akcije. Kada govorim o crtanje, ja pod crtanjem podrazumevam univerzalni princip vizuelnog komponovanja u kome učestvuje čitavo čovečanstvo. Kada raspoređujemo nameštaj u kući, ili uređujemo baštu, ili šišamo živu ogradu, mi već učestvujemo u procesu crtanja. Homo Sapiens postoji na planeti oko 150.000 godina. Prvi tragovi crtanja su iz pećina Altamire i Laskoa i stari su oko 40.000 godina. Čovek nije crtao, ili još niko nije našao dokaz koji to opovrgava, bar 110.000 godina. Tek nakon što su se ljudi kao vrsta uključili u proces crtanja, počela je evolucija, razvoj i napredak. Na osnovu tih saznanja može se zaključiti da je umetnost crtanja i evolucioni princip. Prvi crteži nisu bili mimetički, već su nastali u dubokom transu, u specijalnom stanju svesti, odnosno predstavljali su unutrašnju sliku, sliku sveta, viđenje sveta. Ti crteži su zaista bili neposredna slika duhovnog sveta, putovanje u onostrano, susret sa duhovima predaka i susret sa božanskim bićima. Crtanje je za te ljude, koji iz našeg ugla gledanja predstavljaju detinjstvo čovečanstva, značilo mogućnost da se suoče sa misterijom smrti, sa putovanjem nakon života u neki drugi zagrobni život. Spoznaja da su ti prvi crteži bili prikazi duhovnog sveta je dramatično uticala i na moj pristup umetnosti crtanja. Crtanje za mene predstavlja mogućnost da uđem u naročito, rekao bih povišeno, stanje svesti. Primer za takav pristup je izložba State of Mind, održana u galeriji ULUS u leto 2010. godine (slike 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 21, 26, 27). U takvim situacijama mobilišu se svi resursi svesti: intuicija, osećaj za komponovanje, za ritam, logička inteligencija, san, iskustvo, čula i elementi arhetipskog, što znači kolektivno sećanje, iskustvo ljudi koji su živeli pre mene, njihovi strahovi, nade, stremljenja, emocije, običaji, navike, vizije, verovanja, magija, sećanja itd. Veoma prosta sredstva kao što su olovka i papir, bez tehnološke nadgradnje svojstvene današnjem likovnom jeziku, prisiljavaju me da se usredsredim na ono što je zaista bitno u umetnosti. Crtež ne trpi mistifikovanje, niti varku, znanje tu veoma malo znači, jer znanje se može naučiti ili dalje proslediti, ali istina ne. Ona se mora spoznati! Umetnost crtanja je jedna od najstarijih procedura da se do istine dođe. Uzmimo na primer jedan najobičniji magnet, koji vidimo kao prostu geometrijsku formu i stavimo ga ispod papira, kako smo svojevremeno radili u školi na času fizike. Ako preko papira prospemo metalni prah, videćemo kako prah formira određene linije i prati magnetne sile koje potiču iz magneta. U pitanju je jedna nevidljiva sila, nevidljiva forma. Umetnost crtanja se može poistovetiti sa posipanjem

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UMETNIČKA STRATEGIJA metalnog praha, u prenesenom smislu reči. Na taj način se prikazuje realnost kakva zaista jeste, a ne kako ona prividno izgleda. Forma crteža nastaje prvo unutar ideje koja je posledica sila koje oko nas stalno deluju. Ono što me zanima u toku razvijanja neke likovne forme jeste koje su to sile u mojoj okolini koje konstantno deluju na mene kao pojedinca, na grupu ljudi oko mene, na nas kao društvo i na kraju na nas kao vrstu koja živi na ovoj planeti. Osim tih elemenata u procesu crtanja, odnosno same artikulacije crteža, važnu ulogu ima i ono što sam naučio tokom školovanja na FLU u Beogradu. Praktično vežbanje, gledanje, kopiranje, znanje o likovnim elementima, o otkrićima vezanim za percepciju itd. Praktičan rad i vežba u vreme studiranja su “usadili“ posebnu memoriju u ruku. To je ona vrsta memorije koja se ne briše, poput plivanja ili vožnje bicikla i sl. Takva memorija postaje nešto što se podrazumeva, što je sastavni deo pojedinca, izvesna praktična sposobnost. Taj element je upravo onaj koji umetnika razlikuje od teoretičara bilo koje vrste. Iz umetnosti crtanja, koja se po prirodi mog pristupa veoma razlikuje od drugih procesa materijalizacije vizuelnog mišljenja u drugim medijima, proističu ostali vidovi suočavanja sa umetnošću. Fotografija je sledeći medijum, koji ima izvesne sličnosti sa crtanjem, jer je stepen planiranja i koncipiranja sažet na veoma kratko vreme odluke “hvatanja“ trenutka realnosti (slike 8, 10, 25, 43 i 45). Fotografije naknadno bivaju elementi brižljivo planiranog konteksta, moglo bi se reći koncepta ili plana. Tu dolazimo do sledeće metode u mom pristupu artikulaciji rada - planiranja i koncipiranja. Ta praksa je posledica iskustva koje sam stekao tokom školovanja na Akademiji umetnosti u Diseldorfu, svesti da živimo u materijalističkom svetu sa tendencijom eksploatacije svega do mere da se i sami kao vrsta suočavamo sa mogućim uništenjem i nestankom. Upravo to iskustvo je razlog za moje pokušaje da razmišljam o stvarima izvan ovog vremena i stanja u kome se civilizacija danas nalazi i razlog za stalnu težnju i razmišljanje o konkretnoj, funkcionalnoj utopiji. Praksa planiranja i koncipiranja, što znači korišćenja predhodno formiranih likovnih elemenata i njihova “ugradnja” u određenu estetsku i značenjsku organizaciju ili kompoziciju, najčešća je metoda kojom se služim prilikom suočavanja sa umetnošću. To se vidi u svim medijima koje sam do sada koristio: u fotografiji, objektima, skulpturama, instalacijama, performansima i video radovima (slike 3, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 27, 28, 29, 32, 42). Određena ideja, obično posledica kompleksne mešavine iskustva, znanja, izvesnih sklonosti ka određenoj vrsti organizovanja i principu reda, je osnova za biranje prikladnog medija za konkretnu formu koju želim da razvijem. Dakle, izuzev kod crtanja, razvoj neke forme je unapred isplaniran i uslovljen karakterom same ideje. Plan nikada nije rigidan i nepromenljiv, on je vrsta vodiča ka krajnjoj formi. Proces rada je, pri tome, veoma bitan element moje umetničke prakse. Tipični primeri takvog planiranja su instalacije, objekti (Crna ruka, slika 33), instalacije (Vatreni cvetovi, slika 30), video radova (Mi volimo i umtnost drugih, slika 47). Video rad nastaje kao posledica neke akcije, performansa ili hepeninga i zato se može reći da je u pitanju kolateralni proizvod. Uprkos tome, video zapis nije manje bitan od samog umetničkog rada, već on predstavlja mogućnost da određeni događaj postane vidljiv kroz duži vremenski period. Pri tome video nije samo puki dokument, već je posebna likovna forma. 44


Selman Trtovac Performans za mene predstavlja najkompleksniji oblik likovnog oblikovanja. Pored svih svojstava i likovnih elemenata koje sadrže drugi mediji koje sam pomenuo, performans ima i dodatne elemente kao što su vreme, scena, odeća, pokret, čin, tok itd. Moje shvatanje performansa u likovnoj umetnosti se bitno razlikuje od pozorišnog performansa, iako obe forme imaju puno sličnosti. U likovnom performansu čin koji se izvodi ne oponaša realnost već je neposredno stvara. Primer za to je rad Void (slika 25), linija na čelu nije iscrtana crvenom olovkom već je urezana oštricom itd. U pitanju je brutalan primer koji ilustruje karakter performansa. U video radu Ja volim i umetnost drugih / Vertikala nema montaže, niti je sam čin povlačenja linija manipulisan na bilo koji drugi način. Performans, a posledično i video su tragovi realnosti, odnosno istiniti tragovi procesa oblikovanja u vizuelnoj umetnosti, a samim tim i ilustracija metode kojom se služim u traganju za umetničkom istinom. Shodno tome, nameće se pitanje kako stvoriti jednu spoljašnju strukturu, mikroutopiju, koja bi omogućila mogućnost percepcije umetnosti na nov način. To je veoma važan zadatak za umetnika danas jer je umetnost ne samo estetska i etička, nego i politička kategorija par excellance! Filozof Alan Badiju dao je, i za ovaj aspekt mog razmišljanja, mogući konceptualni okvir za razumevanje strategija politizacije savremene umetnosti: “... umetnost današnjice više ne barata idejom globalnog političkog projekta već deluje unutar polja mikropolitika. Drugim rečima, umetnost jeste praksa definisanja autonomnih utopijskih prostora i kritika aktuelnih društvenih stvarnosti; umetnički projekat je događaj unutar prostora umrežavanja savremenosti”. U ovom se tekstu ne daje nikakav unapred podoban ili neprikosnoveni recept za novu umetnost. Mislim da takav recept u umetnosti ne postiji i da nikada nije ni postojao. Postoje samo različiti putevi da se do određene projekcije ili vizuelne istine u umetnosti dođe. Filozof Hanes Boringer u jednom svom tekstu kaže: “Videćemo šta će se desiti! Odlazak, prelazak, prolazak ne mogu na duge staze da nađu zadovoljenje u efemernom kao što su putovanja, moda i kultura iventa. Elementi Avangarde su postali mašinski. Oni su se izvitoperili iz pokreta u stajanje. Time je njihova utopijska dimenzija nestala. Oni su postali navike u našem stajanju, poput modernog nameštaja, ili Bidermajera i Baroka. Avangarda je želela da prelazak iz stajanja u pokret integriše kao opipljiv korak unutar principa napretka...”8 Kada se govori o ovom elementu umetničke strategije, spoljašnjoj strategiji, potrebno je, pre svega, analizirati kontekst u kome određeno ponašanje treba da se razvija. Naravno da je u pitanju samo jedno subjektivno gledanje i interpretacija određenih društvenih pojava. U interpretaciji današnje situacije, mislim da je neophodno početi od razmatranja geneze stvari, od uzroka koji su dovodili do određenih fenomena i na kraju razmisliti o današnjoj situaciji u svetu umetnosti i mogućnosti koje iz toga proizilaze. O svemu ovome bi se moglo pisati i razmišljati opširno jer su procesi veoma kompleksni i zahvataju dug vremenski period. U ovom tekstu, ja ću se ograničiti na meni bitne pojave i usredsrediti se na definisanje jedne moguće strategije i na pitanje definisanja praktičnih postupaka u okviru te strategije.

8

Böhringer, Hannes (2004). Harte Bank : Kunst, Philosophie, Architektur, Berlin: Merve.

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UMETNIČKA STRATEGIJA U razgovoru9 sa italijanskim istoričarem umetnosti Brunom Korom (Bruno Cora) iz 1980. godine, Kunelis kaže: „...teoretičari umetnosti, kritičari moraju postati realni, povezani sa genezom nastajanja jednog umetnika i njegovog dela, povezani sa istorijom umetnosti i istorijom društva. To su pretpostavke koje kritičar mora da ispuni da bi se bavio svojim poslom, u suprotnom on to ne bi mogao jer bi pratio samo svoje sopstvene interese.“ Kunelis već 1980. kao i mnogi drugi umetnici tog vremena zapaža patologiju koja se razvija unutar odnosa na umetničkoj sceni kao posledice globalnih političkih promena. Zato on govori o kompleksnoj strategiji sa malo cinizma. Ovaj podatak navodim zato što mislim da je jako bitno ustanoviti u kakvom okruženju umetnik treba da radi, da razmišlja o umetnosti! U tom smislu, ova njegova rečenica predstavlja izuzetno jasnu identifikaciju sitacije koja je i danas aktuelna! Za dalje razmatranje ove teme prikladna je i teza slovenačkog filozofa Slavoja Žižeka. Ta teza je naročito interesantna kada se ima u vidu položaj u kome se umetnik lokalno nalazi. On kaže: “Radikalne sadomazohističke prakse su danas naveliko raširene unutar kulturne sfere savremenog neoliberalizma. One proizilaze iz opscenog zakona nad-ja nastalog usled raspada tradicionalnog autoriteta države, religije, patrijarhalnog poretka (sistema koji zapravo zabranjuje pristup jouissance-u, subjekt stoga sam fantazira okvire simboličkog zakona). Otud i vaskrsnuće različitih oblika totalitarizama kao što je između ostalog i postkomunistički nacionalizam”.10 Da bismo ostvarili mogućnosti obnavljanja izgubljene kategorije totaliteta odnosno izgubljene utopije neophodno je uočiti mehanizme funkcionisanja poznokapitalističkog društva i raspodelu moći. Oslanjajući se na teze Mišela Fukoa, odnosno Žila Deleza, filozofi Hart i Negri su izneli pretpostavku da unutar savremenog kapitalizma ne postoji fiksno mesto moći – moć se, a samim tim i eksploatacija, rasprostire kapilarno. Na taj način, marksistička dijalektika upotrebne i razmenske vrednosti nije više aktuelna, odnosno eksploatacija zauzima čitavo društveno područje! U tom smislu nemački filozof Herbert Markuze je revidirao tradicionalnu definiciju totalitarizma: on za njega ne znači samo nasilnu koordinaciju i upravljanje društvom već i ekonomsko-tehnološku koordinaciju koja deluje kroz proces upravljanja i manipulisanja potrebama. U pitanju su, dakle, lažne potrebe!11 Ideja o totalitetu društva, tj. o društvu kao nepodeljenom jedinstvu jeste ideološko iskrivljenje jer je društvo prožeto antagonizmima (klasnim, rasnim, rodnim, nacionalnim itd.). Ideja bezinteresne umetnosti ima za cilj da “prekrije” ovaj antagonistički karakter istorijske i društvene stvarnosti koji je u funkciji samoodržanja establišmenta. Zbog toga je umetnost pogodna za različite oblike ideoloških investicija – ona je sredstvo društvene dominacije u polju klasne borbe.12 Kounellis, Jannis (1992). Ein Magnet im Freien: Schriften und Gespräche 1966 – 1991. Bern [u.a.] : Gachnang & Springer Žižek, Slavoj (1975). O vezi između Lakanovskog koncepta nad-ja: jouissance i nacionalizam, Časopis Problemi, god. 13. 11 Marcuse, Herbert (1989). Čovjek jedne dimenzije : rasprave o ideologiji razvijenog industrijskog društva, Sarajevo: “Veselin Masleša”. 12 Žižek, Slavoj (1975). O vezi između Lakanovskog koncepta nad-ja: jouissance i nacionalizam. Časopis Problemi, god. 13. 9

10

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Selman Trtovac Zbog mnogobrojnih kritika postmoderne neophodno je ukratko analizirati genezu i karakter postmoderne pozicije. Postmoderna filozofska pozicija nema, sama po sebi, negativan predznak, ona je međutim do te mere iskrivljena i zloupotrebljena u praksi da je pitanje kako naći mogućnost da se situacija koja je nastala prevaziđe postalo veoma važno. Celokupna nadgradnja teorije umetnosti posle 1972.13 godine bazira se na tezi austrijskog filozofa Ludviga Vitgenštajna da je umetničko delo tautologija!14 Jedan od ključnih filozofa postmoderne Žan Fransoa Liotar u tom smislu govori o umetnosti postmoderne, preuzimajući tezu Vitgenštajna, kaže da je u umetnosti u pitanju jedna jezička igra. Američki filozof Artur Danto je otišao još dalje i postavio tezu o smrti umetnosti! Umetnost je postala marginalna, izgubila je svoju autonomiju i značaj, funkcioniše samo kao označiteljska praksa u okviru kulture. To znači da ona funkcioniše samo u određenom kontekstu (kao kontekstualna umetnost), kao jedan diskurs (diskurzivna umetnost), ona se pretvorila u jedan oblik industrije otpada, reciklira ideje, forme i vrednosti po potrebi nekog političkog i strateškog interesa. Ono što vidimo i prepoznajemo kao citiranje, aproprijaciju, kompilaciju, novo čitanje, opšta mesta, tematsku umetnost koja donosi određene beneficije (gender, ljudska prava, manjine, socijalno ugroženi slojevi društva, romsko pitanje itd.), dakle, politički pseudo-korektna pseudo- umetnost, pačvork, česte su pojave na izložbama. Takve umetničke prakse proizvele su veliku konfuziju čemu su svesrdno doprineli korumpirani teoretičari umetnosti i kuratori velikih izložbi i zato je i neophodnost traganja za novim utopijskim prostorima egzistencijalno pitanje.

Fotografija Putovanje, iz serije State of Mind, galerija ULUS-a, Beograd, 2010. godina

13 Epstein, Mikhail (1995). After the Future: The Paradoxes of Postmodernism and Contemporary Russian Cul ture. Amherst: The University of Massachusetts Press. 14 Wittgenstein, Ludwig (1989).Tractatus logico-philosophicus ; Tagebücher 1914-1916 ; Philosophische Untersuchungen. Frankfurt am Main : Suhrkamp.

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MIKROUTOPIJA KAO KONKRETNA UTOPIJA

Utopija je, po rečima filozofa Fredrika Džejmsona, reprezentacija društvenih kontradiktornosti i pokušaj definisanja enklave (socijalne diferencijacije) unutar društvenog prostora. Džejmson utopiju sagledava u kontekstu “pozitivne“ uloge kulture u pogledu reprezentacije totaliteta – nadovezujući se na Marksa, on razume društvenu ulogu umetnosti u kontekstu otpora postmodernoj fragmetarnosti koja je zahvatila sve segmete života unutar poznokapitalističkog društva, umetnost je za njega upravo element koji može da obnovi izgubljenu kategoriju totaliteta.15 Povodom izložbe Dijalektika, Selmana Trtovca i Radoša Antonijevića, teoretičar umetnosti Nikola Dedić, u kontekstu umetničke pozicije dva umetnika, kaže: “Reč je o pokušaju rekonstrukcije izvesnih načela utopijske marksističke misli, ali bez teleološke vizije istorije i bez idealističkog humanizma kojim su bila opterećena rana tumačenja Marksove filozofije. ...razlika između situacije, stanja, nužnosti, sa jedne strane i događaja, sa druge. Stanje, nužnost jeste ono što jednostavno postoji: u pitanju su beskrajne mnoštvenosti, razlike “objektivne” situacije. Trenutak nesvodiv na “njegovo obično upisivanje u ono što postoji” označava se kao događaj; za razliku od date situacije, događaj određuje radikalno nov, drugačiji način bivstvovanja u svetu.”16 Događaj je radikalni preokret, rez u odnosu na stanje objektivne nužnosti. Reč je o filozofskom pokušaju kritike i odbacivanja skepticizma postmoderne i njenog insisitiranja na kategorijama “jezičkih igara” i diskurzivnosti. Badju tako daje konceptualni okvir za razumevanje strategija politizacije savremene umetnosti: umetnost današnjice više ne barata idejom globalnog političkog projekta već deluje unutar polja mikropolitike. Drugim rečima, umetnost jeste praksa definisanja autonomnih utopijskih prostora kritike aktuelne društvene stvarnosti; umetnički projekat jeste događaj unutar prostora umrežavanja savremenosti.

Jameson, Fredric (2007). Archaeologies of the future : the desire called utopia and other science fictions. - London [u.a.] : Verso. 15

16

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TREĆI BEOGRAD KAO FIZIČKI PROSTOR UMETNOSTI

U objašnjenju Trećeg Beograda kao mikroutopijskog prostora umetnosti, potrebno je, najpre, navesti šta sve Treći Beograd predstavlja:

• Treći Beograd je umetnički rad! • Treći Beograd je svojevrsna umetnička zadruga, umetnika udruženih po modelu poljoprivredne zadruge. U pitanju je svojevrsni oblik samoorganizacije vizuelnih umetnika. • Treći Beograd je jedno novo umetničko mesto, zgrada, galerija, rezidencijalni prostor za umetnike, studio... • Treći Beograd je mikroutopija. • Treći Beograd nije puka nužnost već je događaj, radikalni preokret u odnosu na stanje objektivne nužnosti. Reč je o pokušaju praktične implementacije filozofske kritike skepticizma postmoderne. • Treći Beograd je konceptualni okvir za razumevanje strategija politizacije savremene umetnosti. • Treći Beograd ne pokušava da barata idejom globalnog političkog projekta, već deluje unutar polja mikropolitke. • Treći Beograd je implementacija umetničke strategije grupe umetnika. • Treći Beograd je oblik politički angažovane umetnosti koja umetnicima daje novi smisao umetničkog postojanja u promenjenim društvenim okolnostima. • Treći Beograd je ispoljavanje socijalne odgovornosti. • Treći Beograd je primer ispoljavanja umetničke etike (Ne ziveti samo za sebe, i ne rukovoditi se samo svojim sebičnim interesima). Treći Beograd je misaoni i fizički prostor, umetnička zadruga i praktična implementacija određene strategije ponašanja grupe savremenih umetnika iz Beograda. Ona se mentalno nadovezuje na tezu Alana Badjua o događaju kao definicije autonomnog utopijskog prostora, odnosno kao prakse umrežavanja savremenosti. Naziv Treći Beograd je preuzet iz urbanističke terminologije. Prvi Beograd je staro gradsko jezgro, drugi Beograd je Novi Beograd, a treći Beograd je deo grada na levoj obali Dunava.

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UMETNIČKA STRATEGIJA Fizički prostor Trećeg Beograda sastoji se od galerije kao centralne prostorije, kluba, biblioteke i rezidencijalnih prostorija u kojima će se održavati predavanja i radionice. Dvorište Trećeg Beograda je, takođe, zamišljeno kao otvorena pozornica za odvijanje različitih umetničkih dešavanja. Treći Beograd je nastao kao posledica želje grupe umetnika da reaguju na mnogobrojne probleme u umetnosti i društvu. Usled potrebe za stvaranjem jedne nove mirkoutopije, novog, izmeštenog i paralelnog sveta unutar mikropolitčkog konteksta, umetničkog “toplog mesta“, sa namerom da se umreži sa sličnim umetničkim inicijativama. Na taj način postoji šansa da se prevaziđu problemi fragmentacije, proizvoljnosti, manipulacije, instrumentalizacije same umetnosti od strane politčkih elita a u cilju njihovog samoodržanja. Za umetnike trećeg Beograda se postavilo pitanje šta jedan umetnik može, odnosno šta bi morao da radi! Šta umetnik pojedinac radi za druge? Ovde dolazimo do razloga za grupisanje, umrežavanje, stvaranje novih struktura na umetničkoj sceni, jednog novog ili drugačijeg mentalnog prostora u umetnosti, odnosno u kulturi uopšte. Taj deo razmišljanja o umetničkoj strategiji se odnosi na pitanje kako da umetnik osvaji jedan novi prostor, gde se taj prostor nalazi i koje su perspektive tog prostora! Tu dolazimo do pitanja moguće utopije koje je jedno egzistencijalno pitanje. Naziv Treći Beograd preuzet je iz urbanističke terminologije koja u podeli teritorije Beograda tako naziva levu ili banatsku obalu Dunava. Slobodna umetnička zadruga Treći Beograd je inicijativa grupe umetnika: Selmana Trtovca, Milorada Mladenovića, Anice Vučetić, Olivere Parlić, Radoša Antonijevića, Marka Markovića, Sanje Latinović, Marine Marković, Ranka Đankovića, Milene Milosavljević i Veljka Pavlovića. Treći Beograd je zamišljen kao živo, dinamično i energetsko središte ne samo domaćih, već i umetnika iz regiona i sveta, koji bi u njemu mogli da izlažu, održavaju radionice i plasiraju druge vidove edukativnih sadržaja, naročito one koje se tiču promocije radova savremene umetnosti na lokalnoj, regionalnoj i globalnoj umetničkoj sceni. Takve prakse su već duže vreme svojstvene evropskom umetničkom prostoru. Mladi umetnici se, nakon umetničkih studija, a i kasnije, često grupišu ne bi li efikasnije zauzeli određeni prostor za svoje umetničke pozicije stvarajući tako mikroutopijske prostore. Nakon raspada starih struktura u kulturi, na ovim prostorima u poslednje vreme zapaža se jedan novi trend grupisanja i organizovanja umetnika i ljubitelja umetosti u nove strukture. Primer je takozvana Dunavska ruta, skup od pet novih umetničkih prostora na obali Dunava: Muzej Macura u Starim Banovcima, ZMUC (Zemunski mali umetnički centar), Treći Beograd u Krnjači, ITS-Z1 u Ritopeku i Livnica Kuzman u Jugovu kod Smedereva. Osim Dunavske rute odavno funkcionišu inicijative kao što su Remont i DezOrg u Beogradu, Art Klinika u Novom Sadu itd.

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TREĆI BEOGRAD KAO MENTALNI PROSTOR UMETNOSTI

Namera umetnika danas, koji se grupišu po afnitetima i po fascinaciji, ne može generalno uzev biti to da izmisli neki „izam“ ili neku estetsku utopiju i da je, zatim, projektuje u doglednu ili nedoglednu budućnost. Utopija je moguća samo i samo kao sada utopija ili je, u protivnom, ni nema. Umetnici grupisani oko Trećeg Beograda žele samo da naglase i potvrde utopijski status koji savremena umetnost ima, mada suviše često ne zna da ga ima i u vezi s tim gaji razno-razne iluzije. Namera je, dakle, da se utopija nastani u sebi samoj, mada je to strogo uzev – nemoguće. Zato je projekt Treći Beograd, u isti mah, dodirivanje nemogućeg, ispitivanje granica i, prema tome, odgovornost pred nemogućim i graničnim. Taj projekt je jedno dragoceno iskustvo, jer on, u našim uslovima, deli ključne probleme i sudbinu savremene umetnosti. To je sudbina tegobnog postojanja u jednom svetu u kojem estetizacija etabliranog sistema vrednosti i moći postaje hegemoni ideološki nalog, dakle, u svetu u kojem je savremena umetnost ipak moguća, ali moguća kao upravo nemoguća, kao utopijska! Milorad Belančić

Treći Beograd ne predstavlja puki fizički prostor, zgradu, niti samo još jedan tip umetničkog udruživanja iz određenog praktičnog razloga, već Treći Beograd predstavlja i pokušaj stvaranja mentalnog prostora u skladu sa već pomenutim pojmom utopije, odnosno socijalne diferencijacije. To stremljenje ima svoje faze, razvoj i materijalizovane umetničke tragove. U pitanju su kolektivni radovi, proizvodi procesa zajedničkog vizuelnog mišljenja. Taj proces zajedničkog mišljenja predstavlja i najvažnije dostignuće zajedničke strategije grupe umetnika. Prvi u nizu zajedničkih radova pod naslovom Kolektivni san je nastao u februaru 2011. godine. Poznato je da pojedina plemena u Australiji, Mikroneziji i Polineziji praktikuju rituale zajedničkog sna. U antropologiji su te prakse poznate pod pojmom lucidni san. Celo pleme spava u određenoj formaciji “spojenih glava“. Nakon buđenja svi učesnici sna slikaju scenu zajedničkog sna. U tim plemenima nisu zabeležene duševne bolesti, niti slučajevi teških krivičnih dela. Umetnici Trećeg Beograda su preuzeli taj model zajedničkog sna, odnosno samo neke elemente te prakse i ugradili ih u zajednički performance. U pitanju su estetski elementi, formacija sanjanja i simboli koji iz toga proizilaze. Posledica tog perfomansa je video rad, serija fotografija i zajednička slika koja je nastala nakon buđenja. Sledeći rad, posmatrano hronološki, je rad pod naslovom Toplo mesto. Izveden je poslednjeg dana zime 20. marta 2011. Instalacija se sastojala od šest Smederevaca, peći na drva, spojenih sistemom čunkova. Namera je bila da se tim radom Treći Beograd označi kao toplo mesto. Mi smo jednostavno založili peći, dobro ugrejali galeriju i pozvali ljude da se ogreju. Sem tog, simboličkog i konceptualnog aspekta rada, bitni elementi su naravno bili i osnovni likovni elementi kojima smo posvetili veliku 51


UMETNIČKA STRATEGIJA pažnju: kompozicija, ritam, linija, površina, kontrasti, volumen, forma itd. Izbor peći nije bio slučajan. Dva naša člana su Smederevci, “Smederevac” je tipično grejno telo u Srbiji i dizajn peći je vezan za estetiku Bauhausa, što je univerzalni element u semantičkom smislu. U razvoju zajedničkog mišljenja umetnika Trećeg Beograda bitan događaj je bilo gostovanje ruske umetničke grupe Kolektivne akcije u septembru 2011. godine. Njihovo prisustvo za nas je predstavljalo mogućnost učenja i preispitavanja naše umetničke strategije. Posledica njihovog “dejstvovanja“ je bio naš umetnički odgovor u formi hepeninga “Kolektivni san 2”. Kolektivne akcije se, dakle, susreću sa Umetničkom zadrugom Treći Beograd pri čemu se stvara polje tenzije unutar uzajamnog odnosa akcije i refleksije, blizine i udaljenosti, identifikacije i otuđenja, što je u direktnoj vezi sa estetsko-filozofskim pojmovnikom Kolektivnih akcija. Grupa Kolektivne akcije, predstavnici Rusije na Bienalu u Veneciji 2011, osnovana je još 1976. godine u Moskvi, a od samog početka oni organizuju praksu “putovanja izvan grada”, odnosno zajednički odlazak grupe umetnika i učesnika iz metropole u “nezaposednuti” prostor prirode koji otvara mogućnost implementacije alternativnih oblika estetskog doživljaja i kolektivne akcije. Najčešće destinacije grupe Kolektivne akcije bila su snežna i šumovita polja na periferiji grada. U takvim prostorima, oni su delovali tekstom, crtežom i postavljanjem predmeta, tematizujući percepciju i susret posmatrača sa slučajnim tragovima prisustva drugih. Uglavnom je to bilo snegom prekriveno i drvećem ograničeno polje (na periferiji, u parku, u šumi), što predstavlja pozornicu za minimalnu akciju koja tematizuje obrazce percepcije i kategorije ispod konvencionalnog jezičkog i slikovnog sveta: prisustvo / odsustvo, blizina / daljina , zvuk / tišina, ritmičke sekvence, pauza... Belo polje, koje se - kako u tradiciji suprematizama Kazimira Maleviča, “osvetljavanja” Martina Hajdegera, tako i u budističkoj Šunjati koncepciji, razume kao demonstraciono polje za aktere, kao prostor percepcije i kao polje refleksije za učesnike. Kod putovanja se, u stvari, radi o eksperimentima, koji služe za istraživanje naše sopstvene svesti i o introrspekciji u stanju očekivanja događaja. Boravak članova grupe Kolektivne akcije u Trećem Beogradu, kao galeriji koja se nalazi u “nezaposednutom” prostoru banatskog dela dunavske obale, stvara takođe atmosferu za niz mogućih značenja. Između praznog centra i granice percepcije se u estetskom eksperimentu Kolektivnih akcija pojavljuje čitav niz drugih polja, zona i traka, koji se prepliću: stvarni događaj se ne odvija samo na empirijskom polju, već i u svesti učesnika. Uvođenje minimalnih elemenata akcije se fokusira na proširenje očekivanja, koja se u toku odvijanja akcija, u stvari, prazne od bilo kakvog konkretnog sadržaja. Kroz razne trikove i manevre - kao što su “skretanje pogleda” ili “očekivanje bez ispunjenja” - kroz princip “praznih akcija”, anuliraju se navodni ciljevi i sadržaji akcije i tako uvek nanovo bivaju razočarani oni učesnici koji su naviknuti da očekuju iluzionistički spekatkl. To se, takođe, očitava u programskoj seriji akcija sa geslima Kolektivnih akcija. Grupa je 1977. godine u prirodi okačila transparent na kome je bilo geslo: “ Ja se ne žalim ni na šta i sve mi se sviđa, uprkos činjenici da nikada nisam bio ovde i ništa ne znam o ovom mestu”. Godinu dana kasnije sledilo je sledeće geslo: “Čudno je što sam sebe lagao, da nikada nisam bio ovde i da ništa ne znam o ovoj mestu, jer je u stvari ovde kao i svuda, samo što se ovde jasnije oseća i dublje ne razume”. Natpisi na transparentima sa sopstvenim poetskim tekstovima u vidu zen budističkih koan izreka predstavlja suočavanje sa strategijama estetizacije ideološke kulture,

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Selman Trtovac koja je usmerena na varku univerzalne harmonije, u kojima se istina i laž, činjenica i fikcija ne mogu razlikovati. Kolektivne akcije se ne iscrpljuju u doživljaju situacije na terenu, a tajanstvenost akcija podstiče mnoštvo komentara na radove. Tekstovi se u radovima prvo javljaju kao uputstva, pravila i planirane strukture koje kasnije, kroz dokumentaciju, dovode do nastajanja pojmovnih prostora. Putovanje kroz pojmovne prostore je jednako važno kao i putovanje u fizičkom prostoru. U vidno polje tako dolazi granica između jezika i vanjezičke realnosti, između teksta i ne-teksta i između situacionog “iskustva” - gesta, što je istovetno impulsu beskrajne interpretativne spirale u kojoj se situacija i dokumentacija međusobno nadovezuju. Kod Kolektivnih akcija se u realne akcije prvo uvode tekstualne paradigme (uputstva, pravila, planirane strukture), što kroz dokumentaciju sa druge strane dovodi do nastajanja tekstualnih i pojmovnih prostora, koji su kasnije povod za nove akcije. Reakcija umetnika Trećeg Beograda na “dejstvovanje“ Kolektivnih akcija je imala tri elementa. Prvi element je bio hepening “Kolektivni san 2” koji se sastojao u tome da se pozove još učesnika i da se unutar galerije u kontekstu izložbe i projekcija video radova “odsanja“ još jedan san. Formacija sna je bila proizvoljna jer smo želeli da odustanemo od estetske kontrole toka samog rada. Drugi element rada je uvođenje posmatrača, snimatelja procesa sanjanja. Posmatrač je morao biti umetnik koji dobro razume kontekst u kome posmatra i koji bi morao da, sa tim u vezi, razvije strategiju posmatranja, snimanja. Treći element je umetnički ugovor, u pitanju je tekst koji formalno ima karakter pravnog akta ali suština nema veze sa pravom, već je u pitanju tekst koji utvrđuje filozofsko-estetske odnose između aktera ovog umetničkog događanja.

Vatreni cvetovi, galerija SKC-a,instalacija, metal grafit, gasna instalacija za propan-butan, 200cm x 200cm x 200cm, 1992. godina 53


UMETNIČKA STRATEGIJA UGOVOR

Zaključen u noći između 29. i 30. oktobra 2011., u Beogradu, između: Trećeg Beograda, Srbija Коллективные действия, Россия KunstOst, Austrija Veljka Pavlovića

Član 1. Ovaj ugovor reguliše odnose tokom i posle izvođenja umetničkog rada Kolektivni san, umetničke zadruge Treći Beograd i kulturnog projekta KunstOST, umetničke grupe Kolektivne akcije (Коллективные действия, Россия), umetnika Veljka Pavlovića, kao i drugih učesnika koji su pozvani da učestvuju u umetničkom radu.

Član 2. Umetnička grupa Kolektivne akcije bezuslovno dopušta Trećem Beogradu da tokom trajanja njihove izložbe „Virtuozi obmane“ u izložbenom prostoru Galerije Treći Beograd izvede umetnički rad Kolektivni san.

Član 3. Kolektivni san je umetnički rad Trećeg Beograda i on podrazumeva organizovano, grupno spavanje / sanjanje u Galeriji Treći Beograd članova umetničke zadruge i ljudi (gostiju) koji su pozvani da ravnopravno učestvuju u događaju. Treći Beograd izvodi ovaj rad sa željom da promišlja modalitete sopstvenog kolektivnog umetničkog delovanja kroz sopstveno iskustvo, ali i kroz iskustvo drugih kolektivnih umetničkih delovanja. Specijalno odabrani prostor u kome traje postavka izložbe umetničke grupe Kolektivne akcije navodi na razvijanje odnosa prema umetničkoj poziciji moskovske umetničke grupe i refleksije na određene estetske pojmove kao što su Prazna akcija17, Demonstraciono znakovno polje18, Težišna šema itd.

17 PRAZNA AKCIJA – element teksta izvan demonstarcije (u akcijama KA je često za posmatrače „vreme izvan demonstracije događaja, ono što predstavlja dramatični centar akcije“). 18 DEMONSTRACIONO ZNAKOVNO POLjE – sistem elemenata prostorno-vremenskog kontinuuma, koji su autori svesno uključili u ustrojstvo teksta konkretnog rada. Jedna od dve komponente korelacionog para „demonstraciono znakovnog polja – ekspoziciono znakovnog polja”. Oblikovanje tog odnosa utemeljenog u diskursu KA, zasniva se na elementima događaja, koji se u jednakoj meri mogu odnositi i na jedan i na drugi član korelativnog para („kategorije KA”): hodanje, stajanje, ležanje u jami, „ljudi u daljini”, kretanje na pravcu, „neprimetnost”, svetlo, zvuk, govor, grupa, slušanje slušanje itd.

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Selman Trtovac Član 4. Treći Beograd ništa ne sugeriše učesnicima, svako se na svoj način priprema za spavanje u izložbenom prostoru (dovoljno je biti prisutan). Ovaj stav se utemeljuje u poziciji da svako sopstvenim postojanjem estetizuje svet, a da se prostor čiste estetike otvara kada se odreknemo svakog dodatnog estetskog delovanja. Do ovakvog doživljaja stvarnosti kretaćemo se tehnikama kakve preporučuju Kolektivne akcije poput tehnike Upotpunjeno čekanje19. Na primer: ovu tehniku bi primenili u situacijama iščekivanja gostiju, čekanja da se zaspi, čekanja da svane itd. Umetnici Kolektivne akcije stvarali su umetničke događaje uglavnom na prostoru snegom prekrivene livade oivičene šumom, koristeći ga kao polje refleksije sopstvenih propozicija. Period spavanja, odnosno sna je period oslobođen od svake svesne želje za delovanjem ili estetizacijom, te je stoga idealan kao prostor refleksije. Treći Beograd, koristeći razvijene tehnike moskovskih konceptualista, istražiće pojedinačne dubine ličnih reflektivnih prostora, bez sigurnosnog pojasa estetike, očekivanog i naučenog. Prazneći lične umetničke prostore stvoriće se uslovi za refleksiju i proširivanje oivičenog polja. Stakleni zid galerije iskorišćen kao „ekran“ sa tekstovima umetničko filozofskih - pojmova Kolektivne akcije, u čijoj pozadini je obod grada i velika vodena masa Dunava, u suprotnom pravcu postaje slika umetnika Trećeg Beograda (refleksija na pojam Nedeterminisana zona20 i Ekspoziciono znakovno polje21, Trake nerazlikovanja22).

Član 5. Vreme dešavanja je veče i noć 29. na 30. oktobar 2011. godine u Galeriji Treći Beograd na levoj obali Dunava u neposrednoj blizini Pančevačkog mosta (refleksija na estetski pojam Putovanje izvan grada).

Član 6. Umetnik Veljko Pavlović se obavezuje da će, u toku priprema i odvijanja umetničkog rada, napraviti foto, video ili neku drugu dokumentaciju kojom će omogućiti meta nivoe umetničkog događaja kao produktivan kontekst estetskog delovanja i dostaviti je Trećem Beogradu u odgovarajućem formatu. Treći Beograd prepušta estetsku kontrolu i odgovornost umetniku Veljku Pavloviću da, po ličnom izboru, donese odluku o vremenu i načinu dokumentovanja umetničke akcije Kolektivni san čime

19 UPOTPUNjENO ČEKANjE - čin čekanja kao predmet čekanja (čekanje kao očekivanje). Najvažniji element u „estetici čekanja“ KA. U izvesnom smislu predstava čekanja kao potpuni i samodovoljni estetski (i kontemplativni) akt – cilj praksi KA. 20 NEDETERMINISANA ZONA (zona slučajnih utisaka) - etape pre očekivanja, očekivanja prazne akcije, dobijanja poziva za akciju i putovanja ka mestu dejstvovanja u akcijama KA. Grupa, slušanje slušanja itd. 21 EKSPOZICIONO ZNAKOVNO POLjE – sistem elemenata prostorno-vremenskog kontinuuma, koje autori nisu svesno uključili u ustrojstvo teksta konkretnog rada, ali koji utiču na tekst kao njegovi skriveni motivacioni konteksti. Aktualizuju se kao članovi korrelativnog para „demonstraciono znakovnog polja – ekspoziciono znakovnog polja“ kroz diskurs „praznih akcija“ u estetskoj praksi KA. Grupa, slušanje slušanja itd. 22 TRAKE NERAZLIKOVANjA – zona demonstracionog znakovnog polja (najčešće na granici sa ekspozicionim znakovnim poljem), u kojoj audio ili vizuelni objekti akcija ne mogu biti prepoznati od posmatrača kao definitivno pripadajući akciji.

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UMETNIČKA STRATEGIJA on dobija ulogu „spoljašnjeg“ posmatrača, a Treći Beograd se u potpunosti odriče svake estetske kontrole nad rezultatom rada umetnika Veljka Pavlovića kao i svake druge moguće sugestije u izradi umetničkog dokumenta. Odbacivanje kontrole nad dokumentovanjem bazira se na potrebi slobode kao preduslovu doživljaja estetike „takvosti“ i pojavljivanju „nedogađajnog“, ali i učvršćivanju grupne kohezije odbacivanjem propozicija formalizovane pojavnosti (refleksija na estetski pojam Faktografski diskurs23, Nezapaženost24 i Šunjata25 ).

Član 7. Svu dokumentaciju kao i ovaj ugovor sve ugovorne strane mogu koristiti po sopstvenoj volji u daljoj promociji sopstvenog rada bez naknadne dozvole drugih strana.

Član 8. Ugovor je sačinjen u 24 (dvadesetičetiri) istovetna primerka, od kojih svakoj ugovornoj strani i svakom učesniku u akciji pripada po 1 (jedan) primerak.

U Beogradu, u noći između 29. i 30. oktobra 2011. Ugovorne strane: • Trećeg Beograda, Srbija • Коллективные действия, Россия • KunstOst, Austrija • Veljko Pavlović

23 FAKTOGRAFSKI DISKURS – sistem dokumentovanja, koji omogućava meta nivoe umetničkog događaja kao produktivan kontekst estetskog delovanja. 24 NEZAPAŽENOST – jedna iz „kategorija KA“. U značenju „nezapaženost demonstracije“ – estetski postupak, koji ukazuje na naličije prisustva (često - osnovnog) događaja u toj prostorno-vremenskoj zoni opšteg događanja akcije, gde se „ovde i sada“ nalazi van pažnje i interesa posmatrača. 25 ŠUNjATA - budistički koncept. Za estetiku KA – varijanta „praznine“ kao metod za smanjenje fantazmi kolektivnog tela. Metod percepcije, distanciranja. Ovo je zasnovano na uverenju da u stvari „ništa ne proizilazi iz samog dejstvovanja“. Kroz Šunjatu se pojavljuje „nedogađajno“. Stvari su u svojoj „takvosti“. Praznina kao filozofski poezis, neodređenosti ličnog. Grupe, slušanje saslušanja itd.

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Ukratko se može reći da umetnik koji želi da se bavi vizuelnom umetnošću, koji želi da razvija određene likovne forme, pored urođenih predispozicija koje se podrazumevaju i koje, same po sebi, više nisu dovoljne, mora biti svestan kompleksnosti odnosa i sveta u kome živi. Mora biti svestan značenja i mesta umetnika u društvu u aktuelnom vremenu. Usled kompleksnih društvenih i političkih procesa, globalno i lokalno, to nimalo nije lako. Estetske mogućnosti likovnog jezika su skoro neograničene, postoji mnoštvo različitih gledanja na umetnost, istoriju umetnosti, filozofiju umetnosti pa je spoznaja istine kroz vizuelnu umetnost teža nego ikad pre. Umetniku se nameće potreba da planira i razvija dve paralelne strategije umetničkog delovanja: strategiju mišljenja ili unutrašnju strategiju i strategiju ponašanja ili spoljašnju strategiju. Obe strategije su vrlo kompleksni zadaci koji se u slučaju promene okolnosti moraju brzo menjati, usklađivati, za koje ne postoji recept ili neki matematički algoritam. Strategije su uslovljene kako karakterom i sklonostima svakog umetnika ponaosob tako i spoljašnjim okolnostima. Mogućnost zablude i pogrešne procene su veoma velike. Umetnik se sve vreme kreće, u prenosnom smislu reči, po ivici provalije. Sve što umetnik gradi je vezano za mukotrpan proces koji zahteva ogoromnu energiju i vreme, ne postoji garancija da će umetnik naći to za čime traga. Rad i energija koju umetnik ulaže na putu umetnosti se mogu lako ispostaviti kao uzaludni i besmisleni. U uvodnom tekstu sam već pomenuo paradoks određene strateške misaone konstrukcije i nemogućnost da se govori o receptima u umetnosti jer u umetnosti ne postoji ništa opipljivo, jasno, egzaktno...

Slobodna umetnička zadruga Treći Beograd, (autor arh. projekta i logoa: Milorad Mladenović), 2011. godina

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LITERATURA*

Badiou, Alain (2001). Manifest za filozofiju. Zagreb: Jesenski i Turk. Beuys, Joseph (1978). Auf dem Weg zur Freiheitsgestalt des sozialen Organismus Internationales. Achberg: Kulturzentrum. Blume, Eugen, Nichols, Catherine (Hrsg.) (2008). Beuys: Die Revolution sind wir. Göttingen: Steidl. Böhringer, Hannes (2004). Harte Bank : Kunst, Philosophie, Architektur. Berlin: Merve. Burio, Nikolas (2003). “Relaciona estetika”, Košava, specijalno izdanje, broj 42-43, mart 2003. CBA Media, Vršac i Centar za savremenu kulturu Konkordija, Vršac. Epstein, Mikhail (1995). After the Future: The Paradoxes of Postmodernism and Contemporary Russian Culture. Amherst: The University of Massachusetts Press. Hegel, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich. (1958). Dijalektika i osnovni zakoni formalne logike : odlomak iz Hegelove Nauke logike. Beograd : Kultura. Jameson, Fredric (2007). Archaeologies of the future: the desire called utopia and other science fictions. London [u.a.] : Verso. Kounellis, Jannis (1992). Ein Magnet im Freien : Schriften und Gespräche 1966 – 1991. Bern[u.a.] : Gachnang & Springer Marcuse, Herbert (1989). Čovjek jedne dimenzije : rasprave o ideologiji razvijenog industrijskog društva. Sarajevo: “Veselin Masleša”. Malewitsch, Kasimir (1962). Suprematismus : die gegenstandslose Welt. Köln : DuMontSchaubert. Rinke Klasse (1997). SALDO : 23 Jahre Rinke Klasse : Kunstmuseum Düsseldorf im Ehr- enhof, 12. April bis 13. Juli 1997. Šoškić, Ilija i Trtovac, Selman (2008). Ruka umjetnika - Crna ruka / Ruka ubice. Beograd, Arte media. Trtovac, Selman (2008). Ex nihilo nihil fit. Beograd: Nezavisna kulturna asocijacija. Trtovac, Selman i Antonijević, Radoš (2009). Dijalektika. Beograd: Pro Art Org. Trtovac, Selman et al. (ur.) (2011). Treći Beograd: osnivanje, aktivnosti, akcije: 2009-2011.Beograd: Treći Beograd. Wittgenstein, Ludwig (1989) Tractatus logico-philosophicus ; Tagebücher 1914-1916 ; Philosophische Untersuchungen. Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp. Žižek, Slavoj (1975). O vezi između Lakanovskog koncepta nad-ja: jouissance i nacionalizam. Časopis Problemi, god. 13.

*Bibliografske jedinice su, prema međunarodnom standardu, navedene na jeziku i pismu izvornika

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BIOGRAFIJA

Selman Trtovac je rođen 14.08.1970. u Zadru, SFRJ, SR Hrvatska. Od 1990. do1993. godine studirao je slikarstvo na Fakultetu likovnih umetnosti u Beogradu. Marta 1993. prelazi na Umetničku akademiju Diseldorf u klasu profesora Klausa Rinkea gde 2000. godine završava magistarske studije na Departmanu slobodna umetnost, odsek skulptura. Iste godine se vraća u Beograd. Član Udruženja likovnih umetnika Srbije postaje 2002., a član Internacionalnog umetničkog gremijuma 2003. godine. Doktorske studije vajarstva na FLU u Beogradu započinje 2008. godine. Inicijator je i jedan od osnivača Slobodne umetničke zadruge Treći Beograd. Živi i radi u Beogradu.

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Praznina, fotografija, akcija, posekotina-linija na Ä?elu, 1999. godina


ARTISTIC STRATEGY Selman Trtovac

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content

Introducti

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Artistic Strategy 65 Strategy of Artistic Opinion (Inner Strategy)

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Strategy of Artistic Behavior (Outer Strategy)

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Mental Space of Art Work

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Micro-utopia as a Concrete Utopia

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Third Belgrade as a Physical Art Space

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Third Belgrade as a Mental Art Space

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Contract

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Conclusion

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Biography 110

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To My Aleksandra

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Introduction

The contemplation I wish to transform into text is based on a thesis that elements of artistic strategy can be defined as distinctive, individual planning, as an individual decision about the way to get to the truth in art. In order to reach that metaphor of truth, it is needed, a priori, to think about the possibilities that are available to the artist in a certain period of time. It is not enough to be vocationally skilled, or to just “go with your gut”, spontaneously; it is necessary to construct one’s own mindset, one’s own artistic strategy! The term artistic strategy could be understood as a distinctive, personal construct. But, some would argue that the conjunction of personal and strategic is a paradox. Art simply doesn’t stand formulas, nor does it stand arbitrariness. In this text, only one possibility in a multitude of other possibilities will be considered. However, that possibility becomes a necessity for the artist at the moment when it gets strategic proportions. An especially important part of the text refers to the process of self-reflection which is related to building up a model of the artistic cooperation Third Belgrade, as a practical realization of spontaneously developed individual artistic strategies on a scene, shaped by the actors’ dialogs at the same time. There is no beforehand given suitable or inviolable formula for new art in this text. Such a formula does not exist and has never existed. There are only different ways to reach a certain truth in art.

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Artistic Strategy

Artistic strategy is a distinctive, personal mental construct. The necessity of developing the strategy is related to complexity of the world we live and work in. The reality we live in changes dramatically. Social aspects and political circumstances in which artistic thought is supposed to evolve are more complicated than ever before. A certain mental construct, an imaginary goal or a conscious decision can give a sensation of result, sensation of motion in a determined direction to the artist. In this case, the result is utopia. It is impossible to reach the result, that’s why the line of motion itself becomes very important. Pathway in this case is not spontaneous moving, and because of the strategy, it has another, more meaningful form. At the very beginning of thinking about artistic strategy I had to start from art positions and artistic strategies in history that were familiar to me. I shall not deal with all possible strategies, nor will I analyze all the phenomena related to strategic thought in history of art in this text. The reason is a huge number of different examples, poetics and different contexts. Despite of limited, selective observation of certain important phenomena in my art, understanding of historical flow, and establishing of persistency, logic and continuity between the processes of my artistic thought and historical aspects as well as time and space the artists are moving in today are very important elements of my dealing with the problem of strategy. During his stay in Belgrade, in 2005, Janis Kunelis was asked a question – What could a young artist do or how should he establish himself in complex social circumstances? – to which he answered: “Your time is much more difficult than the time in which I was exercising and developing as an artist. However, if I were you I would consider a complex strategy with a bit of cynicism!” In his lectures, Kunelis often mentioned that a young artist must strengthen himself inside in order to avoid falling into dogmas, and to remain flexible enough for the new impulses appearing on his artistic path. He also said that the radicalism without transparency leads to the deepest abyss of human existence. He often used a metaphor artist as a fish in the sea. The other artistic strategy I would like to add to is sublimated in a well-known saying “Revolution – it is us” by the artist Josef Beuys. German art historian Klaus Peter Schuster said that Beuys’ thesis “Revolution – it is us”1 presents one of the greatest utopian projects any artist has ever initiated. The goal is nothing less but to change entire society through art. Beuys’ central intention is to assert a 1

Blume, Eugen, Nichols, Catherine (Hrsg.) (2008). Beuys : Die Revolution sind wir. Göttingen: Steidl

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term “Extended Concept of Art” over surpassing the most extreme avant-garde positions and intentions through truthful acting and thinking. A long time has passed since it was enough for an artist to sit in his studio and develops certain forms, as Beuys said at the time, but it is necessary for an artist to take initiative in the society, to actively influence the processes in society through artistic expression. Beuys calls such acting social plastic2, in other words, social sculpture as a concept derived from the earlier mentioned term of extended concept of art. He uses that term to explain the vision of the kind of art which is capable to change the world. The third reference I would like to add to my thinking about this aspect of strategy is an artist’s attitude, and earlier, of the professor at the Academy of Art in Dusseldorf, Klasse Rinke, who mentioned in his book “Saldo”3, related to the exhibition of his class in the Kunstmuseum in 1997, the necessity of re-recognizing ethics in behavior and acting of an artist within the work of art, radical and uncompromising approach toward artistic view. In his lectures, he was frequently speaking about freedom and responsibilities, simultaneously, at the moment one faces the art. These attitudes presented a cadre of his artistic and pedagogical work. These three examples make three approaches: Complex strategy with a bit of cynicism, modern social plastic and issue of ethics and freedom. Ethics or artistic ethics can be understood as a principle of approach to the process of artistic thought, which comes from integrity of opinion and behavior of an individual, not from a dogma or morality of some other kind. The concept of simultaneous freedom and responsibility could be understood through this statement. Establishing of such an approach in artistic opinion that would finally and metaphorically lead to the artistic truth revelation is the basis around which it is possible to build an artistic strategy today. Further on, it is about searching the artistic position or a concrete work of art. Why would one develop a form, a strategy, anyway? Artistic strategy today could contain at least two important elements; the first one can be defined as a strategy in the process of artistic thought or inner strategy. I defined the other element of artistic strategy as the strategy of behavior or outer strategy.

2

Beuys, Joseph (1978). Auf dem Weg zur Freiheitsgestalt des sozialen Organismus Internationales. Achberg: Kulturzentrum

3

Rinke Klasse (1997). SALDO : 23 Jahre Rinke Klasse : Kunstmuseum Düsseldorf im Ehrenhof, 12. April bis 13. Juli 1997.

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Strategy of Artistic Thought (Inner Strategy)

Inner strategy means, among other things, an attitude that an artist today must be an intellectual who is conscious of the context and the situation in which his art is supposed to be created. An assumption that a work of art could function at a grand world exhibition is a reference value which gives the meaning to the existence of the specific work of art. Therefore, awareness of the meaning of the visual expression that the artist wants to develop and awareness of the justification for materialization of an artistic thought nowadays are very important categories. I think so because we are all witnesses of endless repetitions and recycling of long time spent ideas and academized artistic positions. Inner strategy should be turned to the exploring of the new, to an unknown country, metaphorically. Artistic truth was Terra incognita in every historical epoch, as well as in our time, and that unknown mental territory must be discovered. When I say that, I do not mean that it is something new and never seen before, but rather something new that has never been seen in a certain way. When one accedes to develop a certain art form, first he queries about the values he is striving to. What is it the artist can do about the content? After that there is a question about a possible visual language. The question of visual language is one of the key results of the inner strategy! It is, at the same time, the question of a possible new picture, picture as a mental projection, question of the artist’s way to articulate the vision of the world, therefore the picture of the world! Without a previously bethought approach and consideration of complexity of the situation in artistic thinking, a certain artistic position is doomed to stay on the margins. Therefore philosophy of art can be very useful to the artist, because it can help him organize his own mindset. It could metaphorically identify with a secure net in doing a somersault. As well as the acrobat feels safe when the net is underneath, that’s how the artist feels safe in the process of developing a certain form if he leans on a known philosophical position. It is a psychological phenomenon. Philosopher Alain Badiou, for instance, starts from the concept of truth when he speaks about art in his philosophical speculations! Science, love, art and politics are procedures of the truth for him. The truth is, above all, something new, but the knowledge is being transferred and repeated. Making a difference between the truth and the knowledge is essential4! There are many definitions of truth from Aristotle to nowadays, but they are on the periphery of my interest in my artistic research. Some philosophers find general criteria for the truth in obviousness. Some others were looking for the criteria in common agreement of the majority of people about the content of some beliefs. The third 4

Badiou, Alain (2001). Manifest for Phylosophy. Zagreb : Jesenski and Turk, 2001.

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type is refusing to find any general criteria, but specific and special criteria should be valid for specific and distinct occasions. In Badiou’s position about procedures of truth I am interested only in the thesis that a specific relation is needed to reach the truth, or the procedure of truth (love, art, politics and science) which means to bring your mind in such a state to perceive the truth in the artistic process if possible, which further on means that accordance of consciousness and reality is possible despite the fact that both reality and consciousness change fast. There is an undeniable need to re-recognize the truth through artistic language in every time, in every generation, with every individual artist. Artistic language is, in fact, always an optimal way for an artist to tell the world the re-recognized truths. Question of strategy is also a question of how an artist understands the world, how the world understands an artist, therefore understanding in both directions! I could start explaining the implementation of the idea of inner strategy and the meaning of the term in artistic practice starting with concrete exhibitions and works of art where I tried to develop a personal system, or inner strategy. I would start with an exhibition “…Those Who are Looking for Extremes in Order to Find the Mid” in Smederevo 2007. In the introduction of the exhibition catalogue I wrote that an artist, when he faces his work through text and when he wants to explain his own vision to somebody, naturally finds himself in a big problem. Text and speech are not media over which a painting artist primarily expresses himself. There is a trap of telling the story, explaining the visual work in a literary way. Perhaps one of the ways to solve the problem is to find a thought which, mathematically speaking, presents the lowest common denominator for meaning, way, reason and sense of visual thought. The issue of extremes in artistic thought is related to extremes in life. The exhibition I have mentioned, for instance, is a result of my direct confrontation with death. In this case death was, metaphorically speaking, a good mentor! I realized that my time on the planet is limited and that I do not have time to waste. It is enough if an artist can say to himself that he did the best he could in the moment of leaving this world, and that he could not do better. It is enough! In addition to this I would identify going to extreme in life with an accident, with an event or phenomenon that could have serious consequences, and on the other side I could identify going to extreme with destruction. Destruction has two forms, self-destruction and destructive energy turned toward somebody else. These both extremes are anomalies and it is impossible to live and work in such extreme space. Despite all that, experience in extremity is inevitable, and awareness of extremes, their consequences and implications are very important elements in the process of forming the inner strategy. There is a chronologically represented transformation of my stomach in the series of digital photographs. The first photograph shows a stomach distorted by being overweight, which is a result of an undisciplined way of life, and after that is a photograph of the stomach with a big scar (result of several surgeries), where form is drastically changed, and the third photograph is a tattoo, drawing on a scar. Tattoo transformed the scar, or the result of the dramatic event and the life experience, 68


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and it mutated into a distinctive art expression. This work is an art statement told in visual language and an authentic document of a thoughtful and physical transformation and dealing with the deepest fear. While I was forming a decision about the necessity of articulation of this work and started thinking about inner strategy, I became aware that an artist must establish priorities first, to separate important from unimportant. Further on, I realized that the essential matter is to organize time, since it is limited. Facing death is a very effective experience, if one survives it, because the artist can clearly understand the time limitation. At the same time when I realized our limited time, I also realized that it is necessary to face my fears and finally to deconstruct egoism. From all this, I established first premises of my plan to get the answer to the question about the truth in art. Mask in the work The Other Face of Janus was made of silver, printed on my face at the end of 1996 for the performance at the exhibition Saldo in the Museum Kunstpalast in Dusseldorf. The mask itself has two functions, on one side it is revealing and on the other side it is dissembling something. At first, it was presenting only one of the elements in the performance. When it was made, it was polished, which means that it had a quality of a mirror. The performance was laid out with me standing in a certain place inside of an exhibiting space and I was rotating around the vertical centerline of my body. On my forehead is, conditionally speaking, the other face, and literally, it is a mask. During the rotation the audience could see my face for a moment, and after that their own face through the reflection on a silver Janus’ face! In that sense, the other face of Janus is an ambivalent object that creates the situation where the other sees a reflection of his own face on the mask surface. Therefore, the artist is there so somebody else could see himself, or to be more precise, by seeing the artist, the watcher sees his own self! That performance eventually mutated into a series of photographs, then into a painting and remained to last as a painting. It was exhibited in Smederevo gallery in 2007 in that very form. The next exhibition named “Ex Nihilo Nihil Fit” or From Nothing – Nothing in Latin, in gallery Magacin in 2008, is introducing an even more direct question of relation of an artist to fear. At that exhibition, among other works, the work Spiral of Fear was exhibited and was conceptually linked to the previous exhibition “…Those Who are Looking for Extremes in Order to Find the Mid”. It is about an installation on the floor which was made of quickly cooled melted liquid lead. These lead elements and the way I came to these lead elements are related to magic rituals of defusing the fear. Magical, archetypal, mystical are elements rooted into deepest layers of our consciousness. The fear, in symbolism of that ritual, is being materialized through the process of cooling the lead. The form that appears in that process has a meaning and deep consequences! The magic ritual itself, or the magic aspect, was not really a goal of my research, I was interested in art that arises from that ritual. When I say art, in this specific case, I am thinking about the analogy with performance, about all the elements the performance has – suggestiveness, timing, energy it carries, scene, composition etc; and I am thinking especially about facing the fear through visual language. Fear is the greatest enemy in every man’s life, and especially on an artist’s pathway. Everybody feels fear and everybody understands it, therefore, fear is everybody’s enemy. It is in fear’s nature to block us, to paralyze us, to

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disable us to walk and think. That’s how fear can endanger our artistic and life integrities and makes us stop practicing art or make a too big distance from it and in one moment, when it is usually too late, we realize that we have come to the point from which there is no return. From that point of view, facing with fear, in whose root lies fear of death, is the main task for an artist. Therefore, the question of fear and coping with it is an important part of inner strategy. The essential task about forming the inner strategy is the way to develop the ability to go on, by constant learning, despite of great fear. In September 2009 in gallery Arte in Belgrade I performed, together In September 2009, in gallery Arte in Belgrade, I performed, together with the artist Ilija Šoškić, in an exhibition Hand of an Artist – Black Hand/Hand of a Murderer. My work was an authentic casting print which was printed from a murderer’s hand. That is where I, besides all the rest the work itself implied, set a question about truthfulness in a work of art, therefore in inner strategy as well. Though postmodern time made us aware of the fact that there is no monopoly on the truth, and the pluralism of opinions, attitudes and truths is almost endless, I think it is important to say that the truth in art, after all, is not relative. Freedom of thought, which is apparently possible today, does not mean that we can do what we feel like doing and that it is far-reaching. I think that freedom must have a meaning. We define rules and principles of our behaviour today, we do not have to depend on a religious, political or ideological dogma. That is why defining the rules of behaviour, meaning and logic of a thinking process today is much more difficult than in the earlier periods. Freedom includes responsibility, first toward one’s own self, and then toward the others. Virtues we have always known, and which confirmed themselves eventually and became universal, like humanity, well being, altruism, love, empathy etc. can not be forgotten only because seemingly, everything is possible. The question of truthfulness in the process of thought or in the process of materialization of work is an extremely important question. That question is related to meaning, purpose of our material existence and it is an essential element in defining inner strategy. Establishing of one’s own principles of behavior strengthens our individual art position in the moments of great dilemmas or in periods of crisis that every artist is facing. That inner strength helps us not to fall from one dogma to another, as Kunelis used to say. Performance with artist Robert Koko Bi while I was a student in Dusseldorf, then joint exhibitions with Ilija Šoškić, and an exhibition with the artist Radoš Antonijević named Dialectics at the end of 2009 in the gallery Magacin, and in the end mutual work on an artistic project named Third Man with the artist Ranko Djanković during 2010 and 2011, had and still have a form of a distinctive visual dialog. There is always an issue of relation of two art positions and an issue of understanding the other artist’s work in that dialog. Every one of us has limitations, regardless how far he has gone in the process of thinking, everybody is moving in a limited space. We can say that every artist moves in a certain energy orbit. In order to relocate, metaphorically, one needs an influence from outside, a force, an experience to give him the energy to cross to another energy orbit. Dialog is one of the ways to encourage the artist to think about his own prejudice, and to come to a new quality opinion. Every man tends to be

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an opportunist, intellectually lazy, to go the path of least resistance, and in that sense the artist strives for already tested areas, areas that feel safe and where he feels souvereign. In that sense, dialog is a good technique of inner strategy through which every participant in the dialog can check his own thought position. Through interaction in performance or exhibition we always had visual dialogs, and we were recording them and then transforming them into a text. Every time we started with an attitude that if two artists talk about art and bring a strong emotional impact into it (since the subjects are very important to them in that very moment), and if the same issues appear in dialogs of other artists, then such a text, obviously, can be interesting to the audience. In further text I shall give extracts from three dialog transcripts for analysis of a thinking process in dialogs. Two conversations-dialogs are between the artists and one is between the artist and the theorist. Integral texts, or transcripts of the dialogs are very important for analysis of the character of inner strategy in practice, since they explicitly present artist’s experience and his way of thinking. Artist Radoš Antonijević and I named our exhibition Dialectics, because the meaning of the term was reflecting the character of the exhibition. The term dialetics implies art of dialog, or conversating. In philosophical terms, it means moving of thoughts through contradictions, which are abolished in the end of a thinking process; it is about Hegel’s structure thesis-antithesis-synthesis5.

Mi volimo i umetnost drugih, objekat, Janis Kunelis i Selman Trtovac, Akademija umetnosti Diseldorf, 1994. godina

Sofre / Rastavljeni krst, objekat, redimejd, izložba Dijalektika, 2009. godina

Hegel, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich (1958). Dialectics and the Basic Laws of Formal Logic: a Passage from Hegel’s Science of Logic. 5

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Transcript of the conversation of Radoš Antonijević and Selman Trtovac on November 2nd 2009 about joint exhibition Dialectics6 in the gallery Magacin in Belgrade (example of the dialog, two artists of the same generation):

Radoš: First of all, I must say I am looking forward to our joint exhibition and the dialog in our art work. I think, further on, that our dialog will resonate with the audience, to the people who love art and that we shall create an atmosphere of collective thinking about problems we are interested in; seems to me that an important element of our motivation regarding the joint exhibition is that we both recognized the intention to bring neuralgic points from our lives into the work of art. You recognized that in my work Tent Dečani M-1 and me in your works Black Hand and Dialectics, which we also used as a name for our exhibition. Selman: I feel a deep emotion regarding our exhibition. When I was thinking about the meaning of our exhibition, I realized that we both feel a deep existential need to produce high painting forms. It means that the form must have a good reason to exist and to be exhibited. The question is how to reach that form, how to find a meaning of the work of art nowadays. It is the most difficult question! After that, there is a question of relation of the two works, two artistic positions in one space? Radoš: What do you mean by that? Selman: My first suggestion is that we should determine similarities, points of contact and then differences, too. We belong to the same generation, meaning that we have been growing up and forming ourselves in the same context, in the same society. These are important elements in the process of forming of an art position and a personality in general. Question of identity is the next question which is very important in the region, so important that it served to generate a bloody war. You told me once that your father is from Novi Pazar. My father is from the same region, which implies our mental connection through the element of collective memory, through the legacy of our ancestors, which we carry with us. You are an orthodox Serb! There is a dualism in my identity, Islamic influence from my father’s side, elements of Turkish culture and everything it brings and the Renaissance European influence from my mother’s side, who is an Italian catholic from Dalmatia. I spent all childhood and a larger part of my life in Belgrade, my friends are here, and my wife is from here, so I am involved with the orthodox world. Why do I mention private biographic details? I think they are very important because elements of identity appear in our works of art which brought us to this exhibition and to the name Dialectics! Question of identity has imposed itself as one of the important issues in this dialog. Identity is related 6

Trtovac, Selman - Antonijević, Radoš (2009). Dialectics, Belgrade : Pro Art Org.

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to someone’s place of birth, a place where his ancestors were born and the heritage one gets from it. It is understandable since it is not one’s personal decision, but is given. Identity is also related to the place where one lives and the heritage one gets from it by his own choice. This is a very important issue when one is thinking about inner strategy since we are facing fast moving, change of place, reduction of space and time today. Names of your works, such as Dečani M1, Is There Life after Death, Where does this Road Go, Cross, Cage, Crib etc, and names of my works such as Red Fez Grandma, Spiral of Fear, Black Hand, Sevdalinkas, Dialectics, Sofras etc. are indicating the essence and the character of the ideas our arts are coping with. The third element that is connecting us is the Belgrade School of Art. We both studied at the Belgrade Academy of Art in one period of our artistic maturing. Afterwards our roads went separate ways, but what we have in common is something we gained at the Belgrade Academy of Art. In my opinion it refers to drawing mostly! You later graduated sculpture and stayed to teach at the Academy, and I went to Germany where I studied sculpture, conditionally speaking, during the tragic nineties. I had to fight for survival there, but I was collecting experiences which have greatly enriched my poetics. After that I returned here, as I was thinking then, and still am, that there are many reasons for me to produce art here. Radoš: You described the aspects of your identity very well and the reason why it is important to say in which way the background is related to your art. On the other hand, you assumed very well that these elements are important to me. It is about the dramatic situation in this region – too many migrations, too much relocation. There is enough material and enough reasons in it for new works that can have deep connection with our past on one side, and foundation in the presence on the other. They can be easily recognized as contemporary, as works of this moment, as works that have been formulated through a modern language, as works that are facing live problems. Selman: Besides the issue of content the specific work is carrying, we are also asking a question of a possible visual language today. It is a question of high form! We are speaking, in visual terms, in a language of today. Our works are neither folklore nor pathetic. We use all media and the legacy of historical knowledge of art that are available to us and are in function of some of our specific ideas. Now, which one of the ideas is so powerful for an artist to face it? Which utopia is it we can live for as artists? Radoš: Form cannot be conquered through a personal sense of aesthetics. There are many other influences that are not related to art directly, but are manifesting themselves through art. Form is important as a personal handwriting. I experience myself as a sculptor, and in these terms I see the specificity of my works. We live in a three-dimensional world, therefore we live in a kind of a sculpture, and we are partly sculptures. My visual language is adjusted to that sensation as well as to the aspira-

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tion for art to act both conceptually and physically. Selman: I am a painter, but the essence is the same, because when I say a painting I mean “picture of the world”, vision of the world. I think about painting, sculpture, performance, video, film, happening, installation, photography, text or anything that can transmit the picture. To me, the term picture is endlessly wider than the term painting. When I say that, I see that it is a commonplace, and that it can be understood as a hole on a plant pot. However, that matter is more complex since it is about experience, about experiential knowledge which exceeds theoretical expression. Like a bird that was living in a cage and someone opened the door and it later realized that it may leave the cage. It is about freedom of choice which is available to the artist when he expresses himself and forms his artistic expression. I studied painting in Belgrade, and sculpture in Dusseldorf. So, you say sculpture, and I say the same, I just came to that place from the other side. Radoš: We recognize the world in pictures, in information. Well, picture, if we understand it as an information, as a word, as a concept. Nevertheless, statuary taught me that sculpture is what it is, it is “banal”. Material world is equally mystical as the world of ideas, but it can be touched and in that sense it is “banal”. Therefore, the aspect of sculpture is nothing else but what it materially is. Selman: Further on, in the content of our works there are questions of identity and paradox, question of history, political questions, the question of the role of art today, question of humanism and value, question of dialectical coexistence of people. Radoš: These are really motives present at both of us. I would particularly single one thing out, the question of humanism! All other questions derive from the question of humanism. Selman: Question of truth, as well as truth in art is an immortal, universal question that has always been valid in our world, world of art. The truth and the truthfulness in a statement! That is where ethics and credibility should emanate from. I think that the two of us, entirely authentically and independently, took the position of moving towards the concept of truth, through our art language. The concept of truth itself is very complex and if one considers it rationally, it is very relative. Still, every one of us infallibly recognizes the truth in work of art. Almost two years ago I had an exhibition in Smederevo, the town you live in. That is where we met! The name of my exhibition was”…Those Who are Looking for Extremes in Order to Find the Mid”. On the other side, you told me once that your work vibrates between the two extremes. Radoš: It is always like that with me, my work is always based on two counterpoints in between which it vibrates. I need it in order to get the “split point” in my work. When I integrate objects in a sculpture into new hybrid objects, I actually abate their natural functionality, and am opening them to the artistic function, and that is, as you said, an epistemological cut. Is your strategy a little different? Selman: Perhaps we could say that I am looking for extremes in my private life and then I am trying to

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bring out a simple thought that would have an axiom character. The examples are Black Hand – Hand of a Murderer, lead Spiral of Fear, object Ex Nihilo Nihil Fit (reflection to Caravaggio’s painting David and Goliath), where I am holding my own head. I am trying to perform the thought nothing can be taken away from or added to, to find an optimal form. Definition of the term axiom is: “thorough truth” that does not need to be proven and is a corner stone. That is where the concept of truth arises again, which often happens when I think about art. The highest level of an axiom defined as “thorough truth” is when the one who is watching recognizes that work, when the cut happens and the watcher is no longer as he used to be. At least a little! Ultimately, I think that there is a point of tangency in our works. Many of your works have a character of an axiom, too. The examples are Dečani M1 and Ayia Sofia! With your thinking process, in my opinion, it is about an object as a hybrid, but ultimately, the works I mentioned became axioms. You said that sculpture is simple and banal? Radoš: I say “sculpture is banal” because it is shocking. I want to shake a sleepy watcher, to wake him up for the real world. The first thought is that the statement “sculpture is banal” has a negative connotation, but it is only a direct description. As in the story “The Emperor’s New Clothes”, where everybody saw the truth, but when the child framed it with a statement “THE EMPEROR IS NAKED!” they could react. Sculpture is what it is, and even when it “talks” through a specific performance, it cannot be more than it is, there is no illusion about that, it is measurable, you understand! No one should ask from it more than it can give, but also no one should subdue its nature, and I claim that its nature is deep and mystical. That is my concept. However, about the works you have mentioned, I think I moved them well according to their possible functionality that is keeping them in reality, but not strong enough, therefore a vibration appears between the function of the tent and its controversial form, we were talking about. It is my second principle of work concept that is happening on the level of the watcher’s precognition of the motif and its function. If I talked about my aspirations while producing a work of art, I would choose rapid identifying of work, simplicity which enables you to take concept of work and first visual impression easily with you. I must admit that I rarely succeed in it, but that is my intention. Selman: Yes! If an artist wants to touch the observer’s heart, he must express himself understandably and as simple as possible. No mystifications! People recognize a powerful artistic expression. By the same principle, the observer becomes alienated when it comes to mystification, which often hides emptiness. In the first place, we want to establish a clear speech, a clear dialog at this exhibition! Radoš: These are properties of a top-level work, and every artist dreams about such a work. It is like a hit! Such works are rarely being produced. For the top-level work one must be prepared as both an artist and an observer. It is a complex phenomenon.

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Selman: When you say a hit, it suggests thinking about artistic ambition. Ambition in art is reasonable if it is directed toward art itself, toward desire to produce a top-level work. Artist’s ambition is unreasonable if it is primarily directed toward career, money or status, observed from the angle of an art as a spiritual phenomenon. All those elements of social status can be secondary. Artistic ambition, however, is directed toward spirituality, toward utopia in which it is reasonable to practice art. Ambition is like an asymptote then, as a line that is constantly approaching an ideal axis, and never touching it... Dialog with the artist Radoš Antonijević, as was revealed later, opened a whole series of interactions, cooperation in creating of an artistic utopia Third Belgrade and a series of joint exhibitions. Collective work, altogether with the other members, on rationalizing and development of the Third Belgrade also represents a synthesis of opinions evolved from the dialectical principle, frequent dialogs and mutual speculations about the essential art questions. In 1994, I participated in the exhibition named “We Love the Art of Others, Too”. Conceptual framework of the exhibition was a task to consider which art works and which artists we like. On that occasion I changed my thinking process and turned it toward somebody else and his work instead of toward myself and my work. I tried to put myself into the other artist’s shoes, and to contemplate the artist’s thinking when he was producing a specific work of art. That experience had a double effect. The first effect is destruction of egoism and selfishness since they are disabling us to be aware of many other possibilities. The second effect is experience about another opinion and awareness about possibilities I haven’t been considering by then. It is in the nature of egoism to make us recognizable, to give us a profile and even elements of character; therefore deconstruction of egoism brings us into danger to become too rambling, confused, and amorphous, without a clear artistic profile or position. That is why the process of egoism deconstruction should be simultaneously happening with the design of an inner technique that would be a substitute to egoism. My final conclusion was that the inner strategy is substitute for artistic egoism. Kazimir Malevich introduced a substitutive object instead of figure as a form with visual language in his work Suprematism7, and conceptual artists introduced concept as a substitute to aesthetics. Kazimir Malevich and conceptual artists opened a huge space of new possibilities in the world of visual art by these great cognitions. Nowadays, there is a pluralism of art positions, micro-narratives, and many interpretations and variations of long time known art truths. Somebody might think that this is fantastic, since it is about lots of freedom and democracy. Here, it is not about democracy of visual or other opinion, nor is it about freedom of speech; we are witnesses of a confusion and insignificance of any opinion and expression but the one that is bringing profit or is about political or economic interest. In such a situation an artist is faced, more than ever before, with his own survival as an artist. Therefore, the substitution of egoism method with another strategic element seems to be useful inside of inner strategy frameworks, or comparison to what I am trying to define as a relation to egoism. An artist can play a certain role in 7

Malewitsch , Kasimir (1962). Suprematismus : die gegenstandslose Welt. Köln : DuMont Schaubert.

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art, or more roles, which depends on artist’s affinities and personality. What the theatrical form suggests is that the artist is improvising that role entirely, which means that there is not a scenario but a general presentation, or a theme as a basis for improvisation. It is important to say that an artist is no one else but his own self and that an artist is not lying about his own nature and personality; it is an inner technique, method or strategy to substitute or replace egoism. In that way the artist is dismissing his own self and is conquering at least two perspectives related to the subject of interest and thinking! Historian of art Ješa Denegri and me had a dialog regarding my exhibition Ex Nihilo Nihil Fit (From Nothing – Nothing) on November 15th 2008 in the gallery Osmica (MKM) where the question of the dialog between an artist and a historian was set up; two representatives of two different generations, two different artistic starting points. A man with a great theoretical knowledge and witness of many occurrences in modern art in the past forty years on one side and an artist who was born forty years ago on the other side. After that dialog I started thinking about the necessity of introducing of an inner substitution technique for egoism. Selman: I shall start my annotating with a remembrance based on a special event. At the end of June 1991 a group of young artists, historians of art and critics were travelling by train, which represents an interesting metaphor, to Rijeka, where the Yugoslav Youth Biennial was held. We were passing through all those regions that became bloodshed battlefields soon after that. On the first day, before the opening, we bought the journal Vjesnik; on the first page, there was a title “Slovenia will defend itself” with a photograph of a tank driving over a small car. We were stunned by the news! On that very day, 27th June 1991, we went to the opening of Biennial and the manager Berislav Valušek announced that the artists from Slovenia were not able to come for political reasons. The opening and awarding took place, and we went back home. I was only in the first year of studies when I took part in Rijeka’s Biennial. Ješa: Rijeka’s Biennial was the last Yugoslav youth biennial. Since the sixties, it was a review which promoted many generations of artists. You were the last generation from the Yugoslav art sphere. Later on, it was held as a Biennial of the Mediterranean countries. Biennial in Vršac was founded in Serbia. You were in Germany at the time. Did you take part in the Vršac’s Biennial? Selman: I did! In the fifth one, in 2002; I think it was one of the last ones. Ješa: I see from your biography that you exhibited several times in SKC. How did it happen, what did SKC represent for you in those years? Selman: In the first year of studies I was in the same class with artists Nenad Glišić and Dejan Damnjanović and they connected me with the program of workshops and exhibitions in SKC. The first work I exhibited in the Gallery of SKC on 30th March 1991 was Hole in Space. That work was later exhibited at the Rijeka’s Biennial, too.

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In the beginning of the nineties, a great number of young people with different profiles and college degrees who were interested to present their projects and participate in the programs of exhibitions, performances, dialogs or presentations, were gathering around the Gallery of SKC… Artists from older and younger generations and numerous audiences were involved into the programs. There was an intense, busy atmosphere on all levels. It was fascinating for a young artist like me. I had a chance to work in some kind of a laboratory or a workshop with the people from my generation that were gaining the same interests as me in the Gallery of SKC. It was possible to experiment with art and gain a more liberal approach to art and work in that place. Ješa: Do these works mean something to you today, or are they just student’s works? Selman: I think they are very important. Ivo Andrić’s thought comes to my mind: “We are all excavations of our own childhood”. The beginning is always important, like a basis, revealing of the primary, one’s own sensitivity and poetics. In the same way, my artistic childhood is of great importance to me. I was exhibiting several times in the Gallery of SKC in 1992. All kinds of different works were realized by the material typology, functioning in space and ways of work. I was interested in natural phenomena, technological processes and relation of science and art. On 27th March of the same year, I performed a space installation in polyester “Stalactites – Stalagmites”, on 9th June I set up another installation named “Ice” and on 8th December I set up “Flowers on Fire” in the gallery. I also participated in a joint exhibition in the Happy Gallery regarding the program ’72 MEETINGS ’92 (8th-15th May), twenty years since the first April Meetings. Ješa: You studied in Dusseldorf. How did it happen? What is it you encountered there? Selman: The beginning of war made me leave to Dusseldorf. It was a dark, depressing time that harmed us all very much. SKC helped me about that, or Biljana Tomić and Dejan Mujčić who left earlier. He had already been in Klaus Rinke’s class, as well as a Croatian artist Krunoslav Stipešević. On 17th March 1993 I entered Klaus Rinke’s class. I showed him my map, my works from SKC, art experiments and works from the Academy. Klaus received me immediately but the encounter was very stressful for me. Nevertheless, I would like to mention, since the eighties, many artists who were staying for shorter or longer periods of time, have passed through classes of professors Klaus Rinke, Janis Kunelis, Rabinovich and Nam June Paik: Ivo Deković, Jusuf Hadžifeizović, Radomir Stančić, Danica Dakić, and during the nineties: Dejan Mujčić, myself, Tatjana Ilić, Mirjana Đorđević and Ivan Ilić as guest students, Dejan Sarić, Nenad Glišić and others. Therefore, the second wave of students at the Academy in Dusseldorf were students from the Balkans, from the new countries in transition. Klaus Rinke’s class was ruled by the self-organizing method, collective participating about all subjects and decisions that were related to the work in class, exhibitions and professional travels. The first exhibition at the Academy of Art in Dusseldorf, named “On the Road” was held in 1993 with drawings, sculptures and objects. In 199,4 I organized a solo exhibition, named “Future”, where I presented my new drawings, sculptures and objects in the gallery Kulturgut, Gelsenkirchen. 78


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The exhibition I consider important is “We Love the Art of Others, Too”, organized in 1994. The exhibition project was based on the concept after which students should choose the other artist’s work for their author’s exhibition. It was referring to the fact that the artists are naturally focused on themselves and their work. It was about a mental exercise of focusing on somebody else. I asked Kunelis to lend me one of his works for the exhibition. Kunelis understood that in the right way. He asked me which one I wanted. I intuitively asked for the work named Robespierre (work with a board with word Robespierre written on it and a candle in front). He told me with a smile: “Oooo, young man, you just don’t know what you need!” He sent me to the known collector Dr. Speck from Koln. I got the answer that the work is at the Arte Provere exhibition and therefore is not available. It turned out that the contact with Dr. Speck is complicated and Kunelis made a special work with tracks and shoes and set it up in class personally, right next to the Sam Francis’ work, which was Rinke’s choice. It was a big lesson for me; my first creative meeting with Kunelis. Though I was not in the class he formed then, I experienced him as my own professor. Ješa: What was the educative process of artists Rinke and Kunelis like? What was it you were asking from them? What was it they were giving to you? Selman: I remember a few anecdotes as significant moments from the time! We were thinking and working a lot. There were turbulences all the time. I remember, for instance, that Rinke once said: “I cannot give you a formula; there is no such thing as formula in art! I am still seeking! Maybe I can help you in your personal searching in order not to make big mistakes and not to waste too much time on points and elements that are irrelevant.” It was fascinating for me! I have never heard anything like that here. Kunelis had more subtle methods. I was a joined member in his class. I asked him to be a guest student in his class when he formed it in 1994. He said: “Of course. Certo!” I didn’t think it was important to formalize that status. Mental connection was more important, it is essential. I went to a students’ trip to Tuscany with his class in 1995. He wanted to show us Masaccio and to talk to us about Caravaggio! He started with the thesis that we have all begun from the Greek head. Secondly, he thought that Masaccio and Caravaggio were the first modern artists. Modern art, in his opinion, cannot exist without Caravaggio and Masaccio. To the point! He said that as a metaphor. He meant the entire heritage generally – one should have consciousness about the past in order to produce art of the future. He loved Socrates very much! Greek! Knowing that I am in Rinke’s class, he told me a sentence that I still clearly remember. As a lesson! We were sitting in a pastry shop in Cortona. It is a place in Tuscany where Pietro da Cortona was born. There was a TV set in the corner and a group of students, Kunelis and me were sitting and talking. Seemingly casual! In one moment something about extremity, extremism, and terrorism was mentioned on TV… I cannot remember exactly, but I put a comment on it. He turned to me and knowing that I was Rinke’s student and that Rinke has German approach and supports the thesis that one should be radical about art and not compromise… Kunelis told me 79


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the following: “Radical is alright! It is desirable, of course, but in the actual context radical without transparency leads into the deepest abyss of human existence!” After that he turned and did not talk any more. The sentence was echoing. I have been thinking and am still thinking about that sentence. That was the question I asked myself at the previous exhibition: What is the measure of things? That is how the sentence “…Those Who are Looking for Extremes in Order to Find the Mid” emerged. It is the lowest common denominator which is allegorically describing my art position and my present art work; searching for the optimal way. It is more about philosophy than about strategy of art in general. Ješa: Does it mean that they were talking more about principles and mental approaches than about technology and craft? Selman: Mental approach is a precise term to describe our way of work. My Dusseldorf phase can be related to the events in our country – wars from 1991-1995, with horrible crimes, huge migrations, misfortune; it was one of the most difficult periods in our history. Ješa: How much did you know and how much was the war affecting you as students? Selman: It was affecting us very much! We were intuitively conscious of all that… We could hear and see it over a powerful propaganda in the media. We were deeply distressed because of that! Many of the works I produced then were reflection of the time we were living in. Anyway, it was not something we could avoid. Even today, some elements in my works are working on overcoming of that time. Artistic and historical events of the nineties folded together and the result were the following works: Black Hand, The Other Face of Janus and performance Synchronization I did with the artist from Africa. Jesa: It means that you met all kinds of artists, from Germany and other parts of the world? Selman: Dusseldorf Academy has multicultural programs. There were many students from all the continents, therefore all kinds of different cultural templates and traditions were involved in the art concepts. There are several hundreds of students, as well as professors at the Academy and the tendencies of interests are very much developed and directed in different courses of artistic, social and political engagements. Ješa: What does a political consciousness imply? Selman: The artist is the one who is trying to give information about neuralgic spots in society through artistic language and through his political attitude in critical moments or generally speaking. I formulated my attitude in Black Hand! That work occurred regarding the exhibition whose subject was heritage we inherited culturally, socially or historically. When I was thinking about the subject I had a problem to understand what is typical and authentic in our region. When I say our, I mean all the Southern Slavs on the Balkan Peninsula. I realized that historical and political elements are more important and more representative than the artistic ones. Black Hand is an axiom, Ilija Šoškić would comment. How did that work occure? I asked

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Rinke to help me find a murderer. An official letter was written for me at the Academy. Then I went to the Dusseldorf prison, handed the letter and explained the reason why I want to see a murderer. I also said that the identity of a man is not important, the only thing that mattered was that he killed someone. They answered that they are unable to help me about that matter because of prison rules that are very complicated. They simply rejected me! I was looking for a murderer in order to take a print of the hand he killed a man with! Over a friend who was working in the Venetian prison for women at the time as a teacher of ceramics and sculpture I got a hand print of a woman who killed a husband with an axe. My friend explained to me that the lady was an intelligent and sensitive person who understood my motifs and reasons properly. So, she agreed to let her hand be printed! I thanked him and told him that I was looking for a male hand, but that her hand would be acceptable if necessary. Then I found, by chance, a man who killed another man from a gun in Belgrade. His identity was not important to me, nor his reasons. He was important as a symbol. I want to use Beuys’ term – social plastics. That work is plastics with social connotation! Many people feel fear when they see that work, they do not feel indifferent, they feel restless. A long time has passed since then! I felt an urge to wait... Now I feel that I should not wait any longer. The first thing I did was to organize an exhibition in Smederevo as a recapitulation and it included some new works, too. This exhibition is in Magacin now! Jeťa: What is it you are working on now, what will it be? Selman: I must start from the works I exhibited in Smederevo! There were many new drawings that are subsumed under the name Spiritus Movens, spirit of initiative. What I have noticed in my work is that there are three parallel moving lines. The first one is very rational, thoughtful, and conceptual and is probably a result of my educational heritage. There is a second element that could be described as an interest in mysticism and magic. The third one is a social engagement! All three elements are very important to me and I would like them to be visible at the exhibition. It was not something that I planned; while I was making a concept for the exhibition I realized that these three elements existed. One of the new works that were not exhibited in Belgrade has a name Spiral of Fear. There is a common magic ritual in all regions of the Balkans, which is interesting, that is called casting of horror. The way it is performed is to melt lead and cool it, after which strange shapes form and a competent person can see the cause of fear from it. I took that magical element for my work as a symbol. That work is not a result of a magic ritual literally; I drew the elements that were important to me from it, as a metaphor. From the shapes made by cooling of lead I made an installation on the floor in a spiral form. I named it Spiral of Fear because 81


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it appeared after I faced death directly. It is, actually, an existential experience. It was important to me that the work is not personal, but to have a universal dimension, to enable everyone to recognize themselves in it. Spiral is a universal form that is referring to fear. Hitchcock’s movie Vertigo is coming to my mind. There are many examples of artists using a spiral in context of fear. Well, I simply set up a magical element, a materialization of fear in lead into a spiral form, and that was it. Ješa: What does that work look like? What is it? Selman: It consists of strange, disorderly forms that look light, almost as a lace, although they are heavy and laid on the floor in a spiral form. Diameter of the spiral is related to the height of my body. It is a sculpture at the exhibition. The second one is a painting, entirely minimal where bile and honey were used as pigments. The real bile and the real honey! The painting looks like a diptych with clear entities; almost as a formal minimal painting. Only when the watcher comes closer he realizes what it is about. The third work is a figural sculpture, as a reflection to Caravaggio. In the first place I must remember and mention an experience and a dialog with Kunelis. I have seen Caravaggio’s works twice this year. The first painting I saw was David and Goliath in Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, and the second one “The Beheading of Saint John” in Valletta, Malta. It is known that both David and Goliath on the painting are Caravaggio himself – young Caravaggio who beheaded a little older Caravaggio’s head. It is inversely in my work, the older me is holding my own beheaded head from early youth. Ješa: Well, here we can see Kunelis’ lesson about watching the old masters, when you mentioned Masaccio and Caravaggio… Selman: It is a quotation that I used intentionally! It is recognizable as a conceptual element in my sculptural language. Symbol of beheading is a striking picture in our history, too. Ješa: What does the work look like? Selman: It is a gypsum sculpture; perhaps it will be made in some other material, but for the time being, it is gypsum. What is important to say is that it is a print of my body, real physiognomy of my body. The way the print was taken reminds of a scene on Caravaggio’s painting David and Goliath. The name of the work and an emblem of the entire exhibition is From Nothing – Nothing. Besides that, there will be a whole range of drawings that are representing my artistic thought even more clear. The entire concept has not evolved from nothing but has a clear genesis. The evolution of work has always been important to me. Therefore, they will all be exhibited together. There will be three works in three rooms, three separated entities that belong together. Ješa: When you mention rationally, metaphysically and socially engaged distinctions of the work, what is the relation of these standpoints? What is the type of the engagement? What does it include? Selman: I have been active in an artistic event named Faust-Manifest with two more artists. I have been talking and writing about that a couple of times publicly. Maybe you remember the painting

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Spirit of Time that was exhibited in the Museum of Modern Art in Belgrade. Zeitgeist is a philosophical premise for a work of art on whose basis we, the artists, were developing the system of terminology that is treating neuralgic spots in today’s society. I think people did not understand the work properly. As if it was not accessible. As if it was closed! Someone who does not speak your language simply does not understand you. In that collective work, it was apparent that I, as an artist, needed to directly attack problems we are all facing in the society. Whether it was about political problems, manipulation problems, nepotism, corruption, monopoly, all kinds of apologies, populisms, etc… Anything! Everything that affects our lives and art ultimately; criticisms expressed in art language are happening in the field of art work. An artist, metaphorically speaking, must take a hammer and hit people in the head in order to tell them what is going on. Ješa: What are the present problems you think should be expressed that way? Selman: I have already mentioned them. The root of all problems is degeneration or non-existing system of values. That is the biggest problem. There is a question about the values, what are the values of today’s society!? It is the largest challenge for me as an artist. How is it possible that everything is relative? What causes that? Ješa: How do you express these attitudes in the language of art? Selman: I, as an individual with a collective experience, am searching for my own ways to express that. I think the subversive way seen through subversive axioms like Black Hand is the closest to me. I like to look at things in layers and carefully. I think it is one of the ways for an artists to “change the world” and to live their utopia about an ideal society. The essence is to present your work to people in an authentic and truthful way through universal values in your work. That way everybody will understand you! Ješa: Do you find that the society and the world of arts and artists itself are prepared for that kind of dialog, for such a contact? Selman: In what I am trying to say now I recognize my inheritance from Dusseldorf. Beuys used to say that every man is an artist and he proceeded: Ich suche den Dummsten” (I am looking for the stupidest one), which means that if the stupidest understands what it is you are talking about, than you do not have a problem to communicate as an artist. On the other side, I think that people understand more than we expect or think they do. The major issue, therefore, for the artist is to find understandable language and not to adjust the content of what he is trying to say. That language must have a stronghold in the present, too. Ješa: How much did art contribute or not in your awakening? What do you think? Selman: Art is a subversive force! Art does not have a direct effect. It is the element of Zeitgeist. Art is elitist in the moment of its appearance, which is a paradox to what I was talking about previously.

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A small number of people only understands it at the beginning; Afterwards, naturally, the others, too. In the end it becomes academized. Ješa: I understand that each one of your works is detached. There are drawings, forms, installations, photographs, performances in the media. What is it they all have in common? Selman: I think, in the first place, that the consistent artistic thinking is consolidating them. I am trying to keep that thinking flexible and transparent; open for new impulses. It is important not to listen to yourself only, because, sooner or later you start swimming in a circle. Everyone has their limits! That is why the dialogs and the interactions with people I respect are very important to me. Works themselves, on the other side, are in their own mental internal relation. There is a mental, cohesion force that is consolidating them. Although they have been made with different media, I believe they are recognizable as my works. I have got confirmation for that in dialogs with other artists and with the audience. What is consolidating them formally? Perhaps I could say that there is the handwriting and the style visible in different media. Ješa: How do you rationalize your work? I see that every one of them has its own meaning. Your works are not in series, but are detached and very much concentrated on a certain idea! You are thinking about it and summing it up for a long time. Does work on it follow when the idea is done? Selman: Material performance is the last phase of work! It is also an important phase! It is important for me to visualize my works in my mind entirely and then work on their materialization. Ješa: Like Black Hand, for instance! I mean, did you really know what was it you wanted!? Selman: Yes! It is very important to me! Ješa: Is it like that with every one of your works? Selman: Not with drawings! Drawings are means of primary thinking. One can see a development of the idea, of the thought in them. Ješa: Yes, that is in the nature of drawing! That is the nature of the medium. Selman: I think that drawing as a medium allows intuition and hand memory to show the inheritance of the “classic” painting art. Painting and elements of painting are also very important to me! Composition, line, surface, etc. Qualities of the painting language are built into the painting thought, and we can call it concept for better understanding. If I were a philosopher, lawyer or theorist of some kind, if I did not have any practical painting experience I surely would not be able to visualize and materialize the work as I do it now. Practical experience presents an inevitable quality in artistic thinking. I can say that my last works are like symbols I am leaving. Like signs! Ješa: For how long and in what way does the idea need to incubate? Selman: There are different experiences about that. I mean, there are no rules. Sometimes it happens fast, sometimes slow, sometimes it is a procedure, and sometimes I give up the procedure and

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later on return to it. It comes up later. I have not found the law of the idea evolution process. There are no rules, so it seems. It is difficult for me to dissect it. It is too complex. It looks like moving in the unknown to me. I believe it happens that way because it is happening outside of the rational and analytical. That is why it is exciting. Ratio and analysis help in the process of painting thinking only. Ješa: Do you reflect, afterwards, on what has happened? Selman: Yes, I can analyze, afterwards, what happened. I feel like an alpinist with all the equipment, compass, shoes, clothes, rucksack, apparatus for communication, ropes, hooks and everything else and I am going toward the peak of a dangerous mountain and I do not know what to expect. I am going to the unknown. I do not know if the weather will change, if it is going to be windy, stormy or if the landfall will come up. What are the gradients like? Are there ice, cracks, abysses etc.? Well, I feel fear and reverence and I am very careful and prepared for the unknown in that moving. Perhaps that is a good analogy. Selman: What is important to me in our dialog is, except the comments I made, for me to know what you think about all this? That is to say, about my generation, my work, about the time we live in and about the perspectives from the angle of a historian of art who represents the paradigm of theorist? That question is interesting to me as a discourse between the artist and the historian of art. Where is art today? Ješa: The question of your generation? All of you who have gone to Dusseldorf, as well as many others who have gone into some other European countries belong as generation to post Yugoslav time, a period of transition and significant political and democratic changes. Also, all of you young people at the beginning of the nineties who were moving round SKC are a part of a specific phenomenon in the wide range of art events of many previous generations; seems to me more by a certain mental dimension than by any other properties. Our contacts and friendship with Ilija Šoškić confirms that. All the phenomena round SKC aimed not to be artistic only but to be forms of behavior as well. They were concerned about the formations of artists in these environments where academism was ruling mostly. Quite restrictive and narrowed possibilities of education of young people brought up subversive behavior or language changes. Concrete questions were asked about the functioning of institutions that were approved and established in the society but were giving out on the needs of people who wanted to express themselves through other principles and perceptive approaches. The artists were the ones who were alarming the rocks of emptiness in the system of art. During your stay in Germany you could see that the ways the artists express are wide. Nowadays it is not possible to frame anything into a one common idea. You have just mentioned a question I am especially interested in; system of values, what are values in art and society, and all of it together. A conflict may be found in there that you are perhaps initiating in relation to your environment. How can one recognize art values in today’s world? Values became variable norms and that is creating many nets in the system of ones versus others, which produces conflict and tension in understanding.

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Everything is possible, more or less; everyone can find a way to enounce themselves, but without recognizable consistency over something that is the role of art today, speaking in the classical sense. Concepts of values, positions of artists, cultural institutions, market, general system of functioning and existence have been moved. There were many losses, but many steps forward, too, despite the current crisis. I shall conclude that art today has not lost its spiritual essence despite all the turbulences. The fact is that an artist with awakened attitudes and deep cognition of his own self can produce personal and general truths that form the structure of modern culture as individual segments. Dialog between Ješa Denegri and I represented a recapitulation of the period of education and forming of my art poetics. Ješa Denegri was more an interviewer, and less a participant in the dialog. It is significantly unlike the dialogs with artists. Insight into a period and cognition of the significance of the period for the artist himself is a very important element in development of inner strategy; that is why the way of communication Denegri established is an important new experience. Chronologically third dialog is a conversation between two artists from different generations, Ilija Šoškić, who was born in 1935 and myself, born in 1970. The dialog happened on 22nd July 2009 regarding our joint exhibition named “Hand of an Artist – Black Hand / Hand of a Murderer” in gallery Arte in Belgrade. That dialog is important for this context because it demonstrates the intention of establishing the continuity of thinking between the two different generations. Continuity, or a sense of logic and continuity at least, is the fact that prevents confusion in the thinking process. Continuity is a matter of flow, poetic and valuable connections between the generations in this case! Selman: When I started thinking about our dialog and about “my hand” I remembered that you said that our hands were axioms. It is about one side of the story; what I wanted our dialog to involve as well is a previous thinking process – time, place, why, how… I think that is important because of linking the two generations and the historical center line we are trying to establish by our discourse in the exhibition and collective thinking about our two hands! You mentioned axioms once, what did you mean by that? Ilija: When I was working on the first phase – concept, I had to find several benchmarks. I also turned to some mythological texts where hand is mentioned as an extended spirit. In conversation with Mario Diacono I found out that American Hopi Indians have a ritual with a hand where hand is connection with the beyond, with the metaphysical. Those made me transform a hand into a hand-claw. Long acacia thorns were tied to the fingers and the green painted hand was coming out of the wall. It arose from the pressure in the seventies when the ideology of vanguard became anachronism. Recycling of painting appeared, and my answer to it was a hand-claw built into a wall which was pointing to other three walls. That statement had a meaning – Just you put your paintings and you will come across the hand-claw of different art opinion. That is how the first version of the hand-claw appeared, copy of the left hand! Selman: Why left?

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Ilija: Because left hand is more involved in my art than the right one! Selman: Do you know that the Hand of a Murderer – Black Hand is also a left hand?! Ilija: You see, it happened coincidentally, but‌ Right hand is a hand of a practitioner, and the left one is not, it has a metaphysical dimension. I am not much capable of doing anything with my left hand. I am taking care of it! One shake hands with the right hand, one does everything with the right hand, and the other one is for art. Two years later, in 1982 the second version of my work appeared, in the Museum of Modern Art in Belgrade, in a performance where I represented three hands. Two plus one! Copy of this left hand was exhibited there. Selman: When did you exhibit that first hand? Ilija: In 1980! That is correct, in 1980! In Rome, in Mario Diacono Gallery, when the Roman art scene was crushing! Mario Diacono is not only a gallery owner, he is also a theorist and university professor in Chicago and New York. Intellectual par excellence! And the hand feels the need to show up in some circumstances! Context is a troublesome feature, hand was born in troubles, you understand. That period was troublesome for me. I experienced it tragically! That is why I reacted that way. Frog-green hand with long claws coming out of the wall was such a drama! Nails were painted black and thorns were glued with scotch tape. That hand was creating a great tension in the gallery. Whoever came in had a feeling‌ it was transferring misery onto others! Selman: I would like to add something here. When the idea about my hand was evolving I did not know anything about your hand, but even if I did, it would be the same! The same thing would happen. My hand arose in 1996 and it is a result of my thinking and experiencing events in the nineties, and not only me, but all the people in the region. It turned out that it was the most miserable, dramatic and worst time in the twentieth century in our country. It lasted for too long, there were series of wars, and the end of it could not be seen. Ilija: It has not ended yet! Version of the work was done in bronze and has a form of a glove. The original template, from 1999, was made in iron and in full material. Selman: Hand of a Murderer, or Black Hand arose in the context of an exhibition whose subject was ethnical roots of our visual culture and our culture in general. While I was thinking about the subject, intuitively at the beginning, and later quite clearly, I realized that the historical and political aspects of violence are elements that determine our culture and the way of thinking in the region, no matter what ethnic group is considered. I told my friends - artists who were exhibiting and Rinke that I want to make that hand! I said that I want to find a murderer, take a print of his hand and make a work of art from it! They were amazed by my statement but reacted positively later! I got an official letter of support and went to the Dusseldorf prison, where I asked them to let me have a hand print of a murderer. I did not care about the identity of a man. They rejected me for all kinds of procedures and legal limitations. After that I took a hand print of a woman from the Venetian prison. A friend of 87


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mine was lecturing ceramics there. Women-prisoners were coming to his lectures which were like a therapy to them. A friend of mine told me that one of them was extremely intelligent and sensitive and she understood in the right way my wish to print a hand. She allowed me to take her hand print, but I needed a male hand! I have always been thinking that a female hand is giving life and a male one is taking it away! Then I was searching further and I accidentally found a man here, in Belgrade. It could happen anywhere but it happened here, in Belgrade! Ilija: The path from the idea to the realization is very exciting. That story absolutely must be told. Hand itself, once casted and done, it is a conclusion! The conclusion of that dramaturgy! Selman: The part of the story how I found that man is interesting, too. First thing I did was to ask a friend if he knew a murderer who would allow me to print his hand. I knew that a friend of mine worked in the security department, that he spent some time in the war zones, etc… I said to myself – Maybe he knows somebody who killed for some reason! He told me that he knew a man and that he would ask him. I also told him that it does not matter who he is, why he killed, was it his fault or not, was it self-defense or a crime act. I was not interested in any of these! I was interested in the fact that he killed! He repeated again that he knew one and that he would ask him! He asked me why I needed that and I replied that it is about an artistic project and explained my idea to him; about my research and work on it. We agreed to phone one another in a couple of days. I called him and he told me that the man accepted! We made an appointment for Saturday in my studio. He showed up, but there was no one with him. I disappointedly asked: “Where is the man?” and he answered: “I am that man!” “I am that man” he said! I felt very embarrassed at the moment, as if I had unveiled him in a way! He told me that he does not want to explain, but that he had his reasons, and that it was not a crime act; that was why he allowed me to take his hand print! He put his hand into rubber and that is how the print was made! I casted the original in iron, in full material, and painted it black; and that is how Black Hand was made! I first exhibited it in Dusseldorf, then in the gallery Stephania Miscetti in Rome, at the Vršac’s Biennial and in the end in the Museum of Modern Art in Belgrade; I have exhibited it with you in the new context now. People have always reacted fearfully to this painting. Whenever people see that hand I see fear on their faces! They do not feel indifferent! Let’s get back to the other part, the relation between our two works. They were made in different times, different thinking processes stand behind them, their meanings are different, but they are still related to each other. The question of relation between my hand and your hand, between my generation and your generation is the essential one we should discuss! Ilija: Well, yes! These two hands did appear in two different times as axioms! My axiom is related to transition period in between the seventies and the eighties when the scene was crushing and when two parallel situations existed! There was terrorism, named lead year, and it was materialized in conceptual art and in the vanguard of that time! So-called other vanguard! I had a different opinion about art language reacting at the time! That is how I came up to the idea, the axiom that was launched in that moment. In your case it is about some other time, but you also have war, another time of lead

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years, and it is all related, isn’t it? Finally, disintegration of Yugoslavia is something we had all been feeling about earlier. Since we, the artists have a capability to anticipate the future we had a feeling about it happening much before it did happen. Then you react, and people start wondering about that! Later on they start understanding! But later! Selman: Tell me, please, why have you accepted to exhibit with me? What was guiding you? Ilija: Why have I been glad to accept?Because I believe in the continuity of art and because we belong to the generations that cover forty years. There was a pause after my generation, then your generation showed up and that is where our positions connected. The eighties represented some other position! With your generation that was in Dusseldorf everything continued! That is why I came to Dusseldorf in 1994. We met for the first time at the Academy in Dusseldorf. I saw the great troubles of your generation. I saw that there was gradualism. We should look for distinctive places where distinctive people are thinking in distinctive ways now. It is no longer the mass movement which was attributing my generation! I have seen it all and I consider it very important! It has all happened and we have two works that are in continuity. It was twenty years between my Hand and your Hand, difficult twenty years. Now, when we passed 2000th and when everything is clear, not exactly everything, but most of it, it is very important. Methods, anachronisms, recycling are clear… We are not anachronous, we are in continuity! Selman: That is the essence! That is why we need this dialog. Ilija: If you are going back, it means death! Selman: I wanted to tell you why it is important to me to exhibit with you and why these two works! I must start from the complicated in order to come to what I am trying to say. I think that the generation of people that were young artists in the nineties, and started creating their own art position, to create the spirit of the generation is historically harmed! I do not want to lament, but the truth is that we have been harmed! Some people call us the lost generation. I do not accept that neither as a man nor as an artist. I do not accept that fatalism and I do not think it is all over; I think that we must do our best to try to rehabilitate or revitalize our generation, our art position and our opinion in the course of time! That is something that matters to me as an artist. Many people have gone from former Yugoslavia, from Serbia, from Belgrade. Several dozens of thousands of people have moved to Canada, USA, Western European countries… It was a commonplace, a tragedy! Some of them have returned, some have not; I have an impression that most of them have not! It was a result of tragic and dramatic times. The art of the nineties was not written properly, and the history of that time was, somehow, improvised. We who belong to that generation must face with the continuity from that time. Who are we? Where does our art come from? Where do our art language, our sensibility, our motif and cause to produce art come from? While I was thinking about it as an individual I realized that we were learning and took an example from your generation! Rinke, Kunelis, Richter and many others who were lecturing at the Academy in Dusseldorf belong to your generation… They are men who were at their best artistic strength in the sixties and the seventies. Well, we have that connection in the

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sense of continuity, we have learned from you! We also have something of our own, we went further away! It is an additional matter! My attempt to contribute to the establishing of continuity was to ask you to represent our works in the same context so the visual continuity can be defined in a sense of language on example of one work. We, primarily, present our work! Our work should speak for itself about the kind of relation that exists! In language of art, in spiritual relation and in artistic thought. Elements of the last utopia which was related to your generation, favorable global circumstances and idea of your generation – we are searching for them now! We are searching for a vision of a possible utopia that could give sense to our artistic creation. What we are trying to reach first are elements of the past. One cannot produce art without the consciousness of the past. Naturally, what we recognize first is what is close to us, elements of the artistic thought of the generation you belong to! It is the relation between our two Hands from my point of view! Summary – first of all, the times of creating of your and my Hand are different, but there are many similarities; the second, vision of revitalization of artistic thought, rehabilitation of the values of entire generation and establishing of its artistic meaning and continuity; third, artistic language and ways of articulation. It is about two concrete hands – that is how I see our relation. Ilija: Yes, yes! We have been mentioning axiom, which means sign. It can be brought into relation with a mathematical axiom. These are two axioms that represent two different times. There were ten years of emptiness between them, in the eighties! It was emptiness for me; you did not arrive yet at the time. Your generation appeared in the nineties. You were lucky to miss that period of anachronism! Acute and aggressive anachronism! I had to cope with that time. We met in 1994, as we have mentioned, in Dusseldorf. I came there by a winding road through Yugoslavia. I was caught by war; I was trapped by embargo in a war zone! Due to various circumstances, I do not remember how, I was invited to Dusseldorf. Selman: The name of the exhibition was “We Love the Art of Others, Too”, which is interesting! Ilija: Yes! These things are now interesting. We know that art is magic. This is even more than that, it can be considered as super-power. One might say that our two signs are representing a power which is derived from the turbulence of the time. One cannot joke with art, cannot be dishonest! One must be honest! Planetary energies are acting in that play! I came to Dusseldorf then as if I came home. All those artists from Beuys to Rinke were coming to the gallery I was working at in Rome! We were having constant communication! Both Rinke and I were motorcyclists; we were doing the same things… we met there as people who survived shipwreck. That was where I met your generation. That is the dramaturgy of all this matter, the dramaturgy of these two works! It is interesting that these works are magical as forms; they have auras that can be read differently in different times. Reading and understanding change from time to time; that is what happened to our two works. Their auras are enhancing. That is how I see the meaning of these two works while the exhibition is being prepared here, in Belgrade, in a private gallery. These two works will go out in public one more time!

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Selman: Yes, but in a new relation! Ilija: I have an impression that their auras are even stronger now; the motifs and reasons are stronger; as if the time being needs such signs more than the previous one. It is one of my impressions! It is not only an impression; I also see lots of excitement over these two related works. On the other side, we are very calm since we are in logic from which credibility is being derived. Maybe to those who are watching it from aside, who are half-skilled and do not have enough knowledge in history of art, it can happen that they do not understand these works properly because they do not understand the matter. Selman: That is why this dialog is important! There is another matter which is important – it is not coincidental that you are a symbol of your generation and I am a symbol of mine. I dare say that we are not individual artists only, but represent relations of two generation, too! Ilija: Exactly! That is why we made these two works and that is why we are mentioning them, because they are axioms, concentrated signs which represent something strongly! The others can feel that as well, but these two works have appeared now because of a need for a powerful handwriting! The need exists, but I do not think that anything is going on. Nothing is going on. Fear, irony, cynicism etc. exist. Whenever there is a cynicism as a dominant situation, a need to come out of that appears; a need for strong matters exists. Whenever powerful forms do not exist, morbid forms that serve only for survival appear. Selman: I would like to add another reason for this joint exhibition and to explain how it happened; there is history to it. You said that you came to Dusseldorf by winding road in 1994 to the exhibition “We Love the Art of Others, Too”. I chose Kunelis, your contemporary, for the exhibition. He made a work for the occasion, but I do not want to talk about it again; it is important to say that it was when we first met. We have met several times in the meantime, but our second concrete meeting was at the exhibition Omnibus regarding which you wrote a text Garbage Can, that was in the catalogue and was concerning several artists from Dusseldorf art school. All of us together have chosen you to exhibit there, which meant that we wanted to define our position in a sense of continuity. Our third connection happened at the masters’ workshop at the festival “Crossroads” in Valjevo; you were leading the workshop and I was helping altogether with the others. We meet for the fourth time at the gallery Arte! Ilija: We have been talking about exhibiting our Hands together for a long time now. Selman: It was long time ago, I shall try to remember. I think we talked about it in 1999, when I visited you in Rome. I was talking to you about my work and I mentioned Black Hand, and you told me that you also have a Hand from 1980. Do you remember that? Ilija: Yes! Selman: Then one of us said that we should exhibit them in the same context, on a joint exhibition. It was the first idea! Ilija: We have been thinking about it for ten years! It is a long time!

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Selman: It was during the bombing! Ilija: Exactly! It was a moment of horrible violence; civilization crisis. Total crisis! The Hand of a Murderer was standing perfectly then! My Hand-Claw, too! We needed ten years to realize the idea. Why? Because there was no one we could make it with. In order to make an exhibition there must be a gallery, a space, a man to lead it and a team of people to work on it. These conditions did not exist; otherwise we would have made it already. Selman: Goodwill is present, too, therefore it will happen; it will not be in gallery Arte only, but in many other places; it should travel and be visible to everyone! From Slovenia to Macedonia and all over Europe; our art expression would get full intensity! I believe it will happen and the exhibition will start travelling. Ilija: It is a good sign. If the road opened to it, which we all hope for, it would mean that the two signs finally create one axiom! It would mean that the axiom is properly understood. It would also mean the axiom represents something that is being confirmed! Art can do something the ordinary human activity cannot. I believe it could be a stimulus for the younger generations. For example, the artists of this generation we were working with in Valjevo! I had that impression in relationship with them. I could see that they do not reject me as a member of the older generation, as a person who is not realistic, they were watching and listening to me. We had a dialog! It was a communication to the maximum! I always say what I think, and I told them what I thought without any modifications, calculations or pedagogical corrections. I was talking directly, explicitly, clearly… the response was excellent! I hope our two works will be accepted by them since they are creating a Belgrade scene of the future. I hope it would mean something to them. It would be good for the young generation to think and to search for a powerful form and expression! To leave the academism, conventions, etc.; that is the only way for them to become a new scene and to be recognized as a new generation. Selman: We could end this dialog with this remark. I think we mentioned all the important matters and that this addition is a step forward. The idea is that the new generation should continue. Anyway what the two of us are doing is serving to that. We want to make a logical axe. You said once that we are creating logos from which credibility is being derived, which I entirely understand and agree with! Ilija: It makes sense if you are up to something! If the situation remains as it is, than we cannot go anywhere and nothing can happen. It would be a disaster! There would be no vision, no horizon. We shall see what will happen. What I am expecting of this exhibition is to create a positive tension, to create a non-ordinary situation; a hit that changes you! The last one in the series of works that were result of interactions with other artists is the work The Third Man. It is a corporate work of two artists – Selman Trtovac and Ranko Đanković. The work has three elements: sculpture, text and video recording. The Third man is a real print, real physiognomy of both artists casted in polyester. Castings of half of one and half of other man lengthwise create a body of the third man. All the elements of the

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sculpture were “screwed” onto the metal construction; therefore the sculpture has a character of an archeological excavation. There are written terms on the internal surface of the sculpture, memories of both artists since their early youth to the moment when the sculpture was created. Video surveillance – camera positioned in the head zone is transmitting video signal to the projector which is projecting the picture on the wall. The projection of the inside of the sculpture is a painting. Reason for the two authors started thinking about the corporate work was photograph of Stjepan Filipović. The photograph, made right before the execution of Stjepan Filipović in Valjevo in 1942, one can see a man heroically facing death. One can see victory over fear and willingness to die for the idea he believed in and was fighting for. This photograph made a strong impression on both artists. They felt metaphorically stressed and moved by the scene. It was a “trigger” for thinking, many debates, dialogs and plans. The work itself, which was finally materialized in form of a sculpture, went far away from the initial template and the photograph remained as a far echo of the original scene. The only similarity with the photograph, in formal sense, is the position of the figure standing with raised hands and clenched fists. Ideological sign of the photograph was not important for the artistic speculation process; neither is interpretation of history, glorification of ideology nor question of heroism; Artistic opinion, caused by a photograph is referring to the system of values, collective memory, vision, idea, fear and death. In the process of work on both works, both authors, who are very much different actually, had to cope with the problem of the defining and the articulation of a corporate painting work in praxis. Related to that, the sculpture had to fulfill a few conditions; it had to be “simple”, harmonious and logical; in order to achieve that, the artists were searching for similarities and mutual elements in their individual artistic positions. These elements form a skeleton of the sculpture’s visual identity. Preliminary part or the internal space represented a question of the involvement of “the third”. We can say that the question of “the third” was an essential principle in the process of articulation. Personal memories of both artists were written as a glossary of memories of two generations. Memories are similar, but the terms are universal. Anybody can have such memories. One might say it is an abstract of the collective memory! This work represented a great challenge for me since it was exceeding the independent art work; even dialectical principle in relation with another artist became experimental field of team work in a way, and collective authorship in the context of sculpture. I have been discussing the questions of inner strategy in a kind of unconventional way in this chapter. In the dialogs I was having with the artist and the theorist for a longer period of time I presented many elements of my art biography that are important for understanding the genesis of my artistic position. Besides that, I tried to cope with the biggest questions an artist can ask himself and the others, with the questions of sense and logic in the artistic creating and the possible painting language today. I have not found a final answer but I tried to develop a plan, a personal inner strategy that can be useful in my research.

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Strategy of the Artistic Behavior (Outer Strategy)

I defined the second element of my artistic strategy as an outer strategy. It is about artistic behavior, individual attitude, thinking about politics, law, religion, philosophy, interpersonal relationships, economy, management in art, marketing, galleries, works of art trade, organizations, market changes, price of art work at the market, tactics, timing, etc.; well, everything that is important for an individual and his functionality in the system of art works and society in general. On the other side, artistic behavior, as a part of the outer artistic strategy implies contribution of an artist to the community in which his art is being produced, to the society and humanity in general, with awareness of the spirit of the time an individual artist works in. The question is: What is it an artist can or must do! What is it an artist does for others! That is what Beuys understands as social plastics. Outer strategy today should contain the idea of unitizing, creation of new structure at the art scene, a new space in art and culture in general. That part of thinking about strategy of behavior is related to the question of the artist’s ways to conquer a new space, to the location of the space and its perspectives! It is a question of the utopia’s perspective. Planning and development of unitizing methods and new art structures is one of the methods that could bring on the creation of the surroundings where it would be possible to revise dominant artistic or cultural and political establishments. Artistic unitizing and creation of new structure can produce a free space where new impulses can appear that reflect a spirit of time and that way represent a phenomenon much stronger than that of an individual artistic position. Such a group activity enables larger visibility to each individual art poetics and is not endangering the individual, but is strengthening him manifold. Group activities rationalized that way are directed toward new or toward replacement of the existing cultural structures or are directed toward creation of new or replacement of the existing consciousness on the issues important in art. That is where we come to the issue of possible utopia.

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Mental Space of Artistic Work

When I was thinking about the methods, experiences and thinking processes in my work, I concluded that there are several different approaches to it, which depend on the medium I chose to articulate a specific art expression. The art of drawing is my primary form of expression, the first impulse in the development of a form or action. When I say drawing I mean universal principle of visual composing in which all the humankind is participating. When we are arranging the apartment or the garden or trimming the hedge, we are already involved in the process of drawing. Homo sapiens has existed for 150.000 years on the planet. The first traces of drawing are from the caves in Altamira and Lasco and are about 40.000 years old. A man did not draw, or no one has proved it yet, for about 110.000 years. Only when human as a kind started drawing, evolution, development and progress began. Based on this knowledge, one can conclude that the art of drawing is an evolutional principle. The first drawings were not mimetic, they were made in a state of deep trance, in a special state of mind; they were representing the internal picture, picture of the world, and the way of seeing the world. Those drawing were really an image of the spiritual world, trip to the beyond, contacts with the spirits of the dead ancestors and divine creatures. These people, who represent the childhood of humankind, could cope with the mystery of death and travelling into the life after death over drawing. The knowledge that the first drawings were images of the spiritual world dramatically influenced my approach to the art of drawing. Drawing is representing a possibility to enter a special, higher state of mind for me. An example for such an approach is an exhibition State of Mind, exhibited in gallery ULUS in summer 2010 (images 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 21, 26, 27). In such situations all potentials of the mind get mobilized: intuition, sense for composing and rhythm, logic intelligence, dreaming, experience, senses and archetypal elements, which means collective memory; it further on means the experience of the people who lived before me, their fears, hopes, aspirations, emotions, customs, habits, visions, beliefs, magic, memory, etc. Very simple means as pencil and paper, without technological superstructure which is characteristic in the painting language today, make me concentrate on what is important in art. Drawing does not stand mystification or illusion; knowledge is not very much significant, because one can learn and forward the knowledge, but not the truth. It must be comprehended! The art of drawing is one of the oldest procedures to get to the truth.

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Let us take an example of a magnet which we see as a simple geometrical form, put it under the paper, as we used to do in physics class. If we pour metal powder on the paper we shall see the powder is forming lines and is following magnetic forces that come from the magnet. It is an invisible force, invisible form. The art of drawing can be identified with the pouring of metal powder, metaphorically. That way the reality presents itself as it really is and not as it seems. Form of a drawing appears within the idea first, which is a result of forces that react around us constantly. What interests me during the development of an art form is a question of forces in my surroundings that constantly influence me as an individual, my surrounding, us as a society and finally us as a kind that lives on the planet. Except for these elements in the drawing process, or the articulation of the drawing, it is very important what I learned at the FLU in Belgrade; practical exercising, watching, copying, knowledge of art elements, discoveries related to perception, etc. Practical work and exercise during my studies “implanted” a special memory into my hand. It is a kind of memory that cannot be deleted, like swimming or riding a bicycle. That is something implicit, an integral part of an individual, specific practical ability. That is the element which differentiates an artist from a theorist of any kind. From the art of drawing, which is in the nature of my approach different than the other processes of materialization of visual thinking, the other forms of my coping with art are being derived. Photograph is the next medium which is similar to drawing, since the levels of planning and conceiving are performed in a very short moment of “capturing” the moment in reality (images 8, 10, 25, 43and 45). Photographs afterwards become the elements of carefully planned context, concept or plan. Now we are getting to the next method of my approach to the articulation of work – planning and designing. That praxis is a result of experience I gained during my studies in Dusseldorf, which is my awareness of living in the material world which shows tendency of exploitation of everything so much that we are facing the possible destruction and disappearance of our own kind. That experience is the reason why I am thinking about matters outside of this time and state the civilization is in today and a reason for a constant tending to and thinking about a concrete, functional utopia. Praxis of planning and designing, which means utilization of previously formed art elements and their “implant” into a specific aesthetic and semantic organization and composition, is the most frequent method I am using when dealing with art. It is obvious in all the methods I have been using so far: in photograph, objects, performances and video works (images 3, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 27, 28, 29, 32, 42). Certain idea, which is usually a result of a complex mixture of experiences, cognitions, aspirations toward ordered organizing, is the basis for choosing an adequate medium for a concrete form I want to develop. However, with the exception of drawing, the development of a form is previously planned and conditioned by the character of the idea itself. Plan is never rigid and unchangeable; it is a kind of guidance toward the final form. The process of work is a very important element of my art praxis, too. Typical examples of this are installations, objects (Black Hand, image 33), installation (Flowers on Fire, image 30), video works (We Love the Art of Others, Too, image 47). 96


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Video work appears as a result of an action, performance or happening, therefore we can say it is a collateral product. Despite that, video recording is not less important than the art work itself; it is a possibility for a certain happening to be saved for a longer period of time. At the same time, video is not the document only; it is a special art form. Performance represents the most complex form of art figuration for me. Besides all the characteristics of the other media I have mentioned, performance has additional elements such as time, scene, clothes, movement, act, flow, etc. My understanding of performance in the painting art significantly differentiates from the theatrical performance, though both forms have many similarities. In painting performance, the act that is played does not emulate the reality but is creating it directly. The example is the work Void (image 25), where line on the forehead is not drawn with the red pencil but is carved with a sharp object. It is a brutal example that illustrates the character of performance. In the video work I Love the Art of Others / Vertical, there is no montage and the act of drawing the lines is not manipulated in any other way. Performance and consequently video as well are traces of the reality and therefore an illustration of the method I am using in my search for the truth in art. In accordance with that, there is a question of creating external structure, a micro-utopia that would enable perception of art in a new way. It is a very important task for an artist today because the art is not only aesthetic but also a political category par excellence! Philosopher Alain Badiou gave, in my aspect of thinking, a possible conceptual framework for understanding the strategies of modern art politicization: “… the art today no longer uses the idea of global political project but acts inside the field of micro-politics. In other words, art is praxis of defining the autonomous utopian spheres and critics in actual social realities; an art project is a happening within the space of networking the contemporary”. There is no adequate or inviolable recipe for new art in this text. I believe that such a recipe in art does not exist and has never existed. There are only different paths to reach a specific projection or visual truth in art. Philosopher Hannes Bohringer says in one text: “We shall see what will happen! Leaving, transition, passing by in the long run cannot be satisfied in the ephemeral things like journeys, fashion and the culture of the event. Elements of the vanguard became mechanical. They transited from the moving to the standing. Therefore their utopian dimension no longer exists. They became habits in our standing, like a modern furniture, Biedermeier and Baroque. Vanguard wanted to integrate moving from standing to moving as a perceptible step within the principles of progress…”8 When it is about this element of artistic strategy, outer strategy, it is necessary in the first place to analyze the context in which a certain behavior should develop. Of course it is about only one subjective retrospection and interpretation of distinctive social phenomena. Considering the interpretation of the today’s situation, I believe it is important to begin from its genesis, from causes that were bringing to the certain phenomena and finally think about the situation in the world of art today and the possibilities that are being derived from it. This can be written and thought about extensively since 8

Böhringer, Hannes (2004). Harte Bank : Kunst, Philosophie, Architektur. Berlin :

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the processes are very complex and cover a long time period. In this text, I shall confine to issues important to me and concentrate on defining of a possible strategy and practical procedure within the frameworks of the strategy. In the dialog9 with the Italian historian of art Bruno Cora in 1980, Kunelis said: “…theorists of art and critics must become realistic and related to the genesis of appearance of an artist and his work, related with the history of art and history of society. These are conditions a critic must fulfill in order to do his work; otherwise he could not do it, it would be following of his own interests.” Kunelis, as well as many other artists of the time noticed a pathology developing within the relations on the art scene as a result of global political changes. That is why he is mentioning complex strategy with a little cynicism. I have mentioned this because I think it is very important to realize what kind of surrounding an artist should work in and think about art! In that sense, his sentence represents a clear identification of the situation which is still actual! Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Žižek’s thesis is adequate for further analyzing. That thesis is especially interesting if one is aware of the position of an artist. He said: “Radical sadomasochistic practices are wide spread inside of cultural sphere of modern Neoliberalism. They come out from the obscure law of superego that appeared due to decay of traditional authority of the state, religion, patriarchal progress (a system which forbids access to jouissance, therefore the subject is fantasizing the frameworks of the symbolic law). Hence resurrection of different kinds of totalitarianisms, like post-communist nationalism, for instance”.10 In order to achieve the possibility to regenerate the lost category of totality or lost utopia, it is necessary to perceive functioning mechanisms of late capitalistic society and distribution of power. Relying on theses of Michel Foucault and Gilles Deleuze, philosophers Hart and Negri made an assumption that there is not a fixed place of power in contemporary capitalism – power and exploitation are spreading capillary. Therefore, marxistic dialectics of use and exchange values is no longer actual, and exploitation takes up the entire social area! In that sense German philosopher Herbert Marcuse revised the traditional definition of totalitarianism; it does not mean a forcible coordination and governing the society only, but economic and technological coordination that acts through the processes of governing and manipulation of needs. Therefore, it is about false needs!11 The idea of totality of society, or society as an undivided entity is an ideological distortion, because the society is permeated with antagonisms (class, racial, original, national, etc.). The idea of disinterested art aims to “cover” the antagonistic character of historical and social realities which has a function to maintain the establishment. Kounellis, Jannis (1992). Ein Magnet im Freien : Schriften und Gespräche 1966 – 1991. Bern [u.a.] : Gachnang & Springer Žižek, Slavoj (1975). The connection between the Lacanian concept of the superego: jouissance and nationalism. Journal Problemi, Vol. 13th 11 Marcuse, Herbert (1989). Man of One Dimension: Discussion about Ideology in Developed Industrial Society. Sarajevo: 9

10

“Veselin Masleša.”

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That is why art is suitable for different forms of ideological investments – it is a means of social domination in the class fight field.12 For many critics of Postmodern, it is necessary to briefly analyze the genesis and character of postmodern position. Postmodern philosophical position does not have a negative remark; however, it has been distorted and abused in praxis so much, that a question of overcoming the situation has become very important. The entire superstructure of theory of art after 197213 is based on the thesis of the Austrian philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein that the work of art is a tautology.14 One of the key philosophers of Postmodern, Jean-Francois Lyotard speaks about the postmodern art in that sense by taking Wittgenstein’s thesis over; he says that it is about wordplay in art. American philosopher Arthur Danto went further on and set a theory about the death of art! Art became marginal, it lost its autonomy and significance; it functions as a signifying practice within culture. It means that it functions within a certain context only (as a contextual art), as a discourse (discourse art); it turned into a form of waste industry; it recycles the ideas, forms and values according to the needs of political or strategic interests. What we see and recognize as quotation, appropriations, compilation, new reading, commonplaces, and thematic art which brings certain benefits (gender, human rights, minorities, vulnerable social groups, Roma issue etc.), therefore political pseudo-art fair, pseudo-art, patchwork are frequent appearance at exhibitions. Such art praxis produced a great confusion brought by the corrupted theorists of art and curators of big exhibitions and that is why the searching for new utopian spaces is the existential question.

12 Žižek, Slavoj (1975). The connection between the Lacanian concept of the superego: jouissance and nationalism. Journal Problemi, Vol. 13th 13 Epstein, Mikhail (1995). After the Future: The Paradoxes of Postmodernism and Contemporary Russian Culture. Amherst: The University of Massachusetts Press. 14 Wittgenstein, Ludwig (1989).Tractatus logico-philosophicus ; Tagebücher 1914-1916 ; Philosophische Untersuchungen. Frankfurt am Main : Suhrkamp.

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Micro-Utopia as a Concrete Utopia

Utopia is, according to philosopher Fredric Jameson, a representation of social contradictoriness and attempt to define enclave (social differentiation) within the social sphere. Jameson understands utopia in the context of “positive” cultural role regarding representation of totality and in addition to Marx, he understands social role of art in the context of resistance to postmodern fragmental character which affects all life segments in late capitalistic society; for him, art is an element that can regenerate the lost category of totality. 15 Regarding the exhibition Dialectics of Selman Trtovac and Radoš Antonijević, art theorist Nikola Dedić, said in the context of art position of an artist: “It is about an attempt to reconstruct certain principles of utopian marxistic theory, but without the teleological vision of history and without idealistic humanism the early interpretations of Marx’ philosophy were burdened with; …the difference between the situation, state and necessity on one side and the events on the other. The state of necessity is what simply exists: it is about infinite multiplicities, the differences of “objective” situation. The moment which is irreducible to “simple enlisting to what exists” is denoted as an event; unlike the situation given, an event determines a radically new, different way of existing in the world.”16 Event is a radical rebound, cut in the state of objective necessity direction. It is about philosophical attempt of criticism and rejection of postmodern skepticism and its insisting on categories “wordplay” and discourse. That is how Badiou made a conceptual framework for understanding the strategies of modern art politicization: art today does not use the idea of global political project any more but is acting within the micro-politics field. In other words, art is praxis of defining the autonomous utopian spheres of actual social reality critics; art project is an event within the sphere of contemporary networking.

15 Jameson, Fredric (2007). Archaeologies of the Future : The Desire Called Utopia and Other Science Fictions. - London [u.a.] : Verso. 16

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Third Belgrade as Physical Art Space

In order to explain the Third Belgrade as a micro-utopian art space, I have to enlist what it represents first: -

Third Belgrade is a work of art!

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Third Belgrade is sort of art cooperation, artists gathered after the model of agricultural cooperation. It is a form of self-organized artists.

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Third Belgrade is a new art place, building, gallery, residential space for artists, studio‌

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Third Belgrade is a micro-utopia.

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Third Belgrade is not a pure necessity but an event, radical movement related to the state of objective necessity. It is about an attempt to practically implement philosophical criticism of postmodern skepticism.

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Third Belgrade is a conceptual framework for understanding the strategy of politicization in contemporary art.

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Third Belgrade does not try to manipulate the idea of global political project but acts within the micro-politics field.

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Third Belgrade is a group of artists’ art strategy implementation.

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Third Belgrade is a form of politically engaged strategy which gives new sense of artistic existence in changed social circumstances.

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Third Belgrade is a demonstration of social responsibility.

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Third Belgrade is an example how to demonstrate artistic ethics. (Not to live for yourself only, and not to be guided by your own selfish interests only).

Third Belgrade is a reflective and physical space, an artistic cooperation and practical implementation of certain behavior strategy of a group of contemporary artists from Belgrade. It is mentally supervened to Alain Badiou’s theory of event as a definition of autonomous utopian space or practice of networking the contemporary. The name Third Belgrade has been taken from urban terminology. First Belgrade is the old city center, Second Belgrade is New Belgrade and Third Belgrade is the part of the city on the left bank of Danube.

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Physical space of Third Belgrade consists of a gallery as a central space, a club, a library and residential rooms for lectures and workshops. Third Belgrade yard is planned as an open theatrical scene for different artistic events. Third Belgrade is a result of a group of artists’ desire to respond to problems in art and society. It is a result of the need to create a new micro-utopia, a new, relocated and parallel world within the political context, an artistic “warm room” which is networked with similar artistic initiatives. That way there is a chance to overcome the problems of fragmentation, arbitrariness and manipulation of art itself by the political elites for the purpose of self-preservation. The artists of Third Belgrade are trying to understand what it is an artist can and must do! What is an individual artist doing for others? Here we meet the reasons for unitizing, networking, creating of new structures on the art scene, the new and different mental space in art and culture in general. This part of thinking about artistic strategy is related to the issues of creating a new space, location of the space and the perspectives of the space! That is where we come to the issue of the new utopia, which is a question of existence. The name Third Belgrade has been taken from urban terminology where the left bank of Danube in Belgrade is called that way. Free artistic cooperation Third Belgrade is an initiative group of artists: Selman Trtovac, Milorad Mladenović, Anica Vučetić, Marko Marković, Sanja Latinović, Marina Marković, Ranko Đanković, Milena Milosavljević and Veljko Pavlović. Third Belgrade is conceived as a live, dynamic and energetic gethering place for local and world artists where they can exibit, have workshops and practice other educational contents, especially those that are related to promotion of contemporary works of art on the local, regional and global art scene. That kind of praxis has existed in the European art sphere for some time now. After thez finish their studies, young artists often unitize in order to conquer space for their art positions and create microutopian spaces. After disintegration of old cultural structure in this region we can notice trends of unitizing and organizing artists and lovers of art into new foundations. The example is the Danube Route – five new art places on the bank of Danube: Museum Macura in Novi Banovci, ZMUC in Zemun, Third Belgrade in Krnjača, ITS-31 in Ritopek and foundry Kuzman in Jugovo near Smederevo. Other initiatives, apart from the Danube Route, such as Remont and DezOrg in Belgrade and Art Klinika in Novi Sad have been working for a long time now.

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Third Belgrade as a Mental Art Space

The intentions of the artists unitized after affinities and fascinations round Third Belgrade cannot invent a new “ism” or an aesthetic utopia and then reflect it into known or unknown future. Utopia is possible only and only as utopia now and otherwise cannot exist. Artists gathered round Third Belgrade want to emphasize and confirm utopian status of contemporary art, though art often does not know it and fosters the illusions about it. Therefore, the intention is for utopia to live in its own self, though it is impossible, strictly speaking. That is why the project Third Belgrade is, at the same time, touching the impossible, examination of the limits and therefore responsibility prior to the impossible and limited. The project is a valuable experience since it shares essential problems and fate of contemporary art in our conditions. It is a fate of a burdensome experience in the world where aestheticism of an established system of value and power becomes an ideologically hegemonic order; therefore, in the world where contemporary art is possible, but as an impossible, as utopian! Milorad Belančić

Third Belgrade is not a mere physical space, a building or another type of artistic cooperation founded for practical reasons. Third Belgrade is also an attempt to create a mental space in accordance with the already mentioned concept of utopia and social differentiation. That aspiration has its phases, development and materialized art traces. It is about collective works, products of a collective visual thinking process. The process of collective thinking is the most important achievement of the group of artists’ common strategy. First in the series of collective works, Collective Dream occurred in February 2011. It is well-known that some tribes in Australia, Micronesia and Polynesia practice the rituals of collective dream. These practices are known in anthropology as lucid dream. Entire tribe sleeps in a certain “joined heads” pose. After waking up all the participants in a dream paint a scene of a collective dream. Mental illnesses or serious crime acts have not been noticed in these tribes. The artists of Third Belgrade took the model of a collective dream or some of its elements and built them into a collective performance. It is about aesthetic elements, organization of dreaming and symbols derived from it. Result of such performance is a video, series of photographs and collective painting that was made after waking up. The following work, in chronological order, was The Warm Room. It was done on the last day of winter,

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20th March 2011. Installation consisted of six wood stoves connected with shuttles. The idea was to present Third Belgrade as a warm place. We simply pawned the stoves, warmed the gallery and invited people to warm up. Except the symbolic and conceptual aspects of work, significant elements were also basic art elements we paid attention to: composition, rhythm, line, surface, contrasts, volume, form, etc. The choice of stoves was not random. Our two members are from Smederevo and “smederevac” stove is a typical heating appliance in Serbia and the design of the heater is related to the aesthetics of Bauhaus, which is a universal element in semantic sense. While we were developing the Third Belgrade artists’ common opinion, an important event was a visit of a Russian art group Collective Actions in September 2011. Their presence enabled us to learn and reassess our artistic strategies. Result of their “action” was our artistic response in the form of happening “Collective Dream 2”. So, Collective Actions meets art cooperation Third Belgrade and it creates tension within correlation of action and reflection, proximity and distance, identification and alienation, which is directly related to aesthetic and philosophical glossary of Collective Actions. Group Collective Actions, representatives of Russia at the Venetian Biennial in 2011, was founded in 1976 in Moscow; since the very beginning they were organizing “trips outside of town” or collective trips from the metropolis to the “unattended” space of nature which enables implementation of alternative forms of aesthetic experience and collective action. They are most frequently visiting snowy and wooded fields in the periphery. In such spaces they are acting with texts, drawings and setting objects and making themes for watcher’s perception which are coincidental traces of other people’s presence. It was mostly a field covered with snow and surrounded by trees (on the periphery, in the park, in the forest), which represents theatrical scene for minimal action which creates perception patterns and categories beneath the conventional language and painting world: presence / absence, proximity / distance, noise / silence, rhythmic sequences, pause… White field is understood in the Kazimir Malevich’s suprematism tradition where he was “illuminating” Martin Heidegger and in Buddhist Shuniati conception, as a demonstrative field for actors, as a space of perception and reflection field for participants. These trips are actually about experiments for research of our own consciousness and introspection in a state when one expects something to happen. The stay of the Collective Action group in Third Belgrade, in a gallery in an “unattended” space in the Banat part of Danube also creates an atmosphere for many possible meanings. In between the empty center and the borders of perception there are plenty of other fields, zones and tracks which interlace in the aesthetic experiment of Collective Actions: the real event does not happen in the empirical field only but in the participants’ consciousness, too. Introduction of minimal elements of action is focused on the expansion of expectation, which is in the process, and actually they are getting rid of any concrete content. Over different tricks and maneuvers such as – “averting the eyes” and “expectation without fulfillment” – through the principle of “empty actions” alleged targets and contents of the action are being abrogated and that is how the participants who expect to see an illusion spectacle are disappointed again. It can also be read in the program series of action with Collective Actions’ mottos. In 1977, the group hung a board in nature with a motto: “I do not complain about anything, despite the

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fact that I have never been here and I do not know anything about this place”. Next year the following motto was: “It is strange that I lied to myself that I have never been here and do not know anything about this place, because it is the same as anywhere else, but here one can feel clearer and does not understand deeper.” Captions on the boards like Zen Buddhist sayings represent facing with strategies of aestheticism in ideological culture which are directed toward an illusion of universal harmony, where one cannot make a difference between truth and lie, fact and fiction. Collective Actions do not exhaust themselves with the experience on the ground and mystery of their actions encourages many works comments. Texts come up in their works as directions, rules and planned structures that later bring to the conceptual space in the documentation. Travelling through conceptual spaces is equally important as travelling in the physical space. Into the field of view enters a border between the language and extra-linguistic reality, between the text and non-text and between situational “experience” – gesture, which is equal to the impulse of endless interpretation of a spiral where situation and documentation are closely bound to each other. In Collective Actions’ works, they introduce text paradigms into real actions first (directions, rules, planned structures), which on the other side brings to the text and conceptual space in the documentation, which provokes new actions later. Reaction of the Third Belgrade artists to the “action” of Collective Actions had three elements. The first element was the happening “Collective Dream 2” which was about to invite more participants to the gallery that would “dream” another dream in the context of exhibition. Form of the exhibition was arbitrary because we wanted to stop the aesthetical control of the work flow. The second element was the introduction of the observer, who is shooting the process of dreaming. The observer had to be an artist who understands the context he is shooting and who had to develop a strategy of observing. The third element is art contract; it is a text that looks like a legal document, but its essence has nothing to do with the law; it is a text which determines philosophical and aesthetical relation between the actors in the artistic happening.

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Contract Signed in the night between 29th and 30th October 2011. in Belgrade, between: Third Belgrade, Serbia Коллективные действия, Россия KunstOst, Austria Veljko Pavlović

Article 1. This contract regulates the relations during and after performing the art work Collective Dream of the art cooperation Third Belgrade and cultural project KunstOst, art group Collective Actions, artist Veljko Pavlović, as well as the other participants invited to take part in the art work.

Article 2 Art group Collective Actions unconditionally allows Third Belgrade to perform their art work Collective Dream during their exhibition “Masters of Illusion” in the gallery Third Belgrade.

Article 3 Collective Dream is an art work of the Third Belgrade which means organized group sleeping / dreaming in the gallery Third Belgrade of the members of the art cooperation and people (guests) that are invited to participate in the event. Third Belgrade performs this work in order to consider modalities of their own artistic activity through their experience and through the experiences of the other collective actions. Specially selected space for the exhibition of the art group Collective Actions leads to development of relation to artistic position of Moscow art group and reflections to the aesthetic terms such as Empty action17, Demonstration sign field,18 Center of gravity scheme etc.

17 EMPTY ACTION - text element outside of demonstration (in actions of KA for the observers “time is often outside the event, it represents the dramatic center of the action”). 18 DEMONSTRATIONAL SIGN FIELD – a system of space – time continuum, deliberately included in the structure of the text of the concrete work by the authors. One of the two components of the correlated pair “demonstrative sign field - expositional sign field.” Forming of this relationship grounded on KA’s discourse, is based on elements of the event, which may pertain equally to both members of the correlation pair (“KA’s category“) : walking , standing, lying down in the pit, “people in the distance“ , moving in a direction , “invisibility , light, sound , speech, group, listening of listening etc.

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Article 4 Third Belgrade does not suggests anything to the participants, everyone prepares for sleeping in the exhibiting space his/her own way (it is enough to be present). This attitude has its basis in the position that everyone aestheticizes the world by his/her own existence and the space of clear aesthetics opens when we abandon any additional aesthetic acting. We shall use techniques recommended by the Collective Actions for such an experience of reality, like technique Completed waiting19. For example: we can use this technique in the situations when we expect guests, wait to fall asleep, wait for the dawn etc. Collective Action artists were creating artistic happening mostly at the snowy wooded field and used it as a reflection field for their own propositions. Period of sleeping or dreaming is released of any conscious desire to act or aestheticize and therefore is ideal as a space for reflection. Third Belgrade will explore individual depths of personal reflective fields without safety belt of aesthetics, the expected and learned by using developed techniques of Moscow conceptualists. By emptying personal artistic spaces conditions for reflection and expanding of a bordered field will be created. Glass wall of the gallery was used as a “screen” with artistic and philosophy terms of Collective Actions on it and in the background is a rim of the city and a large water mass of Danube; in the opposite direction it becomes a picture of the Third Belgrade artists (reflection to the term Undetermined zone20 and Expository sign field21, Stripes of confusion 22.)

Article 5 The time of the happening is the night between 29th and 30th October 2011 in gallery Third Belgrade on the left bank of the Danube near Pančevo Bridge (reflection to aesthetic term Trip outside the city).

Article 6 An artist Veljko Pavlović is obliged to make a photo, video or some other documentation during the preparations and the development of art work that will enable metaphysical levels of art happening as a productive context of the aesthetical acting and deliver it to Third Belgrade in suitable format. Third Belgrade leaves the aesthetic control and responsibility to the artist Veljko Pavlović; he is de19 FULFILLED WAITING – an act of waiting as a subject of waiting (waiting as awaiting). The most important element in KA’s „Aesthetics of waiting“. In a way, act of waiting as a complete and self-sufficient aesthetic (and contemplative) act – is target of KA’s practice. 20 INDETERMINED ZONE (zone of random impressions) – stages prior expectation, expectation of an empty action, receiving a call for action and journey toward the place of action in KA’s actions. Group, listening of listening, etc. 21 EXPOSITORY SIGN FIELD – a system of elements of space – time continuum the authors have not included into the text of the concrete work organization, but they influence the text as its hidden motivational contexts. They are actualized as constituents of the correlative pair – „demonstrative sign field – expository sign field“ through the discourse of „empty actions“ in KA’s aesthetic practice. Group, listening of listening, etc. 22 STRIPES OF INDISTINCTION – zone of demonstrational sign field (very often at the border to the expository sign field), where audio or visual object cannot be detected by the observer as definitely associated to the action.

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ciding about the time and the way of documenting of artistic action Collective Dream, which means that he has a role of an “outside” observer and Third Belgrade abandons any aesthetical control over the result of Veljko Pavlović’s work or any other possible suggestion related to the artistic document. Abandoning control over documents is based on the need for freedom as a condition for experiencing the aesthetics of “suchness”, appearance of “unhappened” and consolidation of group cohesion by the rejection of propositions of formalized appearance (reflection to the aesthetic term Factual discourse23, Non-awareness24 and Shuniata25).

Article 7 All contract parties are allowed to use all documents and this contract by their own free will and further promotion of their own work without the permit of other parties.

Article 8 The contract has been written in 24 (twenty-four) identical copies that belong to each participant in the action. In Belgrade, the night between 29th and 30th October 2011. Contract parties: -

Third Belgrade, Serbia

-

Коллективные действия, Россия

-

KunstOst, Austria

-

Veljko Pavlović

23 FACTUAL DISCOURSE – System of documentation which allows metha levels of an art event as a productive context of aesthetical action. 24 UNPERCIEVEDNESS – one of the KA’s categories. It means „unperceivedness of demonstration“ – aesthetic procedure indicatng the reverse side of event (often – basic) in the space – time zone in general area of action where „here and now“ are out of the observer’s attention and interest. 25 SHUNIATA – a Buddhist concept. For KA’s aesthetics – variant of „emptiness“ as a method for reducing the collective phantasies of the body. Method of the distancing perception. This is based on the belief that „nothing comes from action“. Through Shuniata „unhappenable“ appears. Things are in their „suchness“. Emptiness as a philosophical poezis, uncertainty of personal. Group, listening of listening and so on.

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Conclusion

We may say that an artist who wants to practice visual art and develop specific art forms, besides the innate predispositions that are not enough anymore, must be aware of the relation complexity and the world he lives in. He must be aware of the meaning and the place of an artist in the society in actual time. Due to complex social and political processes, both globally and locally, that is not easy at all. Aesthetic possibilities of the art language are almost unlimited; there are many different views at art, history of art, philosophy of art; therefore knowledge of the truth through visual art is far more difficult than it used to be. An artist needs to plan and develop two parallel strategies of artistic acting: strategy of thinking or inner strategy and strategy of behavior or outer strategy. Both strategies are complex tasks that must change fast, harmonize under the circumstances and there are no formulae or mathematical algorithms for them. Strategies are conditioned by the character and affections of an individual artist and by the circumstances. Possibilities of delusion and misjudgment are great. An artist is moving, metaphorically, on the edge of the abyss. Everything an artist is doing is a hard process that demands enormous energy and time and there is no guarantee the artist will find what he is searching for. Work and energy the artist is investing on his path of art can easily turn out as in vain and pointless. In the introduction I have already mentioned paradox of a certain strategic thinking construction and impossibility to speak about the recipes in art because there is nothing tangible, clear, and exact in art…

Signing of a contract, Selman Trtovac and Veljko Pavlović are on the photograph. Author of the contract: Radoš Antonijević Co-authors: Selman Trtovac, Veljko Pavlović and Milorad Mladenović

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Biography

Selman Trtovac was born on 14.08.1970. in Zadar, SFRJ, Croatia. From 1990 to 1993 studied painting at Faculty of Fine Arts in Belgrade. In March 1993 moved to Art Academy Dusseldorf, to professor Klaus Rinke’s class and in 2000 got master’s degree in the Free Art Department, sculpture. Went back to Belgrade the same year. Became a member of Painting Artists of Serbia Society in 2002, and is a member of International Artistic Gremium since 2003. Began his PhD studies at Faculty of Fine Arts in Belgrade in 2008. He is an initiator and one of the founders of Free Art Cooperation Third Belgrade. Lives and works in Belgrade.

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Slobodna umetnička zadruga Treći Beograd, (autor arh. projekta i logoa: Milorad Mladenović), 2011. godina

Virtuozi obmane, grupa Kolektivne akcije, galerija Treći Beograd, 2011. godina


PredloĹžak za rad, 7-19, sedam smrtnih grehova i devetnaest vrlina, rad u procesu 2011. godina


Kolektivni san, Slobodna umetniÄ?ka zadruga Treći Beograd, 2011. godina


Dijalektika, crteĹž, intervencija na redimejdu, Beograd, 2007. godina


Poljubac, crteĹž, grafit i pastel na papiru, 50cm x 70cm, 2010. godina

Istina, crteĹž, grafit i tempera na papiru, 30cm x 40cm, 2010. godina


Ex nihilo nihil fit (Od niÄ?ega niĹĄta), skulptura, gips, 170cm x 100cm, 2008. godina


Hibridni crteĹž, grafit na papiru, 500cm x 140cm, Muzej premoderne umetnosti, Slovenija, 2011. godina


Sofre / Sevdalinka, objekat, redimejd, izloĹžba Dijalektika, 2009. godina


Crna ruka-Ruka ubice, Selman Trtovac, bronza, 45cm x 20cm, galerija Arte, Beograd, 2009. Varijanta rada je izvedena u bronzi i ima formu rukavice. Prvobitni predložak iz 1999. godine je bio izveden u gvožđu i bio je od punog materijala.

Ruka umjetnika / Crna ruka-Ruka ubice, Ilija Šoškić i Selman Trtovac, postavka, galerija Arte, Beograd, 2009. godina


Sofre / Sunce-Mesec, objekti, readymade, 2009. godina

Sofre / Zelena spirala, objekt, redimejd, 2009. godina


Sofre / Vatreno krĹĄtenje, objekt, intervencija, redimejd, 2009. godina


Ja volim i umetnost drugih / Vertikala, video, grafit na platnu, 200cm x 80cm, Salon muzeja savremene umetnosti, Beograd, 2011. godina


Spirala straha, performans - instalacija, olovo, preÄ?nik 3m, 2010. godina

Spirala straha, detalj, performans - instalacija, olovo, preÄ?nik 3m, 2010. godina


Bol, crteĹž, grafit na apiru, 2009. godina


Crven fesić nano, objekat, olovo, fes, 2010. godina


Izložba Mi volimo i umetnosti drugih, (Ilija Šoškić - Bonsai i rad Jozefa Bojsa Glupa kutija), Akademija umetnosti u Diseldorfu, 1994. godina

Toplo mesto, Slobodna umetnička zadruga Treći Beograd, 2011. godina

UMETNIČKA STRATEGIJA / Artistic strategy  

The contemplation I wish to transform into text is based on a thesis that elements of artistic strategycan be defined as distinctive, indivi...

UMETNIČKA STRATEGIJA / Artistic strategy  

The contemplation I wish to transform into text is based on a thesis that elements of artistic strategycan be defined as distinctive, indivi...

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