The Chosen One

Tokom svog boravka u juznoj Indiji, Boris Sribar je otkrio da bi na osnovu vidjenja i ponasanja drugih (lokalaca, ljudi po selima, hinduističkih vernika) on mogao da konstruise i poveruju u ponudjeni identitet izabranog, subjekta obdarenog bozanskim sposobnostima. Na osnovu fotografija, njega kao velikog, bradatog belog čoveka medju lokalnim stanovnistvom, u situacijama u kojima zarad boljeg kontakta izvodi razne trikove ili biva stavljan na počasna mesta prilikom okupljanja u sklepanim seoskim hinduističkim hramovima, nastaje serija kolaza. Ovi autoporteti smestaju mladog umetnika u neku čudnu zonu izmedju samoironije i samoobozavanja, u prostore definisane specifičnim kičom na koji je nailazio u Indiji ali suočene sa kičom svakodnevice u kojoj ovde zivi. Ovi kolazi, uz sve svoje duhovite efekte, uverljivo istrazuju proces verovanja u «iluziju veličine» (illusion of grandeur), u tačku nekog mesijanskog verovanja koje je u jednom trenutku bilo obuzelo i čitavu nasu naciju.

 

Branko Dimitrijević

 photo

Repeating Jesus or The Life of Boris

"Why would anyone repeat the sacrifice of Jesus nowadays? It seems to me that this is quite unnecessary. On one hand, isn't this a superstition from the Middle Ages, ticked of by centuries of European anti-Semitism and religious proscription? On the other hand, if you accept the Bible as a collection of facts, and not just an entertaining story, then there is definitely no need for repetition. Once is quite enough. Hasn't Jesus already lived, suffered and died for our sins, thus freeing us from this obligation?

Nevertheless, this is exactly what Boris Sribar is doing in his video The Cycle. Producing everyday situations that resemble accepted conceptions about the life of Jesus. He records his usual daily activities - such as a diner incidentally with 12 of his friends, taking a bath or going for a walk. However, the closer we get to the moment in which these actions start looking like biblical scenes, the image drops to slow-motion and ends in a freeze-frame.

            This work questions the new Orthodox-Christian paradigm among intellectuals and artist of the younger generation as the mild right-wing ideology that is latently forming the political scene in Serbia today. There is also some ironic self-mythologisation, which characterises the artist's previous work. His "normal" everyday look (hair and beard) looks like a crossover between Jesus and a samurai.

            So, he's not the Messiah. He's just a very naughty boy!"


S&A&J


video

Father and Son

In the project Father and Son I am dealing with some communication problems, particularly those between a father and a son. I’ve started with my personal case and a try of improving my relationship with my father. The first step was made when I discovered that we didn’t have a single joint photo. This was quite strange considering that we lived together for over 20 years and that I had normal photos with all other members of the family. I talked to him about this and proposed to make our first photo as my art project, which he accepted. This was a first step toward our better communication.

Thinking about the reasons that interrupt normal relationship between fathers and sons, I’ve chosen the one that comes out from some macho or masculine attitude, a rivalry between these two sides: who is stronger, better, who would win. As a symbol of this macho attitude I’ve picked out arm-wrestling. The fact that my father accepted to arm-wrestle with me for my project is a step further to our better communication.

That is why I decided to share this perfect recipe with other people by organizing an arm-wrestling competition for fathers and sons. With the support of the City of Belgrade I got the approval to close on of the streets in the down-town for the competition. I designed an ad – inviting fathers and sons to participate in the competition. I made 10 arm-wrestling tables. I also created a stamp “Father and Son”, all the participants got the stamped Polaroid photo of their match as a gift. There were around 20 couples competing.

 

Boris Šribar

photo

 

Entuzijazam Borisa Šribara

„Entuzijazam

[pozni latinski enthūsiasmus, iz Grčkog enthousiasmos, od enthousiazein, biti božanski nadahnut, od entheos, posednut, en-, u, + theos, bog.]

 

Religioznost, odnosnosno prisustvo transcedentnog, dolazi ljudima na različite načine. Na primer, američki pisac naučne fantastike Filip K. Dik je 1974. godine nakon uspešne operacije uklanjanja umnjaka i nemale primljene doze sodium penthotala, i dalje je osećao užasne bolove kojih se nikako nije mogao rešiti. Očajan, naručio je iz apoteke pakovanje analgetika. Ne mogavši da sačeka dostavu, izašao je na ulicu i presreo devojku iz apoteke koja je raznosila lekove po kućama. Iznenada zrak sunca je obasjao devojku i tada je Dik primetio zlatnu ogrlicu sa znakom ribe oko vrata koju je ta devojka nosila. U trenutku je imao viziju sveta kakav je bio u doba prvih hrišćana. Devojka iz apoteke, on i mnogi drugi su bili prvi hrišćani koji su živeli u strahu od rimskih progonitelja. Ceo svet je iznenada ponovo pao pod senku hrišćanske Apokalipse. Ceo taj događaj Dik će kasnije nazvati (uz malu pomoć Platona) anamneza, što doslovce prevedeno znači gubitak zaborava, odnosno skidanje koprene s uma i viđenje sveta onakvim kakav jeste. Svet koji je video nije bio nešto što je smešteno u dalekoj prošlosti već nešto što je predstavljalo transtemporalnu konstantu, nepromenjivost, višu kategoriju istine koja se prilagođavala Isusovim rečima da će među onima koj ga sada prate biti onih koji će dočekati njegov drugi dolazak. Samim, tim svet oko nas nije ništa drugo do večni, poput plastelina rastegnuti, Neronov Rim a mi se nismo mnogo odmakli od momenta rasejanja i rušenja Hrama u Jerusalimu. U takvoj mapi stvarnosti Nikson je Neron, Bog komunicira s nama kroz šifrovane poruke poput onih za koje Dik tvrdi da se nalaze u njegovoj noveli Tecite suze moje, reče policajac, i svi živimo u iščekivanju drugog dolaska.

E, pa vala i dosta smo čekali. To jest barem mi, ovde i sada, morali smo sačekati 2004. godinu  kako bi smo shvatili da u Dikovskom svetu transtemporalnih konstanti obitava i jedan naš sugrađanin, mladi umetnik Boris Šribar, te da je on ni manje ni više do Mesija lično ili da citiramo ministra inostranih poslova SCG Vuka Draškovića „taj usamljeni mladić razapet na Golgoti“. On nam je to objavio  kako dolikuje novom vremenu video radom Ciklus.  U vreme dok većina njegovih kolega sa beogradske umetničke scene koketira sa različitim formama divljeg pravoslavlja, te čudne biljke zalivane new age ezoterijom osamdesetih, Šribar ide korak dalje. Ne zadovoljavajući se malim koracima on ne samo da ide Njegovim stopama ka svetlu na Istoku, to jest Indiji (Goa Trans, 2001) već i rešava da postane On.  Pun entuzijazma za religioznim iskustvom, on svoju svakodnevicu smešta u biblijski kontekst. Čineći od sebe Mesiju a od svojih bližnjih apostole, učenike, različite Marije i Magdalene, Krstitelje, zamenjujući Joradan kadom i Palestinu Beogradom, togu levis džinsom, a istovremeno infantilno obešenjački uživajući u predstavi svoje smrti (kada će SVI shvatiti kako je zaista veliki i dobar bio) poput Tvenovog Toma Sojera, Šribar/Mesija ostaje uvek korak ispred nas. Poput Čestertonovog Nedelje, antropomorfne reprezentacije Boga i mira božijeg, iz romana Čovek koji je bio Četvrtak, ona nas vodi u lov uvek izmičući.  Ali šta je tu lovina?  Da li je njegov nastup zaista čin vere? Da li je raspeće s njegovim likom čin vere i ozlojeđenosti na svet poput čuvenog nastupa Majkla Džeksona na Brit nagradama 1996 godine, kada se razapet poput Isusa spustio na binu uz početne taktove hit singa Save the World?

Da li je prava meta njegovog rada novo-otkrivena religioznost njegovih kolega? Vrti nas u krug od krštenja do raspeće i sahrane, obećavajući uskrsnuće koje stalno iščekujemo ali ne vidimo. Kako bilo i najveće sumnjičave Tome među nama moraju priznati stvarnost njegovog fizičkog prisustva na sceni. Samo da je Filip K. Dik poživeo da sve ovo vidi.“

 

Svebor Midžić

photos

What is my citizenship

What Is My Citizenship is exhibited at Steirischer Herbst, in Graz, Austria. It is about prejudices and
stereotypes based on one’s citizenship. I photographed more than 200 people, all of them my
acquaintances and all citizens of Serbia. Each person gave a statement, something they wanted
written below the portrait: personal, but without revealing where they were coming from. The portraits
were presented through different media: as a slide show on facades of 2 Graz buildings, as stickers
and a giant print (7x8m).

"What is your citizenship? Looks at the tensions between a city and the different people who inhabit it. More than two hundred people from the artist's environment - look down on us from the facades of Graz. Sribar asked all of these people about their lives. However, all of the interviewees were only asked for one sentence that seems particularly important to them. The people where more prepared to disclose information from their private sphere than to talk about world events. As a result, we learn about their wishes, dreams, feelings or what is currently on their minds."


                                                                                                                                                               Mirjana Peitler

find more about this project at: www.whatismycitizenship.webs.com

Muška stvar/Male Thing

Kroz dosadašnju umetničku praksu autor se bavio temama koje su na različite načine bile deo njegove ličnosti, i sa njim korespondirale kroz različite kontekste. Jedna od karakteristika umetničkog rada Borisa Šribara je čest dijalog između javnog i privatnog, kao i svih međustepena skale između tih pojmova. Značajno umetničko određenje Šribarovog rada je uvođenje sfera sopstvene intimnosti i privatnog života u umetnost, u uverenju da one mogu biti lako društveno prepoznatljive i komunikativne, bez obzira da li se radi o porodičnim pitanjima ili refleksijama društvenih problema na ličnost i privatni život autora. Ono čime se autor sa posebnim interesovanjem bavi poslednjih godina su teme koje su društveno provokativne, koje dovode u pitanje tabue, individualni ili moral zajednice u kojoj nastaju ili ulaze u dijalog sa podrazumevanim opšteprihvaćenim stavovima (bilo da se radi o naciji, porodici, religiji, seksualnosti,...). Umetnik dok i sam preispituje sopstveni stav o tim temama, stvara rad koji podrazumeva (inter)reakciju publike.
Reakcija i afekt su ključni elementi komunikativnosti dela i njegovog značenjskog uspostavljanja, jer otvaraju nove nivoe rada, koji su i autoru prethodno nevidljivi, nejasni ili nezamislivi. Vizuelno rešenje - intervencija, nastaje kao rezultat umetničkog istraživačkog procesa i interesovanja za mogućnosti određenog medija. Radovi koje stvara često imaju karakter performansa, jer je proces izlaganja proces izvođenja, i istovremeno singularni proces u kom rad nastaje, ovde i sada. Inkluzivnost i interaktivnost rada podrazumeva uključivanje publike, pa stvarajući umetnički rad autor repozicionira i rekonstituiše svoje stavove, kao i stavove posmatrača i učesnika. U ovom procesu preoznačavanja, provokacija je inicijalni i neizbežni akt, kojim se postojeća značenjska realnost destabiliše. Kako provokacija često ima osobine transgresije, kršenja nekih ustaljenih pravila i normi, mnogi prethodni radovi izazivali su burne reakcije, bilo da su namerno razbijeni, ukradeni ili da je sam autor optužen za kršenje zakona po najrazličitijim osnovama. Šribar sebe definiše, kao vizuelnog umetnika, nezavisno od umetničkih tehnika, medija ili materijala koje koristi u radu, jer su oni izabrani spontano, u zavisnosti od teme, umetničkog koncepta i procesa rada. U autorovom dosadašnjem radu postoje radovi koji je medijski moguće odrediti kao savremenu skulpturu, prostornu instalaciju ili slikarstvo, ali veći deo opusa pripada višemedijskoj umetnosti, koja korespondira sa pojmovima prošireni mediji i prefiksima multi-, inter-, pluri-, merged-, poli-, i dr.

 

Rad „Muška stvar“ je nastao kao potreba autora da prepriča iskustva iz detinjstva, iznese stav, komentariše aktuelna dešavanja i istraži reakcije bliskih ljudi na temu (ne)stabilne muške seksualnosti. Pored ovih inicijalnih zamisli, „Muška stvar“ je stvorena tako da bude namenjena svima, ona i nema određenu ciljnu grupu, jer evocira priču o sekstualnosti, polu i rodu, zajedničku svim ljudima, ali se njeno značenje menja zavisno od karaktera  i različitih određenja publike.

Rad  je u procesu nastajanja, osim samog autora uključio i 12 autorovih prijatelja, a zatim i u neposrednoj akciji i publiku kao ključnog aktera za uspešnost performansa, odnosno uspešnost procesa komunikacije sa materijalnim aspektom rada, kao konstitutivni element umetničke intervencije. Elementi rada su proizvedeni materijalni artefakti, izložba, foto i video dokumentacija izložbe, kao i predstojeće rasprave umetnika i publike. 

Izložba „Muška stvar“ je realizovana početkom februara 2010. godine u beogradskoj galeriji Remont. Izložba se sastojala od 13 izloženih fotografija i 160 skulptura napravljenih od slatkiša. Izložene fotografije su urađene u crno beloj tehnici, diskretno uramljene i postavljene na zidove. Na njima su prikazane muške prepone gledane s prednje strane, sa penisom koji se ne vidi, jer je sakriven između butina. Tela predstavljenih muškaraca su mlada, jaka i zdrava. Kroz seriju fotografija je materijalizovana dečačka znatiželja o tome kako je izgledati kao devojčica, latentna homoerotska igra između drugara, koji pokazuju jedni drugima kastrirani penis – moguću vaginu, ukazuje na biseksualnu prirodu čoveka, koja se u pubertetu izgubi pod uticajem društvene normalizacije. Fotografije muškaraca sa uvučenim penisima koji simuliraju nepostojeću vaginu, pokreću intimnu priču - sećanja iz detinstva, „najranije kastracione strahove“, neshvaćene šale odraslih muškaraca, frustracije, komplikovane odnose sa roditeljima, motive, želje, krivicu. Rad transparentno korespondira sa osnovnom frojdovskom  simbolikom falusa i kastracionim strahom i kasnijim lakanovskim simbolima odutnog/prisutnog objekta želje, simboličkog, imaginarnog i realnog.

Skulpture predstavljene tom prilikom su umnoženi odlivci autorovog penisa u erekciji, izrađene u prirodnoj veličini od tri vrste čokolade i bombona različitih boja i aroma. Ove skulpture bile su u galeriji ponuđene publici kao poslastice na tanjirima i činijama, namenjene konzumiranju. Publika je bila slobodna da se posluži slatkišima i uz času šampanjca uživa u muzickim hitovima iz 1934. godine. Izgrađena je atmosfera koktel večeri, iz vremena prohibicije, uz dekadenciju koju nosi konzumiranje umetnosti. Čokoladni penisi pričaju priču o intimnosti i zavođenju, nagoni za hranom i oralna priroda uživanja u hrani se preklapaju sa falusnom prirodom izloženih artefakata u mnogobrojnim psihoanalitičkim i seksualnim asocijacijama. Sama priroda njihovog konzumiranja - momenat jedenja penisa ukazuje i na kanibalsku prirodu savremenog čoveka kao konzumenta – on/ona, poput deteta u oralnoj fazi, želi da poseduje sve, jede sve i svet se, pa time i umetnost ispituje putem neposrednog konzumiranja.

Oba dela ove izložbe, serija fotografija i skulpture, mogu da funkcionišu sasvim odvojeno, ali i kao povezani elementi jednog rada. Oni zapravo i reprezentuju različite, ali bliske koncepte i funkcionišući u konkretnom prostoru, na izložbi, zajedno stvaraju novo, otvoreno i performativno delo, koje ne predstavlja jednu konkretnu ideju i značenje, već ga dobija u sadejstvu sa publikom.

 

Upravo najzanimljivi deo rada se desio posle otvaranja izložbe, i podrazumeva reakcije koje slede. Autor je bio svestan da se u okvirima konzervativnog i/ili patrijarhalnog društva, izlaganje fotografija intimne zone, kao i desubjektivizacija muškarca u seksualnom smislu, smatra vidom otvorene provokacije, transgresije i nedozvoljenog dovođenja u pitanje muškosti muškarca. Sa druge strane, s obzirom na nivo zaineresovanosti za umetničke događaje, i mesto umetnosti kao poluautonomne prakse u ovom konkretnom društvu, autor nije mogao da predvidi burne reakcije koje su usledile.

Naime, u različitim medijima i neposredno u društvu, su sledili komentari isprovociranih posetioca, koji su uglavnom negirali provokaciju, premeštajući fokus sa sopstvenog emocionalnog i/ili moralnog doživljaja na samo delo, dovodeći u pitanje originalnost umetničkog procesa i dela (odlivanje sopstvenog penisa) ili opstruirajući umetnički kvalitet rada.

Optužili su autora da je nosilac i apologeta neo-liberalnog kapitalizma, da je androcentričan, da promoviše mačoizam ili homoseksualizam, i to sve istovremeno. Najdramatičniji deo su bile optužbe da promoviše pornografiju u okviru internet društvenih zajednica - socijalnih mreža, na kojima je album sa izložbe bio postavljen. Posle više anonimnih pritužbi, administratori jedne od socijalnih mreža uklanjaju autorov profil.

 

Zanimljiv postskriptum ovog rada je da, iako su konzumenti danas, u dobu medija, zatrpani pornografskim sadržajem sa svih strana, penis (odnosno njegova reprezentacija), može biti provokacija čak i ako je nepostojeći, posredno indeksiran, ili izmešten u potpuno drugačiji kontekst, u okviru umetničkih, a ne društvenih praksi. Ovo pitanje, otvoreno nakon izlaganja rada u beogradskoj galeriji, vraća nas Fukoovskoj ideji o nama kao Novim Viktorijancima, i neokonzervativnom dobu u kome se seksualnost izjednjačava sa perverzijom i konstituiše isključivo putem zabrana koje društvo nameće pojedincu. Možda baš da bi bile prekršene.

Marija Ratković

photos

 

I Have It All

 

During his artistic practise, the author has dealt with subjects that were, in different ways, part of his persona, and corresponded with him through different contexts. One of the characteristics of Boris Šribar’s work is frequent dialogue between the public and the private, as well as all of the intersteps among those concepts. Significant artistic determinant od Šribar’s work is introducing the spehres of personal intimacy and private life into art, believing that they could easily be socialy recognized and communicative, weather he’s dealing with family issues or reflections that socialy recognized problems have on author’s life. In the last few years the author has been specially interested and involved in socialy provocative subjects, which question taboos, individual and the moral of the entire community that created them and confronts them with generally accepted oppinion (weather it was nation, family, religion, sexuality...) While rethinking his own stands on those subjects, the artist creates the work that purports (inter)action with audience.


Reaction and affect are the key elements of communication between the artwork and it’s meaning, because it opens new levels of work, which were invisible, wague or unthinkable to the author as well. Visual solution – intervention emerges as a result of  artistic research process and the interest in posibillities of certain media. The work he creates often have performative character, because the process of presentation is the process of performance, but, at the same time, it is singular process in which it’s being created, here and now. Incluisivness and interactivness of the work mean audience involment, and by creating artictic piece the author repositions and reconstitutes his own stands, as well athe stands of the observers and participants. In this process of redesignation, provocation is initial and inevitable act, wich destabilizes existing, meaningful reality. Since the provocation often have characteristics of transgression, violating some already established rules and regulations, a lot of the author’s previous works caused turbulent reactions, weather they have been broken or stolen or the author himself was accused of breaking tha law on different accounts. Šribar defines himself as a visual artist, regardless of the artistic techniques, media or materials used, because they are being chosen spontaniosly, depending on the subject, artistic concept and the work process. In author’s career there are pieces that, in media, could be described as contemporary sculpture, instalation in space or painting, but most of the opus beongs to the multimedal art, which corresponds to the concept of expanded media and the prefixes multi-, inter-, plural-, merged-, poly- and other.  

The concept of the exibition „I have it all“ was created as the author’s need to make a statement and to explore reactions of the audience regarding (un)stabile male sexuality. Along this initial thoughts, he evokes the story of sexual and gender identity, cultural determinat of the concept of strength or beauty, but the meaning of the story is changing depending on context of the presentation and different menaning given by the audience. Elemnts of the work are manufactured materials of the artefacts, the exibition, photo and video materials, but, also, planned discussion between the author and the audience and public guidance through the exibition.. 

The exibition „I have it all“ should be realised in the beginning of February 2012 in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

The exibition is made of three conceptually connected works – The Male Thing, Men don’t cry and the last one, I have it all. Productionally speaking, The male thing is made of 13 exibiting photos and 160 sculptures made of candy, Men don’t cry and I have it all are video instalations, which loop.

 

The Male thing

Displayed photographs are made in black and white technique, disretly framed and hanged on the wall. They show male groins form the front side, with penis that doesn’t show because it’s hidden between the thighs. Bodies of the men displayed are young, strong and healthy. Through the set of photos materialsation of the boys’ curiosity is achieved, curiosity regarding how would it be to look like a girl, latent homoerotic play among friends showing each other castrated penis – possible vagine, which indicates bisexual nature of the people, that is lost during puberty under the influence of the social normalisation. The photos of the men with hidden penises simulating nonexisting vagina start the intimate story – memories from the chilhood, „earliest fears of being castrated“,  incomperhensive jokes of older men, frustrations, complicated reltionships with parents, motives, desires, guilt. The work transparently corresponds with basic Froyd’s symbolism of the phalus and castrational fear and latter Lacanian symbols of absent/present object of desire, simbolic, imaginary and real.

Sculptures presented are multiplied moulds of the author’s erected penis, made in natural size from three different kinds of chocolate and candies in different colors and flavours. These sculptures were offered to the audience in the gallery as a treats on plates and bowls, intended for consumption. The audience was free to help themselves to the candies. It was attempted to create in the gallery the atmosphere of the cocktail night, with the decadence brought by consuming the art. Chocolate penises tell the story about intimacy and seduction, impulses for food  and the oral naure of food consumption are intersected with the phalusal nature of the displayed artefacts in numerous psychoanalitical and sexual assotiations. The shere nature of their counsumption – the moment of eating of the penis also points out the cannibalistic nature of the nowerdays humans as a consumer – he/she, like a chld in oral phase, wants to posses everyhting, to eat everything and the world, including art, is discovered through direct consumption.

Two parts of the work – the set of photographs and the sculptures, represent different, but similar concepts and by existing in the certain space, on the exibition, together they create new, opened and performative act, that doesn’t represent one specific idea and meaning, but they gain it in interaction with the audience.

As a response to accusaions of  the audience that he is the apostole of neoliberal capitalism, that he is androcentric, that, at the same time,  he promotes pornography, machoism and homosexuality, the author begins to deal with his position in the society. The question that was raised  after the exibition of „The Male thing“ in a gallery in Belgrade, brings us back to the Foucault’s idea of us being the New Victorians and neoconservative ages where sexuality is leveled with perversion and is constitued strictly by the prohibitions imposed by the society. 

That way constructed sexuality – delict forces the artist to rethink the question what is his gain as a member of the dominant group. As a heterosexual male, with healthy and good loking body, he is automaticly labeled as someone who is capable and fit to pass on any shovinistic or discriminatory message. Also, with that kind of  labeling he is being objectified, reduced to the role of presenter of one concept that he never agreed to be identfied with. This postition of desubjetified artist provokes the desire to deal  more thoroughly with the misdamenors of his „unembraced“ identities. 

Men don’t cry

The work „Men don’t cry“ can be seen as one of the attempts to deconstruct the gender stereotype, in Boris’s case, on a personal level. In his work Boris doesn’t deal with traditional empty phrase „men don’t cry“ proving it to be false, because certain men do cry, nor is he encouraging men to show their emotions, because if he did that, he would find himself in the middle of the stereotypes’ net and there would be no way out.

Boris firstly deconstructs the sentence „men don’t cry“ on the basic and the most banal way  - crying has nothing to do with the emotions. Everybody cries. Every human being cries and he is proving it when he seats down and like an experiment, induces tears chemicaly, while he’s cutting the onions. While repeating the mechanical action of cutting the onions, Boris goes from physiological to emotional cry. Or he doesn’t. It is impossible to see the moment of transformation when allowed physiological cry becomes angry, masculine cry of  despair or trandgressional masculine emotional cry.

With this work, Boris levels up the physical and psychological experience, alluding to his own experience, when, based on the physical appereance of the author, audience places his work into a certain context. Every discussion regarding weather he’s „induced“ tears are real or not (because the truth is that all tears are real, no matter „induced“ or not, one way or another) doesn’t speak that much about the works itself, but about the construction of the artist among the audience, which places the the work in one frame or another. In his work Boris doesn’t promote the answer to the stereotype „men don’t cry“, he is basically annihilating it, avoiding to deeply consider it on personal, social, ethical or political level.

This work is Boris’s answer to the clishe, which stands as his political decision, and that is that some clishes are so banal that they need to be discarted on the most basical level as being untrue and put to end any further discussion. This policy is entirely confronted  with dominant ideologies of tolerancy to the „other“ and to the „different“, because through his work Boris says that there is no other way and that artistic response has to be radically supportive of that thesis.   Every act of tolerance confirms and renews asimetry of humans’ relationship to the weaker ones. In this work the one who cries is the weaker one, he is not a man. A man who cries is not man enough , he is either powerless or he isn’t strong enough or responsible enough.

Identity problem of the other – the weaker one is deconstructed through Boris’s work and discarted as a worthless construct which was created on a foundations of an unstable thesis that someone’s cry is a reflection of weakness. This radical act of discarding the whole socially-cultural context of the patriarchal society in which this construct was created is a response of the artist who has been up backed to the wall. Boris, as a member of a majority, also becomes bearer of the dominant stands of the society, and he has no arguments to call upon his individuallity, because, in the eyes of the audience, he is a member of that desirable majority, desirable stronger, who has a priviledge to make a choise in his personal life weather he wants to be a macho or gentle, discriminatory or tolerant. If he makes a step forward or one step over the edge motives for doing so will be looked for (and found) in his „shovinism“, desire to provoke the weaker from his comfortable position of the stronger one, or to mock them when dealing with gender issues and questions „normal“ and desirable.

Male Artist (2012)

In his work Male Artist Šribar returns to the position of a man of accentuated masculinity, a male- David, whose body represents an ideal, a man un/justifiably worshipped and finally, a man-an artist, all representing exterior qualifications – constructs that the artist fasces. Standing in the David’s pose during the time of the making of the cast, the artist with his fainting leads the documenting of the moment of his physical weakness from the real through imaginary to symbolic inability of existing and staying still in a mould. With no intention to play with the determinative meanings of a mould, original or a cast in order to incorporate them into his work – the real problem of his own existence in the triggered gesture of Michelangelo’s model-David – he provoked the question of symbolic existence within the role of his own gender. With no intention to explore the issue of male sexuality Šribar deals with the question of the transitoriness of a socio-cultural concept of the domineering/male body by combining of documentary video and sculpture into an integral unity. Herewith he admits his inability to unite all the segments of this identity- an identity construct (a male, idealized, imaginary) – even in the art-field. An artist. This David is real, a human being who exists and is not capable of staying in a spiteful momentum of stretching a sling; his body is, like his identity, heterogeneous, cast after an instable pattern, assembled of pieces; chipped off and re-assembled and gilded afterwards.

Focused on the Artist, a gilded figure of a man with his erected penis, especially a monument to the artist himself, the viewers get exactly what Šribar has started from – a social construct of a self-indulged and proud Artist – Chauvinist, de-constructed in the real and symbolic sense. After this de-composition he returns and exists exposed, however, as an artist, Boris Šribar, is incapable – in the new context, in the context of a gallery, to – independently and unambiguously – break a layer of his own (sexual, secular, expert) identity that he deals with auto-critically from one work to another.

 I have it all

The latest work „I have it all“ with it’s name refers to the previous thesis, about the author who, by belonging to the dominant group, has it all. Video works show the open-roof pool in the private backyard and the author going in the pool, swimmnig and then going out. This simple action is not repeating. Since it’s not specified differently, and people can tell that the pool is private-owned, it is assumed that the author uses this pool as if he was the owner or close friend of the owner. The name of the work „I have it all“ additionaly suggests that the author’s possesion has either material (the pool) or spiritual character (friends, family, partners).  The text and the pictures that, like a documetary, follow the origination of this work, indicates totally unexpected situation, where the video clip, actually, was made during a few months-physical labour of the author on setting the mosaic in the shown pool. Altered context forces us to discard the whole predetermined meaning of the name of the work, as well as his subject.

What does author have, if his possesion has nothing to do with things shown in the clip? The answer to that is in the gap of these two images, in their discord. The images of the artist as a worker and the worker as the artist. Artist has his work, altough it doesn’t belong to him and the shown setting is maybe only the form of alienation of the products of the work  (the pool) from the artist/worker/laborer. Short sequence in which the artist swimms in the pool that he has made is the only moment in which is he the user of the goods he created, his benificiary. In that moment, enjoing in the results of his work, he has it all. The biggest gain is that specific visual image, in which that situation, work set free, seems completely logic and coincident to the audience.

The problem is that the viewers doesn’t see the author as the worker who enjoys in the product of his work, but as an owner of the wealth that he enjoys in. That seems logical to the viewers. Becuase of that, in this work „I have it all“ with minimal intervention and possibly in a most radical way and on more than one level, the identity of the dominant gender majority is being deconstructed as being the identity that, aside from the dominance in socialy-cultural setting, are assigned the power and the wealth as well. That ease of understanding of the concept that the man or the male identity, aside from being the primary compared to other identities, confirms itself through possestion, has been underlined and questioned. That level of untouchable dominant positions of the man/the rich man/the owner, in which beauty, wealth and power derive from each other, is, in this work, seen as the primary reason for inability for bearer and member of different identities to understand each other. Boris takes a step further in empasizing the identity as a construct, and almost always untrue construct of the society, in which the individual is being recognized, desubjected and then, like an object, accepted or discarted, according to personal affinity.

The question being raised is how come that hierarchy settings bother so much somebody who, obviously, profits from it, because identity given to him is much desired and represents the position of power. What this work wants to state is that that from position of power, which is based on pure luck, selfcritic point of view must be taken. That needs to be done not by questiong the position of someone who has it all, but he the concept itself in which someone is recognized by the society as the bearer of the power based on his physical predispositions, and not by his talk or act. The work points out the other face of discrimination of the Other, and that is far more dangerous and more hidden shovinism, the one who never questions the power and the hierarchy he’s in service for, but inertly reproduces it over and over.

Marija Ratković

 

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I'll be your mirror

Umetničke, ali i kulturne prakse predstavljaju i simuliraju druge činove, ali retko kad funkcionišu kao takvi. Marina i Boris, dok rade ono što rade, simuliraju te radnje, izvodeći ih u kontekstu svojih rodnih identiteta. Rodna konvencija o ženstvenoj ženi i muževnom muškarcu, kulturalni je konstrukt, koji je osim što je deo njihove samoidentifikacije, takođe i ključ za gledaoce, koji ih poimaju kroz rodni konstrukt koji predstavljaju. Čin zamene delovanja koje je putem kulture rodno determinisano - on se šminka, ona čisti pušku na mestu – ona se šminka, on čisti pušku – nije u stanju da izmeni kulturalni kod, niti da dekonstruiše stereotip. Ova inverzija samo zbunjuje gledaoca, koji uvidja neadekvatnost osobe da radnju okonča uspešno. A sama neuspešnost njihovog delovanja, potiče iz nemogućnosti da se iskorači iz zadatih rodnih konvencija. Ta nemogućnost se mora shvatiti kao nemogućnost izlaska iz rodne uloge, upravo zbog prirode rodne identifikacije koja je eksternalizovana, i to u većoj meri kada je u pitanju žena. Naime, kako je žena kao žena vidjena okom Drugog, okom muškarca koje postaje okom kulture i društva, ona ne poseduje potencijal da iz te identifikacije izadje. Ključ čitanja žene koja čisti pušku je isti kao i ključ čitanja žene koja se šminka - kroz seksualnu konotaciju: ona jeste i ostaje seksualni objekat. Sa druge strane, muškarac izmiče desubjektivizaciji, i prilikom činjenja netipične "muške radnje", zaključuje se samo da on radnju ne obavlja na odgovarajući način, da je loše simulira, dok njegov subjektivitet ostaje očuvan – on nije manje muškarac. Dakle, inverzija koja je u ovom radu učinjena nije razorila rodne uloge i odnos moći, već ga je potvrdila. Muškarac ostaje muškarac, žena ostaje žena. Ipak, postoji izvesna asimetrija ove tvrdnje, jer iako učesnici ostaju ukotvljeni u svoja predeterminisana značenja, činjenje u slučaju muškarca dovodi u pitanje kao neadekvatno, dok se u slučaju žene uklapa u telo širokog spektra činjenja žene kao fetišiziranog objekta želje.

Promena kulturalnih stereotipa, ili samog društva kroz umetnost putem "podizanja svesti" ili "stvarnim promenama" se gotovo nikad ne dešava, te nije moguće meriti "efikasnost umetničkih poruka" njihovim "ostvarenjem", one budući da ne poseduju neophodne uslove za takvo ostvarenje. Može se reći čak da je u prirodi umetničkog performativa da bude neuspešan. Uzrok neuspeha ovog, ali i većine performativnih činova u sferi umetnosti ne potiče od distance ideala (razaranja rodnog stereotipa) i čina (delovanja koje se suprotstavlja stereotipu), već konstitutivne strukture artikulacije između političkog i kulturnog u svakom društvu. U radu I'll be your mirror ,zbog toga, performativnost nije moguće proglasiti činom, koji bismo prosuđivali terminima uspešnosti/neuspešnosti, već kao delovanje, koje pronalazi svoj smisao u procesnom karakteru odvijanja koji čini vidljivim društveno determinisane odnose moći.

Marija Ratković

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Marina Markovic

 

AZIL/ASYL/ASYLUM

 

Art couple Marina Marković and Boris Šribar are using the gallery space as their temporary place of residence. The artists are living and working in the gallery without the possibility to leave it for the duration of the exhibition; the authors ‘exhibit’ themselves, their everyday activities, art and living practices, their privacy, namely, their everyday existence.

There were various examples from art history who had the utopian tendency for conjunction, synthesis of everyday life and art. Present-day artists, however, do not support this tendency towards linking of art and life any more, at least not in this conventional sense. Marković and Šribar do not insist on the synthesis but rather on the difference between the artistic and the everyday. They believe in critical potential of art, but this potential is not developed by joining art and life, as avant-garde artists believed – but by creating a difference between art and life, and in a process of documenting it. Thus, art refers to life itself, to pure activity, practice. In other words, art becomes a form of life, and a work of art is keeping records of this form of life. Marković and Šribar achieve this by evoking media and manipulative strategies of the forms such as reality shows: by moving these strategies into the artistic context, they indicate overall contamination and ‘estradization’ of public space, observing art not as a field that should be deconstructed, destroyed, but as the only space that can offer ‘protection’, namely, a space that ‘drops out’ from the relationships of power that govern the media-shaped daily life. This is how politicization of art is brought about: in the sense that art documents life as pure activity, i.e., the space of art is a place of critical analysis and questioning of the media-shaped present. In the conditions when art as a form of public communication and action is completely marginalized and made senseless, Marković and Šribar refuse to produce art in a traditional sense and display ‘life as such’, making art a sort of counter-public sphere that implies activity of marginalized groups in the space of art, that is, a (newly) formed community that comes out of the sphere of the allowed and depoliticized and acts within the capitalist public sphere with the intention to indicate its abuse by the elites.

Thus, the gesture of Marina Marković and Boris Šribar consciously refers to the practices such as the Occupy Wall Street movement or increasingly important student protests – a temporary stay at and in a certain space becomes a political gesture par excellence: a certain micro political space is ‘conquered’, transformed into temporary space of ‘freedom’, a specific asylum and, in this way, a sort of symbolic visibility and visibility in the media is created; in a while, everything disappears, and then a similar action appears at some other place and in a different context. This is to indicate that the capitalist public and media space is not a homogenous, undivided whole, but that public sphere is permeated with antagonisms, that there are groups, communities and individuals within it that ‘drop out’ from the space of current neoliberal consensus – so Marković and Šribar consciously perform at the same place as all those who ’drop out’ from the machinery of capitalist redistribution of power – economic emigrants seeking for asylum in EU countries, labourers claiming the right to work, homosexuals, Roma, students, i.e., all that demand visibility in the public space, those who call for questioning of current relationships of power and redistribution of social wealth.

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Silence Implies Consent

Silence Implies Consent is a concept of social interaction, which meansthat people are disposed to undertake the absence of an answer about the actionas a result of silent/tacit approvement of the same action.

As an example: If no one complainsabout the garbage left in the front of yard, that means that no one is reallybothered. In fact, perhaps they are, but everyone is silent. Though, youcan never be sure If that silence means approval.

Qui tacetconsentire non videtur – He who is silent is taken to agree. If someone doesn’tanswer/react, it cannot be interpreted as giving the approval or acceptance.This model is later expound as “Silence is sign of approval”, which is nottrue. If someone wants something, accepts, asserts something, he should say so,without any doubts about it, because his silence can be considered as anacceptance. All democratic legal systems (should be) are back to the origine,Roman laws.

Withthe performance of lip sewing I have expressed the attitude towards actionwhich was made by the prisoners of Central prison in Belgrade, and which had happenedcouple of times in the past few years, and also lately, in Kyrgyzstan, whereabout 400 prisoners have done the similar thing. The main reasons of this radicalacting were existential, bad habitat conditions, food, accommodation, hygiene,the politics of institution… The interesting is the analogy you can makebetween the prisoners and artists, who depend, as margine groups, of thegovernment apparatus. The absence of art institutions and culturalinfrastructure emplace not only artists, but the society as whole, in the prisoner’s position.

                                                                                                                                          

Silence implies consent / Tišina podrazumeva saglasnost je koncept socijalne interakcije, koja kaže da su ljudi skloni da preuzmu nedostatak odgovora na akciju kao prećutno odobravanje te akcije.

Primer navedenog procesa: Ako se niko ne žali na smeće koje sam stavio ispred dvorišta, onda mora biti da nikome ne smeta. Ustvari, svakome možda smeta, samo što svi ćute. Ne možete biti sigurni da njihovo ćutanje znači da pristaju.

Qui tacet consentire non videtur -- Ko ćuti ne saglašava se. Ukoliko neko ne daje odgovor to se ne može tumačiti kao davanje pristanka ili odobravanje. Ovaj institut je kasnije drugačije tumačen kao "Ćutanje je znak odobravanja" a to je nepravilno. Ako neko nešto želi, prihvata, podržava, treba to nedvosmisleno da izjavi, a ne da se njegovo ćutanje smatra kao saglasnost. Svi demokratski pravni sistemi su se vratili izvornom, tj. Rimskom tumačenju.

Performansom ušivanja usta izražen je stav koji direktno referiše na akciju koju su izveli zatvorenici Centralnog zatvora u Beogradu, nekoliko puta tokom poslednjih godina, a u skorije vreme u Kirgistanu oko 400 zatvorenika je izvelo sličnu akciju. Razlozi ovako radikalnog protesta su egzistencijalni, loši uslovi življenja, hrane, smeštaja, higijene, politike institucija... Zanimljiva je ta analogija gde su umetnici kao i zatvorenici marginalna grupa koja zavisi od državnog aparata. Odsustvo umetničkih institucija i kulturne infrastrukture stavlja u poziciju zatvorenika ne samo umetnika nego i celo društvo

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