THE INVERT – Notes on an Improbable Exhibition Text and organization of the exhibition by Daniel Marzona
The exhibition, „The Invert“ brings the work of two artists in physical and mental proximity inside the beautiful space of a private museum close to Belgrade. The artists, both working within a wide range of media, did not know each other before the idea of this project was born and it is a lucky coincidence that both artists share certain concerns regarding our „conditio humana“, albeit from different perspectives.
As a child, Jovana Popic experienced the nearly complete loss of the place where she grew up during the Balkan civil war when her village, Evernik, was destroyed. This early loss, which could be described - borrowing the words of the German philosopher Martin Heidegger - as „being held in the nothingness of being“ informs all her later artistic work in various ways. It is therefore no surprise that her work as an artist rejects traditional models of constructing an „objective reality” and how such concepts are represented in various symbolic forms. Instead of accepting common epistemic structures, Popic explores alternative ways of understanding ‚life as it is‘. In doing so, whatever becomes the subject of her artistic interest needs to undergo a process of destruction and decontextualization. For her series ‚Nightmaps,‘ for example, Popic found inspiration in objects encountered during a research trip to Siberia. These strange, glowing, radioactive panels were used by Russian pilots in the navigation of their planes during Word War II. Her own alterations of these maps show highly subjective, spontaneous drawings. Drawn on greenish, self-glowing backgrounds, they replace a tool to navigate through space with maps of mental or emotional states, planting the seed to bloom into the universal.
For the exhibition Konstantino Dregos chose several works from a recent series titled ‚Capto Vacui‘ (reaching into the empty). Somewhere between drawing and painting, between science and myth and always with a rather subdued palette, these canvases are filled with allusions to seemingly complex, abstract formulations of inventive processes. Numbers, brief equations, fragments of architectural or other plans, words, diagrams, etc. appear without ever pointing to a clearly discernible purpose. It is the creative process of invention itself with all its errors and defaults which is depicted here and there is something equally joyful and tragic about it. Tragic because we know how unlikely it is that any of these flashes of genius will carry the power to change our understanding of reality. Tragic also because it is often not the dubious quality of an inventive and disruptive idea which is responsible for its failure but the fact that we simply cannot adhere to the radical otherness of its inherent concepts which are out of touch with our common knowledge. The structure of thought and language simply does not permit us to bridge the gap. If Wittgenstein once said it was the task of philosophy to show the fly the way out of the fly- bottle, Dregos work seems to question the very possibility of such an enterprise. Instead, he presents us with the chaotic beauty and power of various versions of fly-bottles. Instead of building bridges, these paintings celebrate what can neither be translated nor represented: intuition and inspiration. If they emitted sound it would be like listening to the wind sensing that it it only blows in our heads.
Museum Macura Zenit 1
Opening 09.10.2021 12pm 09.10.2021 – 01.06.2022
Novi Banovci Belgrade Serbia