The Shape of Things to Come

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2012: The Shape of Things to Come

English text => translated into Serbo-Croat => translated into English


Working in the hegemony that is mostly dominated by promulgation of paradigm
of something which is usually considered as special, unique, original, inspiring practice in a patriarchal art, we begin to understand that transformation which takes place within the viewer while he is staring at this artifact, is inseparably linked to the original product of cause and effect. Heidegger says in his essay, The Origin of Work Art: ‘’The artwork is what first allows the artist to stand out as a master of his (sic) art”. If we take that position, do we, therefore, need to understand that the creator, ancestor, producer stereotyped as co-author, is merely a body that produces, a liberator of the material, if you like to call it that way, which gives the attribute of final conceptual designation of originality and responsibility. Does it matter? Does it matter? Multilateral flexion of this issue can cause a problem but, at the same time, can also harden the absolute constructions, immobility of any construction, or deconstruction, that could have an impact on dislocation. In fact, a dislocation so deep that it can make any text, whether visual or literary, so redundant in an implosion of post-modernity. In this implosion that is postmodern it, actually, is a post-modernity. …

Where am I going? Actually, where am I? Where was I? Let’s start from the beginning. Let’s start from September 16th, 1977, from Queen’s Ride Street (southwest part of London) . What’s up, bro? Let’s start from January 11th, 1994, Grove Road Street, No 193, London, E17 9BZ. Okay, keep on reading! Listen to this!  

In the year of 1993, Rachel Whiteread Sally made her famous concrete house. Suddenly, familiar interior transformed, personal and private was cast in white, immobile, brutal and bleak material and bare. The deepest, intimate spaces were left bare, exposed to the forces of nature. Ironically, it did not have any of those used, second-hand qualities that are linked to familiar constructions of brick, and given the fact that it was built out of the last in a series of houses that were destroyed, it was standing as a monolith, challenging interpretations and debates about memory loss and personal history.

Judging from the negative reactions regarding the work of Whiteread’s, public is not prone to changes. But, change is something that requires our constant attention (sic). Diverting the view and interrupting the attention, products of chemistry and biology will harm gradual, imperceptible transformation; pigment fading, patina building up, lakh bursting, art works getting old.

Anarchic preoccupations are adopted by trade and subsumed into the mire of consumers’ life, making them harmless; punk-style way of dressing up mutates into an expression of fashion, and its political aggression softens it to the models-like walk. Is that what Situationists call democratization of art; is it finally merging of high and popular culture. Does that effect of “restoration” change? Or the establishment merely accomplishes assimilation of radical ones, tame them and turn them into weakened market goods, making them safe that way? But, what attracts the attention is what is missed, what falls through the gaps between the boards that stand for life? What increases, what destroys, what interferes, what responds, what noise does entropy add or take away the experience of creativity and interpretation?

Which part of ourselves should we preserve, and when should we leave ourselves to the forces of nature, and when no longer in control, what do we become then? Ethereal photographs by Sally Mann that show bodies left behind to rotten naturally, on the body farm, demystify the process of decay but, at the same time, provoke questions about what we are and are our systems of belief, philosophy, religion only the unnecessary appendix to work of the biological transformation and decay. Although her ​​works still display the unusual simple feature of oddness, we can no longer seek for refuge in the form of those expressive portraits, as it implodes, metaphorically and literally. 

Distances, edges, gaps, verges, the slightest move transforms the meaning, making possible interpretations ambiguous. If context makes 99% of the meaning, then possibilities for disorder are countless. The artist can (try to) dictate what to see and how to look at it, John Baldessari, for example, explores the narrative potential of images and associative power of language within the specific boundaries of artwork. But, words and paintings are merely the signals and artists cannot predict links, networks and connections that will occur in the observer’s subconscious. Creating of art is a way to translate from one context to another, with change of meaning.

Barbara Kruger is experimenting with the idea of ​​sex change, how much male and female definitions are unstable expressions and how easy it is to swap identities. Through all her works, Kruger forces the viewer to re-assess, review and re-evaluate the painting, text, artist, response and aspects of culture, beliefs, expectations that bring into interpreting and translating ideas from work of art to our own beliefs.

Norbert Wiener, mathematician, developed the concept of cybernetics and so began the study of “elements of the message of unusual noise which disturbs its transmission.” What we see here is how disorganized elements of randomness become negative of information. During the translation process, the meaning is inevitably and inexorably changed, same words have different connotations in different languages. Interpreter could understand or interpret things differently, by bringing cultural systems of belief into a text that did not exist in its original form. The text you are reading can be a translation, maybe even a translation of the translation, with elements of noise unfamiliar with the original message, and you probably have not even noticed anything.

Fleur Axelle