Who’s afraid of a big bad wolf? 1998
acrylic+ embroidery on canvas, 43,5 x 53 cm
finalist Dimitrije Bašičević Mangelos Award , 2006
....Dejan Kaludjerović is an artist whose interest lies in a striking recycling of history, both personal and collective, and in the finest aspects of society, which automatically implies an attempt to grasp a realistic picture of the future. In this regard, Kaludjerović commits himself in project after project, creating his own aesthetic, based on ready materials (maps, photographs, industrial packaging, and in this case a photograph taken from an old issue of Burda) to produce increasingly uncompromising works...
by Milena Marjanovic
When The Future Belonged To Us
Once a memory is made or "caught", like a freeze-frame from a concrete segment of life, it is just a new "screen puzzle" that cannot give us a concrete answer or message.
If the dynamic of creating can be seen as trying to bring back to life each individual memory and constantly striving to reach the "inexplicable" moment - the moment an artwork comes to life, then the melancholy induced by the constant fruitless striving to attain the object of desire, or its "real" materialization can be seen as creating yet another enigma.
When Dejan Kaludjerovic "selects" the images dating from his childhood (newspaper clippings, children's books, family photographs) and, in later stages of working, "hibernates" those images from his past, he does not aim to reproduce them into a memory of his youth and childhood nor does he aim to revive or criticize yet another nostalgia belonging to the recent past. He, in fact, commemorates the moment that could have induced a shock in his conscience as an observer or active creator - a new producer of those images?-and with a specific time distancing witnesses the enigma of the newly discovered visual configuration.
Historically observed, the time of the artists' childhood already belonged to the era of "factual violence" that spread over the whole of the visual reality, the many layered ideological visual manipulation and the fabrication of a visual matrix of ideal appearance and behaviour.
The author becomes like a documentary maker or editor and through adapting documents dating from 1970's reconstructs (within the specific time frame and imagined subject matter) the fate of the unknown protagonists. In this reconstruction specific entities exhibit the appropriate rhetoric of gesture, gaze, caught in typical representational compositions, belonging to the time they originated in (Still waiting for the Man, 2001; What Did Tomorrow Bring Us?, 2001; Building of a Temple, 1999).
The artist's memories stop (or maybe just begin) with the artistic process and with mapping the composition in a way that underlines the specific hierarchy of the position and state of the impenetrable exaltation of each individual character taken from "the documented past". The painted canvas is most often a base layer of evenly applied acrylic color over which a web of cartoons or comic books characters is applied, like contemporary illuminated grotesques. The final layer consists of carefully hand painted "main actors" placed in the centre, gaining a saint-like aura, comparable to the meditative process of painting a saints image but also to the ritual re-living of the trauma/ the "screen memories", which take the recognizable and already seen motives, in this case, recycle so much of the recent past and transports (the viewer) into the subject of new doubts, fears and the both sided feelings.
The Future Belongs To Us is an investigative cycle which most subsequent develops the idea of the "screen memory"- understood as the changing of the non-existent event into a kind of real tangible memory, unpleasant to remember. The title itself is based on Bob Fosses' Cabaret, to be precise with the slogan "The Future Belongs to Me", which is sung by a young blonde Arian man at a gathering. Kaludjerovic's world is filled with an army of children of a solid community, united by the unique optimistic echo of Fosses' melodic lied - Strong Boy, Red Girl, Smile, (2002-2004). Furthermore it is filled with the process in which the individuals' memory is painfully broken down through the inherited collective memory. The emblematic figure, marking the artists continuing research into the collective preconceptions, almost exclusively becomes the figure of a young man or child obsessively repeating themselves in diverse iconic poses, like contemporary martyrs of an amnesia-like projection of a better future without a past.
In his most recent work Bite a Carrot, Bunny! - Keine Angst vor kleinen Tieren, (2004) the artist reconstructs the composition of the advertisements from the 1980's through a particular approach- the confrontation of film and the painted canvas analyzing the context of the evolution of collective representation of "the innocent age" or childhood.
The taken mise en scène of children's games, when observed from today's perspective induces uncomfortable feelings as it alludes to the division of power and the social games of violence. The viewer is, suggests the artist, a prisoner of the constant accumulation of a past whose contents they cannot or wish not to unravel and the still ungraspable future, one that doesn't give them the least hint in his battle with the history.
Kaludjerovic, still, does not strive to read out the historical streaming or decipher their configurations or propose "the right way", to help the viewer in conquering the future. Here, the creative gesture, in the best case, is flipped to tuning the viewer to the complete phenomenon of visual reality, the complex relationship and the time context that connects the viewer and the object exhibited, as well as bringing back to life the enigma which transforms each individual memory.
03. 12. 2007 14:49:29
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