Bojan Sarcevic – True Enough




“…It becomes then impossible to decide whether the impression of organicity is the result of such encounters or the origin of our affective understanding of their echoing”. In this way, referring to your works, linking it to a hermeneutic element, you ended our conversation of 2005, and we would like to come back to that point to start again, as we believe the exegetic moment is central to your artistic and cognitive, or rather artistic/cognitive, path, regarding the idea of reality, a word that could perhaps be substituted with truth, meant as a shared substrate of every possible perception.
Once you said that for you, as an artist, the real, is that mouse being eaten by a cat in your garden, recognizing a depth of ineluctability of apparently accidental encounters. The idea of interpretation opens an easy way towards relativism, and, staying inside the walls of pinksummer, we are thinking of some of the titles of works you have presented here like “Truth is different” of 2002, or “Everything makes sense in the reverse” of 2005, but the title of this third exhibition at pinksummer, “True enough”, seems like not doubting the existence of a reachable truth, even if in a perfectible way, but for approximation.
Protagora exorcised the loss in relativism stemming it with the criterion of value. Interpretation is the individual attempt to capture knowability through the domain of experience of what has got phenomenality, in no way though, the opinion of the sage, this wise taught, is more true than the opinion of who is no wise at all, simply the first has more value than the second, and the shared value, for approximation, brings closer to the mirage of an objective truth.
Staying grounded to the fact, or better to the shape, of your works, it is difficult to explain, we just know it doesn’t often happen, we have the fantasy that they just are, independently from will or accident. As it is not possible, ab absurdo, to think at them in no other way different from what they appear, and this seems in some way protecting them from the interpretative arrogance.
Regarding the concept of interpretation then, some say that it has become necessary only with the loss of a syncretist comprehension, typical of a primitive Golden Age, when man was nature and nothing apart from it. There is, instead, who thinks of interpretation in a positivist way, as progress and progressive estrangement of mankind from a very dark ferine era. Nietzsche cut it short affirming that there are no facts, but just opinions.
Susan Sontag, in “Against Interpretation”, an essay that you recently mentioned, questioning the role of art critic with regard to the despotism of contents on the form, which tries to fill it rather than stroke it with words, takes this attitude back to the loss of the magical and ritual value of the artwork that took place with the introduction of the Platonic dualism. Plato refuses to acknowledge the value of art itself, being it just mimesis of an imperfect reality, a ugly copy of a mathematical abstraction, the idea. In this aesthetic field, in physics and in metaphysics, it is the body, with its tendency of obsolescence, to lose in favour of the soul.
Aldous Huxley, who, under the effects of mescal, was able to perceive “the bare existence” also in the folds of his flannel trousers, said that Plato made a grotesque mistake by separating the being from the becoming, because that action made him unable to see eternity inside the perishability of a rose.
The last issue of Les Cahiers du Musée national d’art moderne dedicated 20 pages of portfolio to you, under the title “La seule costante est le changement”.
Following our obsession for the perceptive displacement, we would like to see a very rigorous exhibition “against interpretation” that would include your video “Cover version”, together with Ceal Floyer’s “Goldberg Variations” and perhaps a declension of the sound by Carsten Nicolai together with other works that now we would hardly imagine, anyway works that, even admitting they have a soul, it is not possible to think disembodied from a definitely glorious body.
And, about flesh and aesthetics, sometimes extreme, like yours, we were surprised to see in Mambo in Bologna, in one of those first films of yours, mounted like a precious stone, flesh, presented like substance in the substance, but beating, alive.
In this exhibition the flesh is the tinged body, powerful and sublime (we were a bit ashamed to write this exaggerated word), in those sculptures by the strange title “Stamina and the Muse”, sort of a fitness pull-bar from which painting (you described it to us like a surrealist frottage), drops out fluid like a humour.
Again Huxley tells about how the curate of D’Ars used to say that, in those days in which he was free to flagellate himself, God would not refuse anything to him. It seems like the mystics and the contemplatives would systematically work to alter the chemistry of their bodies, also through the strain, to create favourable conditions for the celestial locution. In this sense stamina, which is a substance that increases resistance to strain, can be for sure considered propitious to a secret encounter with the Muse.
Aesthete is one whose concern is towards the forms and their visual relationships inside the field of vision of the picture (again Huxley).
When we saw your new corpus of works in the wonderful space of De Vleeshal in Middelburg in the solo show curated by Lorenzo Benedetti, the same one you will now show at pinksummer, we thought of a unique picture. The delicate sculptures “Presence at night” made of natural and organic forms, and the series “Stamina and the Muse” aside, on the walls, in the centre the neat semi-functional structures formed by the elegant combination of different metals. Freudian critic would probably trace this back to Es and Ego and Super-Ego, a neo-platonic perhaps to the tripartition of the soul into irascible, sensitive and rational. We don’t really know how Marxist critic would interpret it.
Anyway, in the picture, every form seemed in a spontaneous balance in itself and in respect to the other forms and space, we know that for you spontaneity is the result of a great intellectual effort and of discipline.