The Pictorial offering aka Das bildliche Opfer
by Nikola Šuica
Participation in chronotopic vividness of a scene seems to be an open visual linguistic anthropology between delusions and emotional disappointment. The elements of the series of drawings and paintings reveal a didactic, lyrical and melodramatic structure of court relations.
The series Louis XIII, created in 2008, transposed the depicted scheme of museum art into the moral life of contemporary transformation of ruler authoritarianism. Recalling the actions of the visual, ritually accidental, “voodoo” inscriptions of J.M.Basquiat and the power of cannibalistic traits, this vulgar policy towards subjects and their lack of preparation becomes a subtle counterpoint. The conquered colonized world is literally hidden by its rulers, while simultaneously promoting the eclipse of the “blind territory” of a seeming lack of plot. Indisputably, in aversion of a childish fraction of form, Louis XIII and Anne of Austria are a distorted figurative jolt of disrespect and degradation of optical expectations. It is possible that this could be a trick of a paraded uniformity and sovereignty of the dignity of court painters,and the depth of ambientalization references the modelsof the masters such as Van Dyck or Velázquez, whose experience in the illumination of the human form overcomes the high-pitched directive speech and ceremonial announcements of existence from the symbolic darkness of interior backgrounds. The rational world of such solutions is not in the interest of minimal harmony.
Moreover, the logic of division into contradictions and troubles of court and dynastic intertwining was performed as a shabby, disorganized energy difficulty in visibility, both in the paintings and in the surges of the author’s stylistic expressivity in the drawings of titled topics. The work Devastated by Louis XIV’s Infidelities and Surrounded by Midgets Maria Theresa is Drinking a Cup of Chocolate, created in pencil, acrylic and oil on canvas, in 2010, is a hub of existential drama of the flattening of hierarchy and the grotesque of the rulers’ balance. The announcement of chocolate would also become the author’s challenge in observing its cultural omnipresence and imprint into sensual experience. It is not just about the raw material and the powder brought from the New World to Europe, rather a subconscious compound of enormous impact. The discovery of cocoa in the early 16h century, by the mariner Cristbal Colóna, better known as Columbus, and his return to King Ferdinand of Aragon and Queen Isabella of Castile, was the first recorded shipment of cocoa beans.
In all aspects, the contradictions of the product has been determined as a somewhat depressed phantasm, where the colonialist effects, spilled human plasma, and traces of violence, and rapid changes merge with episodes of culinary or alchemist preparations of enjoyment, where the heat of cookeddark sweet chocolate is imposed in Meissen porcelain cups; robbery, restructuring, diminishing of freedom or elimination of any kind of principles of compassion from historical chronicles were apparently induced by the relentless, information-saturated world of communications of the contemporary world of images, human multiplications, migrations and different levels of plunder. The cosmogram of emerging economies is entirely possible. Merchandise credit and investment exchange and stock market fluctuation coefficient reach astonishing variables and deviating dynamics. The same can be applied to migration regulations, practices and consequences through which the contribution of the exploiter influences the countries below the Equator. The workforce of the Third World is steadily distorted and appropriated from its original colonial strongholds. The transitional transmission is consistently affected by the global order, since Derrida’s choice of the art of drawing for art exhibition Memoirs of the Blind in the Louvre in the early 1990s. The fluid transformation of values and creative investment is a phenomenon of the unseen or the territory of blindness. Transmission and permanent toxic attention to price lists for everything, no matter what the value, also affected the survival of art through the fuel of financial returns.
This does not only concern the imprinted reality of the world of economic maelstroms, virtual parameters and figures. The real drift, through liberal capitalism, and trade of natural resources of the underdeveloped Third World, is applicable even within the playful world of new classifications of the artistic demand for the new. Reduced according to the unforgiving art market, products are created for one’s own, often alienated, arena of envious protagonists and participants of fashionably vain and cruel exclusivities.
Seeds ofxocolatl, which Cortés, just before retreating to his homeland, brings into use at the Spanish court, represent a compound of a new chemical challenge and a bond with unconscious quests. The author gifted various experiments in collage to the history of chocolate in his eponymous book. Many compositions, collages of smaller dimensions, introduce a context of enjoyment in the midst of globalized consumer frenzy. They are also like pods in certain areas of functional traces, from Cortés to marketing, as well as a choice of sequenced relations with the principles of dialogue within cultural solutions in a large number of examples of films, mostly Western ones, with a choice of scenes that can be found in the selection of the book. Chocolate “fuel” is in the very process of creation and an imaginary connection with fulfillment.
In the book, Jovan Despotović observes Chocolate Road, as series: “The first artistic style that Jureša applied was to indicate imaginary movement in these images, such as in Mapa Mundior Roads of Delight (both from 2011)…”
This is not only regarding an already introduced geographic mapping and associations with cartographic directions of conquest, but an “imaginary movement” towards the performative concept of the language of painting and the jolt-inducing graphic dynamics. The chocolate narrative is a mobilized debate of the contemporary trace that connects with late 18th century degenerate aristocracy of elitism, and is still maintained in costly luxury goods and a devastating plight of the oppressedworld, from information systems, to misinformation, from terminal software applications to the released quantity of oblivion regarding history and the repression of memories.
From the written observations of Marquis de Sade, to the delights of Jane Austen, this inner spiritual experience is observed in the form of detection of inclination, addiction and obsession.
Painting and the principles of construction are becoming new dimensions of history according to scattered references, and possible chocolate findings. Pods – symbolic “eggshells” of knowledge are the starting point of the impact and the feeling of satiety, beyond sweetness, and beyond the circumstances of phenomenal directions. Behind the harvested cocoa beans and cooking of chocolate, beyond conquered property and looted treasures, is a loose vital path of energy relations. Genealogies of Catholic domination, Spanish, French and Austrian royal families in front of the conquered terrain of Central American and South American continents, have become earlier versions of similarly appointed political modalities of our time. The opposite perspective, this prominence of visual plans, is a dimmed celebration of explosive events of artistic energy in the creation of a backdrop from before, adjusted for the moments of our observation.
The post-IT vortex of critical revision is the merging of temporal and historical structures. Everyday reality is movement which we execute in all types of adventures and well-established routines and speed. The question of movement and crossing is similar to that which W. Benjamin’s flaneur conducted stumbling through the world of broken images, built and constructed opportunities, through corridors of buried secrets, missing rituals oreveryday feastssurrounded by the most commonly emphasized cultural indifference.
The past shows us that what is to come, and memory is always touched by oblivion. Along with some of the author’s photographs of views of blind urban corners, suburban locations and unexpected screens, walls, graffiti, trails and traces of life in this civilization, this is more than clear:
“It feels nice. If I am not sure where the canvass leads me, or the same drawing stares at me for weeks,from the floor, I’ll go out into the street. Sometimes I wander around to find a photograph, sometimes I spot “a situation” when I’m in a taxi, most often I run into it. On the one hand, the resulting photograph facilitates the work process, on the other, it allows you to find, in your own yard, an unintentional Rothko or see an early Basquiat.”
Much like the paintings and drawings that, through their energy influence, are incorporated into graphics and its energies, collages appear as catalysts that may not be immediately readable, because they consist of glued pieces of paper from photographs, reproductions of artistic templates and technical schematic representations. They do not reflect the whole from which they have been ripped out of, as they cannot be connected into a readable piece.
Such fragments, figurative and objectified, displaced through language and persistence, seem to seek new forms of perception. It must be that in them, subconsciously following Benjamin, the difference between the aura and its disappearance and destruction is revealed.
Below pages of newspaper entries, with associative connections to the cut-outs, collages are mostly on paper of various formats, in general, about 30-40 cm. The title The Sanctuary of Gluttons is a mature social vivisection of unconscious fantasies of cocoa and sensual pleasure, similar to the quest for precious metals and diamonds. On the other hand, the artist Gastone Novelli observes that the letter and voice ‘A’, originating from the people of the tribe whichcommunicates with one voice, speaks of a traumatized fate of a fatigued information society, terrifying and genocidal. This announcement, as a call for action, occurs in a unique novel-travelogue-confession and a small photographic collection, in the striking and influential work Austerlitzby WG Sebald, becoming a cultural contribution to the melancholic sigh over the exterminations and lack of understanding of transience and oblivion of the past century.
People who become numbers are determined by the tactility of the pencil and the rhythm of graphite powder or cocoa pods, they are also part of critical comments, asadvertising irony “Tobler suddenly appears in Switzerland,” where the famous chocolate maker, Theodor Tobler from Bern is shown through a photo portrait and an unusual background and motivations that draw attention to manufacturing history and status, from the denier of the anti-Semitic pamphlets The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, to the phenomenon of famous triangular Toblerones, which resemble the pyramids of Central America and, of course, the proximity of Alpine mountain peaks. The melting of chocolate and the process of transformation, fluidity and recreation is not only an appropriate reflection in collages, introduced by Duchamp’s quote of the chocolate cutter, prepared for The Large Glass, but in changes of the symbolic sphere of surrounding matter, as well.
It is precisely Duchamp’s The Large Glass that isa paradigmatic structure of mediated creation of the parallel and hidden world of operational mechanicalness. Perhaps Goran Juresa’s consistent painting and processing position unfolds according to the famous Duchamp connections with contemporary art, regardless of the surges in various media, one through which he registers, creates and analyzes the stages of his findings.
This is a work in which the wealth of observations reveals the structural setting of the understanding of the world, and a spontaneous and liberated personal progress.
G.Jureša, from the book-projectIstorija čokolade/ History of Chocolate,“Bel Art” Gallery, Novi Sad and“Zvono” Gallery, Belgrade, Novi Sad 2013.
Translation – V. G. Sebald: Austerlic/ Austerlitz, Paideia, Beograd 2009.