galerija SULUJ /fences[2001]

Temporary walls

 

“ The truth is inscribed on a wall” runs a line of a popular song from “crazy eighties.” Probably not even its author could have imagined that just several years later walls and wooden fences as surfaces and color sprays as tools would figure as those few remaining ways to record the truth, lapidary at least and boiled down to graffiti. As it seems, pavements in Belgrade are full of makeshift walls, metal or wooden fences and a variety of barriers hiding neglected and bankrupt construction sites more than ever before.

It is in makeshifts as such (generally lasting several decades in the Balkans) thath Predrag Terzić detected motives for his art. Mobility of a kind, duality and a recombining capacity mark his paintings-they may be exhibited individually in a traditinal way, but also, put together, as segment of an ambience, turned into a wall form.

Lack of figurativesness in Terzić' paintings has yet anather source-it derives from a unique transformation of a different attitude and settings tath over color as matter, for layer of paint and for structure.Such artistic postulates, expanded on large, specially prepared surfaces and crossed with the notion of a wall-barrier give birth to his paintings.


Mileta Prodanović

galerija Zvono /26 meters of drawnigs and 3 paintings[2003]

(de)fences

 

galerija SKC /resime[2004]

Relocations - Transfigurations of the visual memories from urban spaces


Cities are complex systems of social functions, representations and meanings, in which each specific site is a knot in which multiple signifying systems are tied together with constantly mutually contesting streams of individual and collective experiences and imaginative projections. Different traditions in public art have, in the course of a couple of last decades, been dealing with bringing onto surface memories of particular social groups in using a particular space, their habits and reference points in perceiving it , their strategies and tactics in appropriating it, their problems in approaching or personalizing it, resulting mainly with producing a site specific intervention that provides with a wider physical or symbolic access to it. The ways they were realized in concrete contexts ware, of course, through the various constraints: limitations on budget and time, availability of a site, physical constraints of that site, then the expectation of the founder or commissioner, presumed reception by the general public and anticipated response of the planning authorities, and, of course, of the municipal authorities wanting it to be vandal proof and maintenance free. Within all these constraints, it was getting more and more in danger of becoming a simple problem solver, with the basic goal to enhance a badly designed public space, to resolve social problems, to enhance unsightly utilities and to provide a marker of quality in a development otherwise lacking good design, while the "art" of public art however was somewhat ignored or taken for granted. That process has brought the highest focus on the question of how one can keep the emancipatory aspect of art in `making space' for a particular memory in urban context.


The manner this specific project that Predrag Terzic is carrying out in the course of several years of experiments with painterly qualities of ready made surfaces in the city structure in relation to imaginative and corporeal attitudes towards their appearance in urban space, gallery space and space of pictorial representation, deals with the question posed, comes out of attempts to provide an answer to that question by recourse to the traditions of abstract art and painterly meditations focusing on the hermenautics of visual experiences. Material for his work comes from photographic images collected during his strolls around various urban and suburban sites, registering spots of immense visual potential, as heterotopic spots available for everyone, as unlicenced zones with the power of causing the whole spectrum of diverse feelings and thoughts. This material is then relocated into a gallery space, processed by the use of different techniques, varying from photography, drawing, painting, to video installations ambientalized in the manner respective of the specificity of the gallery space. The process is mainly related to reading the features of the city life by registering non -relational traces, fields of energy, capturing them as empirically given phenomena and translating them into forms of ideational representation. The mutations these traces undergo in the process are both fixing in memory what has been seen, and making manifest what is not visible, interpreting issues of visibility, corporeality and comprehensibility of direct experiences in metropolitan life, and are producing an overwhelmingly mediated visual environment, that is not just a reference to the situations and contexts they are encountered in. Therefore, in periods such as the present one, with intensifying globalization, when public space is increasingly linked to commodified amenities, this type of work offers an alternative in an autonomous field of image-centered heterotopic experience of displaced fields of condensed pictorial energy, derived from the urban context and pointing to it, and it’s revelatory and emancipatory potentials, but elaborated without regard for the recognizable.


Stevan Vuković

remont galerija /houses[2002]

Houses

 

Si j`avais une sour

Je t`aimerais mieux que ma sour

Si j`avai tout l`or du monde

Je le jetterais a tes pieds

Si j`avaias un harem

Tu serais ma favorite

Jacques Prevert

 

 


In Luc Besson`s movie NIKITA, the main female character transforms from a drug addict who kills policemen for dope to a femme fatale spy who kills wor the Government. Her transformation takes place in the Government`s special institucion where she is trained. In this institution, Nikita replaces her punk atitude with the, tentatively speaking, nihilistic one. At the beginning, Nikita refuses to obey demands placed before her. She mainly decorates the room where she stays in – she writes graffiti and paints the TV set.

Predrag Terzic`s set of photographs called HOUSE were made in the town og Didimotihon, a town in the vicinity of the Greek-Turkish border, place where the first Turkish mosque on the European soil was built.It is a Greek settlement today. Abandoned houses that we are talking about are located next to the Muslim graveyard. The graffiti with Pervert`s poem that is written on one of those houses and that supplemented by Terzic`s intervention becomes a nostalgic place in suc way, since it connects love towards a woman with the comfort that she giveshim in the same way his home does. In this case, the house walls present reminders of the former state and witness of the previous life.

Nikita could be the heroine of pervert`s poem, but her life in the new sanctuary is only an in-between state. After her training, Nikita goes out into the real world, find love and carries out tasks. Nostalgia has been forgotten. The abandoned turkish Housee in the immediate vicinity of the Turkish border, besides the memory of life and how it once was, show that everything comes to its end like Nikita`s career of a drug addict. But, they also show that a new life arises from ashes, for example the career of a femme fetale spy or a tourist location that an accidental passer-by/artist marks with a Pervert`s poem.

By Jovanovic Slobodan

dom omladine /the great komposition form[2004]

Whence do we come? What are we? Where are we going?

Paul Gaugain

Existential question put by Paul Gaugain at the end of 19th century during his voluntary isolation at Tahiti assumes a different turnover if asked from the context of socio-political events in Serbia in the last 15 years. Such questions have lost their former metaphysic severity today and have turned into very concrete and realistic question of the collective identity and identification in many countries with changed social paradigm, mode of production and ideology, especially in the post-communistic period of transition. At the beginning of these processes the social space of these countries was reshaped, which resulted with serious inner conflicts and with confronting the citizens with the new systems of value and model of life. In the case of the former Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia, when the old system of values and the ideology of “brotherhood and unity” collapsed, changing in the field of new cohesive forces in the society and production of collective identity were unavoidable. New oligarchy that had got the power in Serbia took advantage of the fact that citizens urged to receive a new identity, and to identify themselves with political, national or other programs and aims. In that situation, when a question of collective identity became steamed up and blurred, it was easy for the most of the citizens to turn towards an overemphasized national identity recognized again as “older” than the one of other nations. Proof for such assertion was found in the rich national history, so that the process of the recirculation of national myths overtaken mostly from the Serbian medieval empire strongly started to give shape to the public opinion through all media. That way, the history “became comprehended as an active force that defines roots of the nations, feeds the constituent myths of ethnic groups and strengthens national identities.”1 Among all Serbian constitutional myths, the myth on Kosovo is the most present in revived ethnonational stories and phantasmagoria, and it points to the Lazar´s choosing of Divine Realm as a correct path and decision for the Serbian national character2. It fits perfectly a mythological, anti-historical perception of time, where the time comes back again and again in everlasting cycles, unlike the usual comprehending of the linear flow of time in Judeo-Christian civilization. Final consequence of such speech took shape in the populist stories like the one of Božidar Vučurević, Serbian leader from Trebinje: “Even the dead we lined up to preserve and defend dignity of the living; that's why the history is not for Serbs only a teacher of life, but also a teacher of death. St Sava, Tsar Lazar, Njegoš, Karadjordje... they are still with us, reminding us who we are and what we are.”3

After the political changes of October 5th, 2000 a certain period of interregnum and a new break concerning “great national projects” occurred, together with an attempt to homogenize the citizens and to create the new models of identification. New (proto)democratic society in the public field initiated the idea that all progressive forces including artists should actively participate in carrying out the reform and contribute in producing a “better society”. However, they are still many problems in the public field and the way of its production and reconstruction. Enthusiasm that got tired after the first years of changes opened many possibilities for further critical reflection of social processes so, unlike a directly politically committed art which lost its raison d'être a new strategy slowly started to develop characterized by its ironic approach and consciousness of the need for a reflection of social processes, a consciousness of the need for work in socius. Finaly, although in theese years a paradigm of mythologic fabula has been replaced with much more pragmatic models offered to he citizens for their identification, a constant state of uncertainity and expectation of a realization of foggy aims stil makes an individual passive, keeps him in letargy and prevents him to join the public field more activly or, at least, to ask himself: What are we really waiting for?

Zoran Erić


Božidar Slapšak, Changins of the past in a changing society, Republika, no. 64/1993 (March 15), page 16

2 Ivan Čolović, Politic s of Symbols, Library 20th Century Belgrade 2000, pages 18.

3 Ibid., page 22.

The Great komposition form/(ili Spirit in the sky)


visual salon cultural center novi sad/terra incognita[2007]

 

 

Return

The effect of a natural environment on moods is an undying inspiration ( or a lure? ) for artist. Friedrich and Turner first brought out the synthesis of emotion in relation to the supremacy of nature, a relationship wich John Ruskin descibed as the ''pathetic fallacy''.

As Robert Rosenblum notices, the melancholy of Friedrich s pictures ''corresponds to an experience in wich the individual is pitted against, or confronted by the overwhelming, incomprehensible immensity of the universe, as if the misteries of religion had left the rituals of church and synagogue and been relocated in the natural world'' ( Robert Rosenblum, Modern Painting and the Northern Romantic Tradicion – Fiedrich to Rothko, New York, 1975, 14 )

This protestant meditation on otherworldy mysteries is close to the empathy charged print Return by Predrag Terzić, whoputs virtually invisible human figures into the dominant, breezy landscape. Terzić photographs the cold winter sunsent in Novi beograd and then, insert a line from Van Morisson s I m Not Feeling It Anymore.

In some way, in Terzić s work, there echoes the ''romantic'' tradition of a ''spatial mistery'': ''Without material object to define succesive positions in space (...) pictures become resonant, luminous expanses that can altermately remain within the narrow confines of the picture s flat surface or expand into illusion of infinite recession toward remote or unseen horizons.'' ( Robert Rosenblum, as above, 192)

Lidija Merenik and Slobodan Jovanović

texts from catalog Protection of nature, XII Biennial of visual arts, Pančevo

galerija beograd/national service[2008]

In Her Majesty’s Service

 


After the Second World War a generation of enthusiasts appeared who wanted to popularize basketball in our country. The Golden Age of our basketball began when Aleksandar Nikolić came to the head of our National team at the beginning of the 60s of the last century. The first medal, the silver one, was won at the European Championship in Belgrade in 1961. Radivoje Korać was the best scorer of the championship. The next four decades saw a unbroken series of successes and basketball as a sport attained religious status in Yugoslavia and Serbia. Our basketball, with its qualities and the number of medals won, joined the ranks of the basketball superpowers of that time the Soviet Union and the USA. Players of our National team became paragons to the young generation and their photos hanging in the rooms of millions of young Yugoslavs were respected as icons. At the same time, numerous coaches and basketball officials did their best to ensure the quality and continuity of the Yugoslav basketball project. At the beginning of the third millennium, they were the ones who inspired Predrag Terzić for a series of works entitled National Service. The great success achieved at that time will probably never be repeated so it can be said that this series of works represents a homage to a successful project that in the best possible way represented the country it came from.

Predrag Terzić’s basic procedure is to use documentary photos that are transposed into digital form and then used as samples for paintings. The characteristics of the original photos are abstracted in this process while the objectivity of the digital procedure is used for the final product – an oil on canvas. The photo is evidence that proves the existence of the original, confirms that some event took place and that the portrayed person took part in it. Digital processing reduces this evidence to its basic components vital for the final product, that is, the image that expresses Terzić’s perception of the sportsman’s “service” in a national basketball project and the sportsman’s character that this procedure places in the foreground. Since the sample has become a digital portrait of a basketball player, it is logical that some of the components of the sample are retained. The portraits have retained the pixelization and the flatness of the digital picture and the fusing of the three-dimensional effects of the play of light into a two-dimensional flat surface means the loss of the original source of external light. Fused shadows and big black spots of color thus become contours of a former source of light present on the original photos. Thus, the basic facts about the source of light present in Western painting since the time of the Renaissance are eliminated which is contrary to the Byzantine perception of the emanation of inner light present in the icons and frescos.

In the Byzantine theory of the image, the figurativeness of the icon is the product of similarity and not sameness with its archetype. We can discern the same comparison in Terzić’s paintings, since the original contours of the photographed person disappear when digitally processed only so the ‘real’ image of the person would slowly appear. It is a process similar to the one Gilles Deleuze in his monograph on Francis Bacon “The Logic of Sensation” called figural, the one that creates a figure in contrast to the classical figurative painting that mimetically imitates its model from the real world. According to Deleuze in Modernity the Aristotelian principal of mimesis, the imitation of phenomenon from the real world, is invalidated. Thus, in order to go back to representing a figure, the painter must liberate his subject matter from figurative meaning, that is, free the figure from the formal elements of figurative painting. According to Deleuze this is best seen in Bacon’s portraits. By executing a special ‘reconcentration’ of his characters-models, Francis Bacon manages to move away from the mimetic tradition of the portrait genre: “I wish to distort the memory of the portrayed so it has little baring to its appearance, but also go back in my distortion as to record the phenomenon.” By doing so he attempts to create not realistic but real, actual figures.

According to Deleuze there are two ways that contemporary painting can avoid figuration: the first is to chose pure form through abstraction and the other is to chose the pure figural by isolating elements of the composition. Deleuze thinks that this form of isolation is the “simplest method, essential, but not sufficient for the painting to move away from representation, to disrupt narration, escape from illustration, to liberate the figure: to ‘stick to the facts’. The ratio between the figure and the space that isolates it defines the ‘fact’. Thus an isolated figure becomes an icon”. This iconicity is the basis characteristic of Terzic’s procedure. By reducing the formal elements of National service the authentic document (photography) the final product is created – the image , that is, the icon.” Terzić connects the process of deconstructing the figurative with the iconicity of the represented image in the Byzantine sense that brings about the appearance of the figure as an iconic object, that is, an admired representation of an individual in a modern world. Thus, the elements of the basketball project are visually presented as a sport with a religious status and Terzić’s painting represent the emanation of the key elements in basketball as a sport with religious status in Yugoslavia and Serbia.

 

The constant combination of static and dynamic principles characteristic for most of the team sports enables us to see basketball as a complex sport where every individual player is essential for the functioning of the team. There is a dominant relationship between the portrayed person and the observer in the portraits of Nebojša Popović, Radomir Šaper, Ranko Žeravica, Zoran Slavnić Moka, Trajko Rajković, Aleksandar Gec and Borislav Stanković. These players, coaches and officials set in classical portrait poses testify to their important position in basketball in Yugoslavia and Serbia. Taken out of the context of a game or posing in front of the camera the context of the original photos is erased and their portraits become real representations of a timeless moment. Apart from the classical portrait poses we also see coaches who control the present situation on the basketball court, constantly combining the principles of statics and dynamics. Thus, Professor Aleksandar Nikolić is sitting on the bench, thinking about and analyzing the current situation on the court, Bogdan Tanjević and Svetislav Pešić pose as coach-generals on the court, Želimir Želkjo Obradović nervously looks at the semaphore, Vlada Divac celebrates a well executed shot that ‘elevates the spirits’ of the team and Dušan Duda Ivković energetically gives out orders at the court. The dynamics of the basketball game is represented in the portraits of basketball players most often caught in characteristic motions whose result is scoring a point, whether it shows shooting, passing or dribbling. Radivoje Korać Žućko shoots free throws, Aleksandar Saša Ðorđević prepares to shoot free throws, Dražen Dalipagić Praja is shown in a high jump shot, Dejan Bodiroga is in the first position ready to start dribbling, crossover dribbling or a jump shot, Dragan Kićanović Kića is dribbling but at the same time observing the situation on the court, Predrag Saša Danilović begins a double step, Ljubodrag Duci Simonović starts dribbling and Vilmoš Loci is in a dribbling-transition. Each of the represented basketball players, coaches and officials constitute a part of the philosophy that has made the Yugoslav-Serbian basketball dynasty. It was their temperament, the style in which they played or how the team was managed that contributed to the realization of this philosophy of game. Their original photos show an awareness of the individual and their character within the spirit of the game and within the time the photos were taken. Roland Barthes defines the psychological dimension of photography as “the performance of me-myself as someone else: the unnatural separation of awareness from identity”. Terzić abstracts this psychological dimension, present at the mentioned documentary photos, with the intention to visually present both his perception of the portrayed person’s role and the basketball project in former Yugoslavia. In its essence his procedure is fauvist, the colored surface is clearly defined, separated by broad black lines. The end result of this procedure is to depersonalize the line that becomes a set of black pixels which moves the signifier from the level of the iconic to the level of presenting Terzić’s attitude towards the portrayed person.

Twenty one legends of Yugoslav and Serbian basketball are presented. Their overall contribution was crucial for basketball to become the most popular and most trophy winning sport in our country. Now these outstanding men gaze at us from Predrag Terzić’ paintings which by their very presentation – each painting is separated from the frame by a screen-like space – become screen-like projections with an already imposed awareness of how significant each individual is. Behind each one of them there is an emission of light that can be called the emanation of the mission of doing “national service” in basketball and its decades long history of success at the European Championships, World hampionships and the Olympic Games. This iconicity of Terzić’s figures presents a visual representation of the philosophy of basketball which has always been the best ambassador of this country.

 

Slobodan Jovanović

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