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galerie michaela stock
opening: Thursday, 2nd May 2019, 6 pm


Sandro Đukić: Natura Morta

Placed on one side is the subject, on the other the motif, and in between them is the camera.

With the scene set up in this way, with this kind of visual study, that of the positions of subject and object within the frame, the artist suggests the problem of perspective or, put more commonplacely, "point of view".

The artist sets up his own artistic proposition about the relationships within visual media through the concepts of perception, attitude and discourse. Furthermore, what we are faced with is the thinking of a work as a complex construction of symbolic forms, the archetypal motifs of which open up parallels with constructs within the world of art and society today.

In this sense, Natura Morta invokes visual consideration of the intellectual work as a pictorially intellectual study.

The works in Sandro Đukić's Natura Morta come into being in the intellect, a densely constructed grid or combination of knowledge, experience and models with what the author wants only through the work to explore, in both a technological and in his own experiential sense.

Here a question arises, as to whether the observer who happens into this visual construction needs knowledge about history, art, creation and the breakdown of bourgeois society, or whether the visual intellect is enough for a relationship to be set up according to what is seen through the vision of the author of the construct, in other words, whether the artwork generates its own meaning by itself, or whether the picture that has come into being is a cultural construct filled up with meaning under the action of the social factors in which it has come into being or is observed.

Đukić's study of the cultural and physical space of the picture or its constituent parts starts off from symbols and archetypal motifs from history and art, bringing into the image the multilayered categories of time. He takes motifs out of the time in which they come into being, from the history of culture, then, with a special interest in symbols of the power of creativity within middle class society, on which he then constructs his own images, placed in a contemporary societal and technological context. He opens up the problems of the media transitions and complex social relations that are set up in the image, creating a picture of post-utopian society, in which the idea of the beautiful, the secure and the permanent is examined only as a temporary construct, where image becomes a cultural representation of the ambivalent nature of society.

Through the exhibition Natura Morta the author constructs an image of society, superimposing motifs related to the world of art and, at odds with the entrenched opinion concerning the pictorial turn as paradigm that abandons language and textuality, builds into the body diverse forms of textuality, layers of knowledge woven into the history of art and of the science of the image. Focusing on the archetypes of modernity, the patterns of thought created as result of experience of art and society, the motifs of still life (natura morta) and symbols of time and society he draws attention to the idea of travelling through time for the purpose of creating a new space of the image, in which he shows in parallel the rise and fall of paradigms in time, alluding to the cultural and economic context today, the dystopian society and the feeling of one's own presence in it as a critical but in any event constitutive participant of the system.

In this exhibition, Đukić is referring to this own artistic work over time and the continuous presence of artistic preoccupations and motifs: the monochrome, large areas of colour, the Suprematist square, pigment. In a photographic sense, this is a visual study focused on objects, cinematic motifs as symbols or Jungian hypothetical constructs that signify the universal, inherited framework. He approaches photographically, almost scientifically, the formal analysis of his own work through multilayered media research into photographed material, technological manipulations of the image that have a hand in the construction of a personal narrative, determining his own position, the position of subject and object, within the constructed image.

In this work, in the series of Natura Morta photographs, Đukić is interested into the connections and limits of the media of photography and painting at several levels, in photography the author chooses the painterly theme of still nature, the lighting of Baroque painting contributing to the creation of the deep layering of the composition, while he processes the photograph once taken, showing what does not exist in the initial photograph, that is, removing the undesired in the creation of the wished-for construct. He thereby enters into the area of the painterly imaginary, the romanticisation of dystopian scenes. The finalisation, the post-production of the photographic print also subserves the downloading of the painterly into the photographic language, contributing to the abolition of the border between the painting and the photographic medium.

Then, in a technical sense, as photographer he aims at perfectionism and he is interested in the technological capacities of the camera that produce a visual hyper-realistic spectacle, into which the author intervenes in the manner already mentioned, with abstraction and addition. According to Baudrillard, we create a counterfeit world of images that are more real than reality, in it authenticity being replaced by copy, reality by substitute, an artificially created spectacle. From the point of view of content, Sandro Đukić is interested by social phenomena and the images associated with them, in other words, explorations of the media and the link among artistic processes and social factors. The formal problems of the image have thus become the content of his work; but the works from Natura Morta are not an exclusively self-referential photographic study about art, rather are studies of images of society; Natura Morta addresses the theme of the memory of the artistic heritage, the memory of the culture of middle class society, and the culture of memory in general, for in his work we follow in parallel the history of media and social transitions. It is about the incessant examination of the concepts of presentation and representation, which creates the experience of the real out of the artificial, and the inverse. In such an intertwining of real and imaginary is created the image of the world called Natura Morta.

Davorka Perić
freelance curator

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