I AM SPOILED BY YOU

08-30.03.2019

persicope, Salzburg

 

Im Jahr 2015 veröffentlichte die Pisa Studie zur Untersuchung internationaler Schulleistungen erstmals Ergebnisse zur sozialen Kompetenz und Teamwork-Fähigkeiten der Schüler, dain unserer modernen Welt soziale Kompetenzen, Kommunikation und Zusammenarbeit immer wichtiger werden. In keinem anderen Teilbereich der Studie waren die Resultate jemals so eindeutig nach Geschlecht zu unterscheiden, wie in diesem. In allen Ländern unabhängig von politischen und sozioökonomischen Faktoren, waren die Jungen in kollektiver Problemlösung eindeutig oder sehr viel schlechter als die Mädchen. Es ließ sich auch feststellen, dass für Mädchen, die Beziehungen und der Austausch (qualitativ, "theconnection"[1]), für Jungen die Zielerreichung und Performance im Team(instrumental, um schneller weiterzukommen) als wichtiger eingestuft wurde.

Anthia Loizou, Anna Khodorkovskaya und Jelena Micić kennen sich privat sehr gut, Anthia und Anna teilen sich auch ein Atelier und die parallele Erfahrung des Elternwerdens und verbringen viel Zeit zusammen bei der Arbeit, im Alltag und im Gespräch. So entstand auch der Titel zur Ausstellung. "I am spoiledbyyou" übersetzte sich mit "Du verwöhnst mich". Es bezieht sich auf innige menschliche Beziehungen, in denen man ganz man selbst sein darf und verstanden wird. Dies ist ein Luxuszustand in einer Welt, die zunehmend schlecht kommuniziert und in der digitale Kanäle idealer Nährboden für Missverständnisse sind. Das englische Wort "spoiled" hat aber auch eine Kehrseite. Es kann ebenso mit "verdorben, vermasselt" übersetzt werden, was sich auf das Leben an sich beziehen lässt. Erwachsenwerden mit allen Verantwortungen und Pflichten ist nicht immer einfach und manchmal verdirbt einem das Leben ein bisschen die Naivität und Leichtigkeit mit der man ihm in der Jugend begegnet. Die erste Zusammenarbeit von Anna, Anthia und Jelena war im Jahr 2015 unter dem bezeichnenden Titel "Ecumena" (Ökumene, Lebenswelt, -raum), noch bevor die Künstlerinnen Kinder und ein mühsames Arbeitsleben hatten oder Preise gewannen. In den letzten vier Jahren mussten sie viele Pflichten übernehmen, Entscheidungen treffen und Energie in die Karriere stecken. In dieser zweiten Kollaboration geht es vielleicht ein Stück weit auch um ein Wiedereintauchen in diese Lebenswelt der Zusammenarbeit, die 2015 so harmonisch, erfolgreich und zufriedenstellend war.

Die Werke der Künstlerinnen haben formensprachliche Parallelen, die sich auf narrative Weise ineinander spinnen und so vielleicht dem Eintauchen des Betrachters in das Werk zuträglich sind. Die drei Künstlerinnen sind in der Wahl der Themen, Motive und Materialien vom Alltag inspiriert. Die Übersetzung in die Kunst passiertbei allen in unglaublich aufwendigen, minuziösen, zeitintensiven und präzisen Arbeitsprozessen.

Anna übermalte in frühen Werken Werbeseiten aus Magazinen bis sie zu dichten abstrakten Farbfeldern wurden. Vor allem die Texte und Preise wurden restlos ausgelöscht und so jegliche Art der Informationsweitergabe blockiert; die Kundenkommunikation auf reine Farbästhetik reduziert. Diese Farbflecken wurden in die Malerei übersetzt zu Cy Twombly-ähnlichen flüchtigen Gesten mit viel Freiraum im Gegensatz zu den gedrängten Übermalungen der Werbungen. In ihren letzten Arbeiten waren es aber genau Worte, aus dem Alltag und ohne Kontext, die in den Vordergrund rückten. Im Gegensatz zur Schnelligkeit der alltäglichen Kommunikation wurden diese banalen Ausdrücke und Floskeln in aufwendigster und akribischer Feinarbeit als Glasmosaike ausgeführt.Ähnlich wie in den Übermalungen und Malereien der Lärm (noise)[2]des Alltags reduziert wird, so wird in den Mosaiken entschleunigt. Ihre neuen hier präsentierten Arbeiten sind eine Zuspitzung dieser Tabula-rasa-Geste. Die abstrakten Mosaike, ganz geleert nur noch Material und Form erinnern manchmal noch an Sprechblasen, denen die Worte fehlen.

Anthia arbeitet intuitive und mit den unterschiedlichstenWerkstoffen. Sie zeichnete und malte schon als Kind und arbeitete auch skulptural mit Stoffen bevor sie raumgreifende Installationen aus Metall fertigte, die an Fischli und Weiß' "Lauf der Dinge" erinnern. Ihre erste Einzelausstellung in der Hallway Gallery in Wien bestand aus Malerei in skulpturaler Form, die installativ von der Decke hing. Der Karton, wie auch zeitgleich entstandene Collagen und Assemblagen mit verschiedenen Materialien – zuletzt unterschiedlichen Klebebändern – wurden in intensiver Farbenpracht ausgeführt. Die Formen sind nicht vorgedacht, sondern entstehen aus der Handbewegung heraus, die das Stanleymesser über den Karton führt. Ähnlich verhält es sich mit den formal-verwandten Werken aus der letzten Kollaboration, die sich auf dem Boden räkelten und bäumten, hier wurde jedoch die Säge zum Malwerkzeug. Anthia spricht tatsächlich vom "Malen mit der Säge". Die neuen Arbeiten behalten diese Formen bei, sind aber in ihrer Farbigkeit völlig reduziert,indem sie wie eine Schneiderpuppe in zarte, beigefarbenen Stoffe gekleidet werden, die nur leichte Spuren der Farben darunter erahnen lassen.

Jelena hat außerordentlich hohe Ansprüche an ihre Farben. Ihr Atelier ist vollgepflastert mit Versuchen, die hohe Farbintensität von Neon Pink oder dem (kunstgeschichtlich männlich konnotierten) Ultramarinblau auf Violett zu übertragen. Farben, die in ihrer Intensität oder im Kontrast zu einer anderen Farbe ihr volles Potenzial erreichen, werden in abstrakte Codes übersetzt. Die geometrischen Muster auf Papier erinnern in ihrer Beharrlichkeit an Hanne Darboven und in ihrer Komplexität an die kodierten Zeichnungen von Guy de Cointet, die für den Betrachter zum Knobelspiel werden. Thematisch greift die Künstleringenau jene Arbeitswelt auf, in die viele Immigranten aus der Balkanregion unabhängig von ihrem Bildungsgrad hier in Österreich gezwungen werden: Baustellen, Reinigung, Küchenhilfe. Manche ihrer ersten installativen Netze entstanden aus Kartoffelsäcken einesWiener Schnitzelrestaurants, das allmorgendlich sechs 25-kg-Säcke leert,andere imitierten Baustellenzäune. In akribischster Präzisionsarbeit bemalte sie eine Leinwand mit grellem Zinnorberrot undschnitt perfekte Ovale heraus. Die Fortsetzung dieser Serie ist ein neonpinkes Camouflagenetz – ein Widerspruch in sich. "Pipačihleba", die raumgreifende Netzinstallation, übertrifft alles Vorangegangene an Aufwand. Von bunten Wattestäbchen wurde die Watte an beiden Enden entfernt. Ein Faden durch das zarte Röhrchen, verbindet die Stäbchen zu einem Netz.

Die Aufgabe der Kunst ist es unter anderem, dem Betrachter die Augen zu öffnen für ungenutztes Potenzial, eine andere Sichtweise, ungeahnte Möglichkeiten aufzuzeigen. Darin sind Jelena, Anthia und Anna Meisterinnen.

__________________________

[1]Hanna Gadsby zu "human connection": https://scrapsfromtheloft.com/2018/07/21/hannah-gadsby-nanette-transcript/ (Letzter Absatz)

[2]Yve-Alain Bois, Thermometers Should Last Forever, October, Vol. 111, 2005, S. 60-80

Victoria Dejaco

Graz, 26/02/2019

 

NO-YELLOW

27.10-10.11.2018

Gallery Reflektor, Užice

 

NO-YELLOW



NO YELLOW steht in weißen Versalien auf dem violetten Etikett einer Shampoo-Flasche, die mir Jelena zeigt. NO YELLOW ist eine ultraviolette Flüssigkeit, die den Gelbstich ihrer blondierten Haare in ein kühles Silbergrau verwandelt: Eigelb plus Ultraviolett ergibt Silbergrau.
Farbsituationen aus dem Alltag gehen als Objekte und Geschichten in Jelenas Materialfundus ein. In ihren Skulpturen und Malereien bearbeitet sie Leitsystemen aus dem Alltag. Sie entwickelt Codierungen und transformiert Gegenstände auf humorvolle Weise in ihre auf Farbsystemen basierenden Kunstwerke. Kunsthistorische Positionen, wie Marcel Duchamps Readymade, die monochrome Malerei oder die Farbfeldmalerei sind dabei mögliche Bezugspunkte. Auf die Frage, warum eine bestimmte Farbe zum Einsatz kommt, findet Jelena Antworten in systematischen oder fiktiven Regeln, die sie mit Vorliebe bis an die Grenzen – zum Beispiel in sehr vielen Variationen oder in Zuspitzung auf eine passende Lösung – austestet. In der Arbeit I love Sol, but he loves Josef setzt sie auf Basis einer Formel Farbkombinationen in unterschiedlichen Mustern um. Die testende Ausführung prägt die Arbeit, zumal jedes Blatt die Machart und Obsession einer malerischen Beschäftigung hat. Farben treffen dabei oftmals in Gegensätzen aufeinander und werden erst im Verhältnis zum Ganzen hervorgebracht.
Die hier gezeigte Arbeit besteht aus viereckigen Stücken unterschiedlicher Größe, die Jelena aus Kartoffelsacknetzen (25kg) geschnitten und mit bunten Schnüren zu raumfüllenden Formaten vernäht hat. Wie Trennwände spannen sie sich durch die Breite des Galerieraums und machen einen schmalen Gang auf, der den Raum in zwei gleich große, aber kleinere Räume teilt. Durch je eine Öffnung können beide Seiten betreten werden. Die neonfarbenen Verbindungen verändern das Eigelb der Netze und lassen zwei große Bilder entstehen. Beim Durchwandern der Räume kann man diesem anschaulichen Denken atmosphärisch folgen und die minimalen Unterschiede im vermeintlich Gleichen aus dem Augenwinkel betrachten. Die Lust an der hypnotischen Transformation von Farben und alltäglichen Materialien macht aus Yellow No-Yellow.

 

Katharina Hölzl

 

Ö1 Talentestipendium

25.9-01.10.2018

Wiener Ringturm 

 

Jelena Micić befasst sich auf humorvolle Weise mit Farbenlehren und der kulturellen und gesellschaftlichen Verwendung von farblichen Leitsystemen. Sie entwickelt Codierungen, die nicht eindeutig erkennen lassen, ob sie fiktiv oder real sind. Die Künstlerin entnimmt dem Alltag Gegenstände und transformiert diese in ihre auf Farbsystemen basierenden Kunstwerke. Dabei bezieht sie sich häufig auf kunsthistorische Positionen, wie zum Beispiel auf Marcel Duchamp und das Readymade, die monochrome Malerei oder die Farbfeldmalerei.

Begründung der Fachjury

 

 

WOMAN, ALL TO WOMAN

15.08–15.10.2018

Muzeul de Artă Timişoara

 

Jelena Micić

The personal experiences transposed in an artistic language, together with a careful investigation into the value systems and into the rapports created between appearance and essence represent, for Jelena Micić, a physical and conceptual space for action. In her works, this female artist is questioning social, philosophical, political and decision-making issues, transforming the vectors of power into sources of inspiration. In this sense, she debates the short-lived usage of certain concepts under the form of purely contrasting notions.

From this point of view, her painting is post-abstract, her sculpture and the way in which she approaches space belong to a post-industrial approach and her installations are theoretically supported by a stern discourse with ironic tendencies, in which she transposes her artistic courage to explore unstable territories, critical situations, not yet legitimate, unknown and artistically unexplored sources of inspiration. Using primary colors, directly from the tube, or industrial materials represents, in this sense, a critical method to underline the social stereotypes, through colors and materials, as well as through the message she is carrying out.

Selected works, projects: Bauštela 2018; Bojna Polja 2017; Farbenlehre, 2016; Putzmalerei, 2016; Father, 2014-2015.

 

Andreea Foanene, Curator

 

„The perfect woman is a higher type of human than the perfect man, and also something much more rare.“
Friedrich Nietzsche
 
 
Referring to Nitzsche´s quote „Human, all too Human“ the curator Andreea Foanene in cooperation with Meta Spatiu/Mirela Stoeac-Vlăduți invited an amazing selection of contemporary artists focusing Balkan and Eastern Europe and some co curators to develop a show with a new location and a new concept as a relaunch of Baroque Urban in its third year.
The title has an ironically wink implemented, cause non of the participating artists is dealing with the so called female medias in a female way. (Whatever it should mean, cause I never charged art about the sexus, more about the impetus and approach.)
 
Andreea Foanene has matched glamorous idols of contemporary art scene like Mariana Abramović with local heroes like Victoria Zidaru and Ada Muntean, upcoming ones like Jelena Micić, Agnes Varnai and Eva Maria Schartmüller, performers like Olga Török, Emilia Jagića and Anikö Kiss.
 
Furious Zeus divided the human in two genders – and all the trouble started. What means we have been one in the past. I believe that most of us are hiding both elements. Each of us has different strengths, skills, weaknesses, abilities and needs without categorizing in female or male. But both part of one human, though both human. On the basis and name of human rights values there should not be any difference at all. Unbelievable but true, we are still talking about discrimination and clicked thinking about woman in the 21. century. I never imagined that we will be still debating about women rights and equal treatment.
 
Sometimes a single letter can change the sex, Denis, male (my birth certificate) or Denise, female (my passport). Though in reality we receive a social branding short after being born. Starting with pink for the girls and blue for the boys, sexual apartheid, only two gender, urged to follow the agenda of our sexus. If you have been glad in
 
Western European World in the 70s/80s your parents did not care about putting you in a box full of cliché. Today we even accept surprise eggs for girls!!! There was another story about a couple under an apple tree. She curious, innovativ, disobedient, he frightened and not able to move. In Eastern European Social/Communist Dictatorships, like former Yugoslavia, Romania, UDSSR, men and women had been more equal in their rights than in the times after the political social collapse. Even if daily homework, child raising and food organization was mostly done by women, beneath their work. After having been freed from communist dictatorship the superficial sameness has vanished, a new Machismo arises.
 
In Western European countries the call to send women back to kitchen or part time jobs is increasing parallel to the political change from social/left to right wing propaganda. A good example for developments like that is going on in Austria after installing the new autocratic government. Financial support for Women’s Aid organizations as well as all gender, homosexual, HIV support and education are cut in 2018. Even more the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, herself female, announced in her forecast a further cut for women NPO´s in 2019.
 
What is going on?
Too Woman?
Too Man?
Too Human?
What kind of categories we are talking of? What can be too woman/ man/ human?
 
Let us talk about art! The interaction of diverse art positions visualize the wide range of so called female art. Though artists like Mariana Abramović would get her shirt out if I would call her l´heuvre as a typically female position. During her period with Ulay (1976-1988) they were presenting the two opposite poles of human, starting at a point before struggle between the genders began. Finally also these genius couple did not manage it, an human error. They mainly explored physical and psychological boundaries beside the gender role allocation. In 1975, the artists described their project as follows: “Vital art, no permanent residence, permanent movement, direct contact, local reference, self-selection, border crossing, risk-taking, moving energy, no rehearsal, no predicted end, no repetition.” Abramović and Ulay blurred the line between art and life, not infrequently embracing her artistic concept of exposing their selves to real dangers.
(---)

Jelena Micić´s Anecumena / In-Situ Installation, is the result of a several month long collecting process. The material is a porous industrial net in different colors, defined for a specific amount of fruits or vegetables. The special texture is playfully covered with spatial paintings in form of translucent colored curtains. Micić is obsessed by colors, her works explore the various use of them. Anecumena oscillates between architecture, installation and painting cause she is always adjusting her work to the dimension of the space. Though it is also a limitation of view, a border. Interpretations in direction of sociopolitical objectives are as well in the context as the thematization of ready-made and waste of plastic in our daily procedure.

 

Denise Parizek, Curator

 

Jelena Micić & Vera Klimentyeva: Sisters in Arms

21.06–05.07.2018

Loft8, Vienna

 

In their joint exhibition Sisters in Arms, the Serbian artist Jelena Micić together with the Russian artist Vera Klimentyeva present their works that share a subversive treatment of symbols with the culture-specific meaning. More specifically, they use and deconstruct those symbols, which are still deeply embedded in the minds of the people from the Central-South-Eastern European region. In these countries, which to a certain extent are still clinging to the idea of Slavic unity while simultaneously being overly sensitive to their own national identity, even small nuances (in language or in use of abovementioned symbols) can make a huge difference.

On one hand, the feminized and twofold title of the exhibition refers both to the militant and masculine-connotated nationalist discourse as well as to the coat of arms, an emblematic visual sign. On the other hand, it works as a slogan for the common experience of the artists, whose sociopolitical background influences their everyday life in Austrian society.

In her older works Kliemntyeva often thematized questions of identity and (not only beauty) ideals, which became iconic and therefore standardized. No symbol remains untouched, no icon is sacred to her. She continues to develop her iconoclastic program, but within different frameworks.

In her series of prints she multiplies and disseminates fictional clusters of signs, stemming from different national sources. Their central composition, circular dynamics and earnestness in their symmetry clash with the discrepancy of these motifs in their culture-specific readings. These black-and-white variations leave us space to symbolically color them.

Klimentyeva develops her playful approach further in her series of nationalized fidget spinners, which are accompanied by the pictures of geographically-corresponding soil under the microscope. Could Klimentyevasʼ fidget spinners possibly help to heal the nationalist passions for the soil and bring them back down to earth?

Micić brings to the exhibition two aspects, which complement the common interest in the national symbolics and are crucial to the development of her artistic program: the use of color and the use of language within different national frameworks. In her former projects, Micić developed her own color theory. Her approach to colors is not so much a psychological, but a sociopolitical one, which is clearly visible in her treatment of the artworks shown in the exhibition.

Her series Tricolor consists of flag-shaped canvases, whose combination of colors are typical for the countries of ex-Yugoslavia, as well as for another Slavic countries. Through painterly technique the artist unifies these symbols of national belonging even between the countries, that used to be one, but will probably never get back together. At the same time, she reduces the symbolism of a flag to its essentials.

Another works of hers can be seen as the reflection of various symbolic layers – in their form, in their content and their interplay. Further series take as their starting point the so-called false friends of the Cyrillic and Latin alphabet as well as the new friendships in the Austrian politics. The linguistic phenomenon of similar words with different meanings within different languages is contextualized within a geopolitical framework defined by inequalities in power distribution. All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others.

Under the flag of Sisters in Arms Loft8 presents two artistic positions, which deal with the semantics of nationalism.

 

Miroslava Urbanová, Art historian and curator

 

 

 

PUTZMALEREI DER FRAU JELENA

Abstract that serves the Engaged

 

Mobilization and the state of being accustomed to the continuous "Balkan" precariat allows us to consider democratic countries of the Western Europe as utopian places where all of our accumulated (intellectual) powers can be achieved, in other words, where the promise of a normal life is being carried out through "tangible" democratic institutions. However, if we dare to engage into an adventure of leaving the uncanny Balkans, which is usually predestined by the very existence of your immediate and extended family, what we run up against after crossing wire fences (explicit symbols of democracy), and traveling further to the epicenter of "a better life," is the essence of perverse democracy in action. This can be visually concentrated in a notion of a man in white gloves who points a finger at the wired fence as a totally inhumane barrier, while he with uncompromised hands, strict laws and intolerable administrative procedures, even in periods of lower intensity right-wing tendencies, implements that democracy.

The next stage on the agenda, when and if one manages to set foot in any of the dreamland Western countries, is a European, respectively Austrian one-year precariat. As most of the young people come to Vienna have the status of a student, without a scholarship or mostly any specific financial support from the homeland, such a situation sets a necessity of providing means for existence, which are without a fluent knowledge of German usually being acquired by minimally paid and hierarchically lowest jobs. Given that the origin of the student largely determines the type of work one will be able to do, students from India usually deliver newspapers, and the ones from Albania typically deal with the street sales of tickets for events in elite cultural institutions, jobs like utility service, construction work and waitressing are reserved for students from the Balkans. Also, what is perhaps even more disheartening, is that students-workers from the so-called "Third countries" have a limited access to the labor market in the form of a shortened number of working hours per week and amount of earnings, meaning that the unsuccessful job search by default is constantly applying to different ads, or making use of a much more efficient method of "being recommended to someone by someone" usually by "one of our own". The common denominator of "our own" includes people from ex-Yugoslav territory who are bound by the same or similar language (Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian), as well as the common segments of history and culture, who emphasizing with students in their search of a better life, while at the same time exploiting them as cheap labor, create an unbreakable coexistence. As the "working symbiosis" takes place rather parallel than in the context of the official labor market of Austria, different systems of values and rules apply, which usually reproduce closed and conservative matrix coming out from company owners having adopted traditional patterns, which is among all best seen in the division of work. The divide of work at "one of our own" is mostly determined biologically, or to be exact - by worker's gender, so as physically stronger, men get harder physical work and usually do not do jobs that are meant to be "female" (too rough, not careful enough in paying attention to detail), while women do physically "easier" jobs, which means that the already limited choice of a job becomes minimized.

The most common women's work could be described in one word as CLEANING, implying maintenance in restaurants, offices, kindergartens and schools, shopping centers, halls and other "objects". As a system composed out of a set of strict rules, methods and techniques, cleaning cannot be simply regarded only as mechanical removal of impurities, but as a serious profession that requires responsibility, commitment and productivity. As this profession does not require special education but rather an apprenticeship or a formal or informal qualification (depending on the company), all females, regardless of their prior knowledge and experience in this business are qualified to work as cleaning ladies or "Putzfrauen." That is why we often have the syndrome of overqualified (highly qualified) female workers, who regardless of their academic degrees and titles work exactly the same compared to the less educated or completely uneducated workers and fully participate in the identical physical work.

One of the pre-qualified workers is artist Jelena Micić, who passing through a cleaning phase at the beginning of her stay in Vienna, in one part of her artistic practice she named Putzmalerei, examines and reinterprets different aspects of the profession in the artistic discourse. By using a non-typical artistic media in the context of contemporary engaged art, but on the contrary, a more traditional media such as painting, the artist actually applies different methodologies and systems of cleaning directly or indirectly to the area of her artistic activity. With such appropriation gesture, along with the aesthetic, a political dimension is provoked, as regardless of rethinking the identity slide of the artist to the cleaning lady and vice versa, she also indirectly criticizes the social system and the labor market in Austria for not being willing to sufficiently support and engage "overqualified" women from third world countries. However, the very corpus of the Putzmalerei, even though drawing idea from a collision of the artist with the Austrian reality, should be understood in the context of her entire painting practice, or visual poetics handling by purely painterly (formal) relations between the elements within the image.

The first works within Putzmalerei were made in February 2016, when the artist had partly modified the visual morphology of the image, which were now given the newly created concept for the works adjusted to different painting tools and techniques. Namely, some of the general characteristics of  Jelena Micić's painting  include treating the surface as a flat, two-dimensional field, where the evenly colored cutouts in the process of collage create an abstract "content" of the image, which is transcended by color and form as the most important constructors of meaning. Unlike this concept which is close to the modernist paradigms in painting, or particularly distinctive in post-painterly abstraction, the works within Putzmalerei represent a different, visual as well conceptual  methodology of the painting practice. The artist replaces painting tools with tools for cleaning, actually treating the canvas as the cleaning surface, which is a paradoxical action of equalizing, if one takes into account that the process of painting implies adding color to the canvas, while during cleaning the dirt is taken away from a certain surface. As the means for "cleaning" different colors are used, which, when combined with cleaning tools (mop, sponge, cloth, brush) produce distinguished traces on canvas and form abstract paintings of intense colors. Gestural aspect of the process itself plays a dominant role in the construction of the image dynamics, which is clearly defined with an adequate movement for the concrete working tool. Accordingly, the artist uses a mop for painting on canvas while following instructions for its proper use from the script for professional cleaning, which she got as literature for  the additional training certificate, working gesture will leave a different mark on the canvas than some other tool. This gestural appropriation from the non-artistic discourse differs diametrically from the usual practice of Jelena Micić, where the move has been replaced by an equal, almost mechanical precision in distributing paint on the canvas, without voluminosity, shading or color mixing. By contrast, gesture becomes a dominant element in Putzmalerei, not only in the construction of the image and its meaning, but it gets as well the autonomy in the performance in which the artist gets out of the studio into a public sphere  (Produzentengalerie), where by painting, respectively cleaning in front of the audience attention is drawn to the action of creating the work. As products of applying the techniques of cleaning with a mop we have four abstract pink canvases with similar trace-patterns, which can also function as mysterious visual codes whose associative range depends on observer's familiarity with cleaning techniques.

By shifting focus from color and working tools to the aesthetic possibilities of dirt and leftovers, in the next phase, remaining still in the field of performative and gestural, the artist explores above-mentioned options for forming new types of abstraction. While canvas was in the previous phase partially a passive element which the artist cleaned/painted, now it itself becomes a tool, or an active component on whose surface dirt is detected and manifested through different abstract shapes and forms. Places and cleaning techniques also represent an important dimension in image-formation represent, as the amount of dirt will condition the formation of the content. In this context, paintings made by cleaning the "Fensterbretter" (window sills) at the Academy, where the artist uses canvas as a dust rag, have a more refined and expressive forms, while on the other hand, canvases that have suffered mop-treatment during the performance of cleaning the second floor of the Academy building, due to the amount of dirt deposits are of strikingly dark color and are in form of a three-dimensional object.

Remaining still in the field of dirt-investigation, but simultaneously striving towards a radical monochromy of the surface, in the final series of the work the very status of colors is problematized, respectively its technology as the primary non-artistic object. Namely, by cleaning and collecting dirt from the floor of the sculpture department, also at the Academy of Fine Arts, which usually consists of discarded materials such as cement, soil, plaster and metal, processing it further the artist creates pigments, i.e. acrylic color with which she colors the canvas and gets dark monochrome images. In addition to creating these paintings in the context of  her general postulates of painting, where it is treated as a self-serving monochrome surface or as a surface for collaging clean colored forms, the artist also produces new meanings bringing recycled readymade dirt pigment as a direct opponent to formal purity and whiteness of the canvas. On the other hand, considering the fact that the artist treats and incorporates into her work specifically the dirt from the Art Academy, the entire series can be seen as a critical act aimed at one of the most important constructs of the art world, where in fact among strong slogans and bulky theories her only "real" political, or artistic product might be hiding.

In parallel with the consistent application of various methodological cleaning practices, the artist also appropriates and develops an unusual color system, which as a fundamental component appears in the context of utility service. It can be said that the color in this discourse represents a theoretical and practical point of singularity from which the rhizomatic methodologies of cleaning are developed, whose application depends on the potential treatment surfaces. The so-called "Vier Farben System" (four-color-system) from the professional cleaning manual involves the standardized use of the cleaning cloth in red, yellow, blue or green color for specific areas within the space in order to obtain the highest level of hygiene. This actually means that the red cloth will always and only be used to clean the toilet and the surrounding areas, yellow for sink and mirror, blue for office furniture, while the green is used for kitchen elements. Like in the previous series, in this one called "Farbenlehre" artist takes the "Vier Farben System" model for a theoretical basis which she develops further synthesizing concepts of space and colors into hand-painted readymade installations. The concrete material surface covered by the cleaning cloth gesture  is "torn out" from the totality of its own daily space and moved into the art context, while the clearly predefined color in the works "Rot" and "Gelb" cover with industrial precision, flatness and even coats the surface of the installations. The interplay with the materialization of the idea, where the works actually are compressed semantic visual units built into the segments of space, that function as symbols or signs of greater spatial frame (toilet, office or kitchen), is additionally more complex if the work is viewed in the art space, which can produce a distortion during the process of imagination or physical restructuring.

The last series of works titled "Maintaining the pictures" within the project Putzmalerei includes at first glance a visually different painting practice, which represents the synthesis of the entire previous experience, brought or reduced to a depersonalized and abstract pictoral symbol, but with the crucial components of painting which the artist drags through the previous series. As in the series "Farbenlehre," where the theoretical and practical basis for the creation of works is contained in one of the reader segments for obtaining the professional cleaning certificate, the illustrated manual "Ergonomie in der Reinigung" is used here as the template, which teaches quality work, or how to increase efficiency and reduce injuries at work. The drawings from the manual depict smiling, depersonalized women and men performing  different tasks within the practice of maintaining; from how to properly carry the garbage to the disposal place, to the correct use of the mop or cloth. The artist actually takes these proposed scenes, which she transposes on larger dimension canvases, using pure colors directly from the tube, without creating the nuances, middle tones, and the illusion of perspective. The flat color surfaces construct the content of the paintings mechanically and formally, whereby the observer is not expected to empathize the offered content, but to experience it as an open sign structure suitable for different interpretations. However, using bright and "cheerful" colors, as well as inevitable allusions or suggestions on the private life of the artist, as a red toilet directly related to the work/installation "Rot" from the Farbenlehre cycle, this series cannot be seen as a mere visualization of the ergonomic manual in the medium of painting. By problematizing the relationship between the sign and the marked, that is, in which degree the intervention on the sign changes its meaning, the artist creates a hybrid connection of formalistic painting, illustration and abstract figuration, theoretically interwoven with the works of Otto Neurath and his Isotype system. This system, which serves for presenting quantitative information with simple symbols or icons, or which analyzes the relationship between reality and language, served as a model in this series, in order to reduce the entire practice of maintaining and cleaning to a set of clearly readable and recognizable colored signs.

By sketching the project Putzmalerei by artist Jelena Micić we can only partially get the insight into this interesting combination of art and the everyday, default cleaning practices, which becomes an inexhaustible and constant source of inspiration for the creation of new works. Although the text attempted to partially systematize and chronologically precise the forming of different series, they should still be considered parallel in their emerging, because the artist continuously adjusts and modifies theoretical or practical solutions. However, if one discusses the project Putzmalerei, there is an evident tendency of  reducing the content of the painting to a painted sign that culminated in the "Maintaining the pictures" series, that basically does not represent a final solution or final phase of the project, but a practice that most consistently communicates with her overall artistic practice facing the study of formal relations within the image. Therefore, maybe the painting from the series on which the smiling cleaning lady is shown with a mop in hand, of who we are not sure whether she is cleaning or painting represents an autobiographical Putzmalerei visual manifesto, which comprises political and artistic, or according to the words of the artist treats cleaning as a political act.

 

 Amalija Stojsavljević, art historian

 

 

OFFENE RÄUME, SPRECHENDE OBJEKTE UND PERMEABLE WÄNDE

Was kann das Museum der Zukunft von der Bibliothek lernen? 

 

(Exzerpt)

 

Einleitung

 

In Anbetracht rasanter digitaler Entwicklungen und sich wandelnder Vorstellungen von Öffentlichkeit und freier Wissenszugänglichkeit sind Bibliotheken mit notwendigen Reevaluierungen ihrer Bestände und Neuerungen ihrer Aufgaben und Funktionen konfrontiert. Die Anforderungen an die Bibliothek der Zukunft können repräsentativ für eine sich global verändernde Gesamtsituation in Hinblick auf Prozesse des Sammelns, Lesens bzw. Zeigens gesehen werden. Der Umgang von Bibliotheken mit diesen Herausforderungen birgt potenzielle Chancen und Möglichkeiten für das Museum der Zukunft was die Offenheit des Raumes, seine Grenzen und Schwellen und die darin enthaltenen Objekte angeht.

 

Ich interessiere mich dafür, wie unterschiedliche Überlegungen des Kuratorischen – im Sinne eines dynamischen Prozesses1 – in gegenwärtigen Aufgaben, Funktionen und Strukturen von Bibliotheken sichtbar werden. Dabei möchte ich mich auf folgende Aspekte konzentrieren, von denen einige schon lange Zeit und andere etwas rezenter im Diskurs sind: (1) Die Kritik an Kulturinstitutionen als „Distinktionsmaschinen“ und damit einhergehende demokratische Forderungen nach Zugänglichkeit und Vielstimmigkeit, (2) die Relationen zwischen den handelnden Agent_innen des Ausstellens (z.B. zwischen Ausstellungsobjekten, Besucher_innen, der Institution etc.), sowie (3) Konzepte der Grenzüberschreitung und Verbindungen, die über die Wände der Institutionen hinausgehen.

Jeder Aspekt bezieht sich auf einen unterschiedlichen allgemein fassbaren Bereich der Bibliothek, der auch auf die Strukturen des Museums übertragbar ist. Es geht um die Institution selbst, die Architektur und Infrastruktur, die darin gesammelten und gezeigten Objekte und die Ideen und Fragestellungen, die über die räumlichen Strukturen hinausgetragen werden.

Die hervorgehobenen Aspekte werden weniger in bereits konkreten Veränderungen in Hinblick auf die Zukunft von Bibliotheken sichtbar, sondern eher in historisch gewachsenen, immanenten Assoziationen, die wir heute mit Bibliotheken haben. Hätte das Museum in der Vergangenheit öfters zu seinem Geschwisterteil2 geblickt, wäre es vielleicht heute schon in der Umsetzung mancher langanhaltenden Forderungen und Zukunftsutopien weiter.

Ich werde die von mir selektierten Aspekte im Verhältnis zu Bibliotheken allgemein erläutern und diese anhand von konkreten Beispielen zu künstlerischen Interventionen in Bibliotheken – als strategisches Mittel um über die Zukunft nachzudenken einerseits und als Schnittstelle

zum Museum andererseits – näher veranschaulichen. Folgende Fragen sollen dabei analysiert werden: Wie könnte man sich an das Museum gestellte Forderungen nach Zugänglichkeit und Vielstimmigkeit durch die künstlerische Aneignung eines öffentlichen Raumes wie den der Bibliothek nähern?

Was kann das Museum von „sprechenden Objekten“ in Bibliotheken lernen?

Wie können uns die vielen Pfade von Büchern über die Institutionen hinaus (durch Ausleihe) helfen, über Konzepte von „Innen“ und „Außen“ nachzudenken?

(---)

Die Künstlerin Jelena Micić knüpfte mit ihrer Ausstellung im Lesesaal der Akademie der Bildenden Künste im November 2015 an das Projekt „Picture in the Book“ an, das sie zwei Jahre zuvor in der öffentlichen Bibliothek ihrer Heimatstadt in Serbien begonnen hatte. Dafür las sie zuerst alle Bücher einer verpflichtenden Leseliste eines Gymnasiums in Serbien. Bevor sie die Bücher der Bibliothek zurückbrachte, fügte sie ihnen ein von ihr aufgenommenes Foto zu, das sie mit dem Inhalt der jeweiligen Geschichte assoziierte, und schrieb ihre E-mail Adresse auf die Rückseite der Fotografie (Abb. 5).3 Für ihre Intervention im Rahmen von „Donnerstags in der Bibliothek“, ging sie ähnlich vor. Sie legte schwarze Papierausschnitte in ausgewählte Bücher aus den offenen Regalen des Lesesaals. Die Papierauschnitte rezipierten Formen einer im Lesesaal stehenden großen, schwarzen Skulptur der Künstlerin (Abb. 6). Jelena Micić beschreibt dieses Ausstellungsformat als „hidden exhibition“ oder „private exhibition“.4 Die Exponate der Ausstellung werden erst durch Zufallsentdeckungen unvorbereiteter, stöbernder Leser_innen sichtbar und somit aktualisiert.5

_____________________________

1 Vgl. Beatrice von BISMARCK, Irit ROGOFF, Curating / Curatorial, in: Beatrice von BISMARCK, Jörn SCHAFAFF, Thomas WESKI (Hg.), Cultures of the Curatorial, Berlin 2012, S. 24.

2 Über die „Verwandtschaft“ der beiden Institutionen schreibt Jesberg: „Bibliotheken und Museen sind wie Geschwister, ihr gemeinsamer Geburtsort liegt in den Musenhainen, Tempelstätten und Kulturzentren der Welt des klassischen Altertums. Durch Jahrhunderte waren sie in Harmonie verbunden. Als Sammlung von Buch und Kunst bildeten sie stets eine geistige Einheit. Erst die Fülle und Anhäufung des Sammlungsgutes im 19. Jahrhundert brachte eine räumliche Trennung der Bibliotheken und Museen mit sich.“ Paulgerd JESBERG, Bibliotheken und Museen, Stuttgart 1964, S. 14.

3 In einem gemeinsamen Gespräch sagte mir die Künstlerin, dass ihr bis heute noch niemand geschrieben hat. Auf ihrer Website heißt es: „I am waiting for the reader to contact me.“ Jelena MICIĆ, Picture in the Book, in: www.jelenamicic.com/home/content/17/Picture-in-the-Book (18. Februar 2017).

4 Ebenda.

5 Auf das von der Form her sehr ähnliche „versteckte Ausstellen“ des Künstlerduos Orton und Halliwell werde ich im letzten Punkt „Permeable Wände“ eingehen.

 

Marie ArtakerDesigner and Researcher

 

Jelena Micić: Bojna polja

13–24.02.2017.

Mali likovni salon, Novi Sad

 

HOFER HOFER

Zweite Kassa, bitte!

Jelena je i ranije koristila porozne materijale za svoje kolaže, a koji su zapravo reciklirana ambalaža dizajniranih pakovanja potrošne robe. Sam dizajn, gde je akcenat na ulepšavanju, produkovanju marketinški i vizuelno privlačnijeg proizvoda umetnica, "poumetničava" i tretirajući ga, dekonstruiše i bukvalno. Očita veza sa pop artom uviđa se i u tome što ona predmete široke potrošnje kupuje u lancima supermarketa rasprostranjenih širom Beča. Hofer je zapravo naziv jednog od gigantskih lanaca poznat je po tome što je "manje fensi" (roba nije lepo složena po rafovima, već se ambijent zasniva na rafovsko-stovarišnoj estetici), ali baš zbog toga i jeftiniji te dostupniji nekome ko je na studentsko-radnom boravku u rasejanju. Tenziju pojačava što je ovaj put izbor sa kutija prešao na šarene mrežice koje služe kako za očuvanje, tako i za fizičku demarkaciju propisane porcije "jedne vrste" voća/povrća. Razlika se potencira kodom boje, koji se koristi za dodatno razgraničavanje različitosti.

Tugaljiv (i)migrantski narativ bi ovde mogao da bude okončan da nije jednog Hofera (drugog). Norbert Hofer je jedan od vođa ultradesničarske partije FPÖ, koji je na skorašnjim predsedničkim izborima tesno izgubio u ponovljenom krugu izbora. Jak zagovornik antiimigracione politike, pooštravanja zakona koji se tiču birokratije dobijanja viza i dozvola, obeležavanja teritorije i ponovnog uspostavljanja granica, sa kojeg bi izbeglice sa distance mogle "bezbedno" da gledaju procese napredovanja hrišćanske Evrope. Dok bespomoćno hodaju pokušavajući da iznađu izlaz ili preciznije rečeno – ulaz kroz ograde, žice i mreže. Taj performativni hod sadržan je i u instalaciji, jer posmatrač mora da hoda kroz rad, pozicionirajući sebe unutar sistema, lavirinta gde je izlaz vidljiv, ali nije moguć.

 

 Žarko Aleksić

 

DA LI JE GALERIJA BOJNO POLJE?

Trn u oku je namerna sličnost sa nazivom rada Hito Štejerl, i to iz razloga što se obe umetnice poigravaju fikcijom i narativom u post-faktualnom svetu strogo vezanom za Donalda Trampa ili nekog lokalnog Donalda. Mora se, međutim priznati da se filozofi, teoretičari i umetnici služe takvim svetom i u njemu žive još odavno. Da li je isto tako post-truth postojao u periodu bombardovanja Sadama Huseina "zbog posedovanja oružja za masovno uništenje"? Stvar nije manje komplikovana ni u umetnosti.

Vidljive karakteristike kolažiranja bojnih polja, ta poezija strukturiranja materijala različitih odlika se narušava saznanjem da su objekte zapravo izrađivale nezaposlene žene, imigrantkinje, poreklom sa eksjugoslovenskih prostora, koje "bez papira" pokušavaju da pronađu posao – "na crno." Najčešće posao čišćenja. I to upola cene radnog sata minimalne zarade. Bez plaćenog zdravstvenog osiguranja. Za izradu cele serije bilo je porebno oko 600 radnih sati, a radove su izvele tri angažovane žene, plaćene u skladu sa izrabljivačkom logikom, što ih dovodi u relaciju sa isto tako slabo plaćenim i ekspolatisanim radnicima na plantažama južnog voća. Upravo je južno voće ono koje je najčešće u opticaju, što se da sagledati statističkim praćenjem boja upotrebljenih u instalaciji. Uslovi nastajanja rada – umetničkog dela – da budem precizniji, naročito ekonomski, igraju važnu ulogu u kreiranju značenja samog umetničkog dela, pritom ostajući nevidljivi, nedostupni i često skriveni, što Hito Štejerl takođe otkrivajući demistifikuje. Ova metodološka paralela radnica koje produkuju umetničko delo i radnika na plantažama voća doprinosi konstruisanoj slici, koja je istovremeno lepa i užasna.

Fukujama sve više liči na Fukušimu – naravno, kvaka je u interpretaciji zadate relacije.

 Žarko Aleksić

 

GAVAGAI

Performativni akt hodanja nužan za sagledavanje celokupne instalacije, različitih uglova, nivoa transparentnosti i