Naslov / Title: Corpus Indeterminata – prologue (featuring: Lost & found II, 24 stunde Berlin and Performans kit)
Lokacija / Exhibition space: Galerija zavoda za kiparstvo
Datum / Date: 7. December 2010 – 7. January 2011
Produkcija / Production: Zavod za sodobne umetnosti in kulture Gulag
Koprodukcija / Co-production: Zavod za kiparstvo
Spremno besedilo / Text: Petja Grafenauer, Jana Putrle Srdić
Producent / Producer: Jana Putrle Srdić
Pomoč in svetovanje / Support: Maja Petrlin, Saba Skaberne, Gio oblikovanje
Foto / Photo: Sunčan Stone
Hair felt small shirts
The artworks (sculptures, performances, objects, videos) from the cycle entitled Undefined Body are linked by the most – paradoxically for sculpturing – intangible: the idea, not yet entirely defined thought, invisible body, that is thought as hallowed, as repulsive, that is sloughing from the extraordinary into a conditionally attractive, through a multitude of various media, that the artist utilizes as his expression. This is no insistence at classical sculpturing or per formative ness as a fashionable trend; the means serve the idea, however, the primary fascination over the material and procedure (the cast lard with cracklings; almost invisible hairs, sublimely felted into a shirt) turned over from the artist to the spectator.
The conception of an idea can be traced back to the enthusiasm over some small sculpture from the art museum in Frankfurt am Main from the beginning of the 19th century. A spiritual person holds – in a glass dish – a hair, probably a relic of a saint. When we mention the locks of Elvis Presley’s hair, or a lock of lover’s hair soldiers used to keep, we come close to the notion of fetishism. Fetishes are, amongst other things aesthetic-ised objects and photography has, with its distance towards the object a suitable medium, instantly determining aesthetic view, hence the uneasiness when – in it – we recognize a hair from an urinal, the very same hair that is – next to the photograph – also exhibited, and of course picked from a public urinal – »with no filter«. The aesthetic function is therefore replaced by a documentary, an exploring one, we could say.
Had Duchamp turned/made a commodity into an artistic object and Gober’s urinals are models of public lavatories with no function and represent, as modelled objects the work of a sculptor, then Srdić Janežič is interested in the traces on the commodity that testify of cooled down absence, the body that once was but has gone, its excrement, »impurity«. Before we come to mention the fragility and diminishing, let us mention that added to the work there is always a touch of humour, when we can suspect/sense that it’s a joke of a teasing artist.
A human figure with a pig’s head made from lard and cracklings is cast after the body of the artist and the head of an anonymous pig from a pig farm, while the series should – in its continuation – contain a smaller figure of a pig with the head of the artist made from the artist’s fat (generated by z liposuction). In the latter case there is far less material available. The body’s mould will be made according the 3D scan of a pig and the artist’s head. Srdić Janežič is obviously avoiding expressiveness that is inevitably been imposed on us in the case of modelled sculptures. He does not care for the feeling, but the transmission of the real form; the mould here literally representing the space of the missing body, the method becoming expertise; it could have been serial as what the artist is interested in is the perception of the whole, i.e. the material – lard and human fat – amalgamated with the form and all the connotations it brings along: animal farms and food industry, beauty surgery and its »remnants«, food transformed into an artefact (here we can refer to the artist’s sculptures made from bread), the form of the body as its absence, animate-inanimate material. For some more sensual individuals (gourmands) the material of a human figure with a pig’s head represents something attractive (the subcutaneous fat was – in baroque, and not only then – considered aesthetic, even erotic), for many it may be repulsive, or just a joke.
And where is the body after which the void, the sculpture, the hairs and the shirt remained? Is is a body of a stranger, arising disgust, or an artist that can be praised? It’s left many traces behind, but has yet slipped away; it is undefined, we can label it with various phantasms, we can make it sublime or horrifying, for the unheimliche, the »something«, that returns to us reshaped through horrifying dreams. First there was the Word, we may say the Idea and its temple/foundation is the Body. (Jana Putrle Srdić)