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Against Art / Goran Djordjević: copies 1979–1985

Programme | 13.12.2012






















Against Art / Goran Djordjević: copies 1979–1985

Mestna Galerija Ljubljana, Mestni trg 5
December 13, 2012 - February 3, 2013

Curated by: Branislav Dimitrijević, Dejan Sretenović, Jelena Vesić

The exhibition “Against Art. Goran Djordjević: Copies 1979–1985” is a joint project of Goran Djordjević and the curatorial team that present the works from this body of works through two different exhibition formats: reconstruction and contemporary installation.

Goran Djordjević has been active in the art scene from the mid seventies as one of the protagonists of the so-called “analytic line” of Belgrade conceptualism. In 1979, he completely turns to copying projects, which he practices until 1985, when he stops producing authorial work in the field of art. Although many works from Djordjević’s copyist body of works were exhibited in independent and group exhibitions in the country and abroad, with few exceptions, they were not attracting attention of local critics, nor were they included in the art history reviews of the time.

The reasons for non-acceptance of this body of works are numerous and should be looked for in the preservation of basic postulates of artistic practices and meaning of art. Production of copies of iconic originals of modern art, multiplication of worthless amateur paintings or painting copies of kitsch-reproductions cannot be easily explained within traditional parameters of artistic creativity connected to the ideas of originality, uniqueness, expressiveness and authorship. On the other hand, it was not possible to categorize Djordjević’s artistic gesture in a single trend specification from the late seventies and the beginning of the eighties with which the visual criticism of the time operated (e.g. new artistic practice, painting of new conception etc). From today’s perspective, it is clear that we are dealing with a project that moved along the line of thinking that can be compared to New York Copyist Appropriation Art that appeared simultaneously, and whose main protagonists were Sherrie Levine, Mike Bidlo, Richard Prince and others. Compared to this trend, Djordjević is authonomous in that he declared the copy “more significant that the original” and in that he understood copying as an “attitude against art” – an attitude that anarchically pushes the institution of art into absurdity, likewise including the speaking position of the “artist” himself that acts within the system of art. Djordjević’s copyism, in an emancipatory way, expanded the category of copy beyond all previously conquered borders and added it a power to “relate a different story” from the one that the original itself relates.

The exhibition “Against Art. Goran Djordjević: Copies 1979–1985” is a joint project of Goran Djordjević and the curatorial team that present the works from this body of works through two different exhibition formats: reconstruction and contemporary installation. In other words, the very installation of the exhibition has been conceived as a combination of the principle of reconstruction of original installations (i.e. the arrangement of objects) and the principle of contemporary installation that implies a change of concept and meaning, creating new arrangements and new relationships. The exhibition “Against Art. Goran Djordjević: Copies 1979–1985” is close to the logic of retrospective as a metatextual plain of “looking backwards”, analogous to retrospection that Djordjević’s works occupy compared to the narration of art.

Events at Mestna Galerija Ljubljana

Friday, 14 December, 14.00
Guded Tour
Branislav Dimitrijević, Dejan Sretenović, Jelena Vesić

Tuesday, 15. January, 17.00
Lecture by Goran Đorđević.

Tuesday, 15. January, 18.30
Discussion between Goran Djordjević and Miran Mohar.

Saturday, January 26, 16.00
Creative workshop for Families with the academic painter Marina Mihelič Satler.

Project of Museum of Contemporary Art, Belgrade

Against Art / Goran Djordjević: copies 1979–1985
Against Art / Goran Djordjević: copies 1979–1985