11 December 2014 > 20 December 2014 Cordially invited to the opening of the Dino Bičanić and in Vedran Perkov exhibition by SC Gallery from Zagreb on Thursday, 11th December at 8pm at the Alkatraz Gallery, ACC Metelkova. The curator of the exhibition is Ksenija Baronica. Opening hours will include Saturdays 13th & 20th December from 3 pm to 11 pm. On Friday, 19th December the gallery will be open from 5pm to 11pm.
On their premiere exhibition in Slovenia, two selected Croatian authors, Vedran Perkov and Dino Bićanić, are presented through their video works, photographs, objects and installations, created over the last couple of years, in which they face many topical themes of today's society in a playful, fun and whimsical manner. The two authors share a common approach to thinking and creating through humor and irony. Their works discuss the issues of identity, power, communication, and the position of individuals and artists in society, by choosing not to follow the artistic activism and rebellion, since they do not offer solutions anyway.
Vedran Perkov is one of the most relevant Croatian authors of his generation with a sensibility and temperament of an artist from the coast, and with the knowledge and experience of a curator and organizer of numerous exhibitions and projects, and a professor at the Art Academy in Split. Dino Bićanić was his student, whose talent and way of thinking have been recognized, supported and encouraged by Vedran. Dino lives in Hvar, which is at the same time often a limitation in terms of the lack of direct contacts and witnessing art and other events live, as well as a possible (in his case, apparent) advantage for looking at the world from the side, from the perspective of a non-participant, offset from the center of events, uncontaminated by trends and influences. The life on an island, even an elite one like Hvar, truly isn't simple. During the year it reveals all its extremes: from an overcrowded and prestigious destination in summer, giving importance to status and confirming size and success, to the desolation of the island in winter when it is cut off from the world and the cold winter winds make the connection to the mainland difficult to maintain. To experience the island in winter, its isolation and loneliness, sharpens the senses and purifies the mind, allowing clearer detection of what really matters and leaving no room for banality and stupidity. Dino is then left to work in his studio and communicate via social networks; however he doesn't succumb to apathy and lethargy, but rather lively reacts to the circumstances.
For the exhibition in Alkatraz, he used precisely the topic of social networks, and exposed objects and printouts concerning Facebook. His homonymous piece is an attempt to turn virtual reality into something real and tangible, by transforming Facebook into a book consisting of photo-montage, and a free interpretation of the Bible. Facebook thereby becomes the new Bible, crucial for reading, meeting and communicating. The list of Facebook friends written on paper in blue letters is reminiscent of the final credits in a movie, and evokes the glamour of movie stars that we might want to become or at least experience a part of their glory. A long list of names means many friends and popularity on the network, even though many or most of them are complete strangers, present in our lives solely as names. Making new friends and having a lot of friends equals success and importance, popularity and acclaim on social networks. Dino raises questions such as "who are all these friends" and "what do their friendships mean" by observing the "handwriting" of their messages and wall posts on Facebook. The "handwriting" of a message reveals one's personality and character more than the message itself. The questions are becoming more frequent on how to accept and experience these messages, as well as gifts from friends on Facebook, when we only know them by name, which might be real or made up, as well as their identity. The representing of one self in a different light, perhaps the one we desire and to which we aspire, raises the questions of honesty and trust, today ever less valued. The installation in gallery space consisting of Styrofoam objects as templates for Facebook messages is reminiscent of comic bubbles, and of the times of real socializing and friendships.
Vedran is presenting his three videos: Vedran and Cloud, Penalties and The Real Image, in which he comments on social reality through his own character. Using self-irony and humor, he achieves the effect of amusement and joyful atmosphere that underneath its casual and seemingly frivolous structure points to important issues.
The original solutions and seemingly simple execution reveal the experience and knowledge of a truly skilled author, who again and again gets playful and curious, open to many areas and different interpretations of a problem. At the same time, he does not avoid acuity, but also does not engage in the area of organized actions and gatherings of like-minded individuals for the purpose of loud, engaged art.
He speaks out humorously about many current events and endeavors to resolve them, among other things by positioning himself in the role of a superhero in a golden costume (Vedran and Cloud), who has the power of controlling clouds and their placement to positions he prefers, regardless of the consequences. Thereby, he controls the fates of people like bankers, politicians, pharmacists, and other individuals with powerful profiles. The video The Real Image is a kind of constructed self-portrait, in which the form of a documentary film is used by Vedran’s colleagues and friends to present him as a versatile and highly successful individual in all areas. With full confidence, they present real and imaginary facts, praise and exaggeration without a convincing back-up. The praising of ingenuity and versatility is a preferred image of any important individual aware of his size and importance, which may be recorded, among other things, for the purposes of a promotional campaign for a president, a political candidate, a representative of an institution or corporation.
In the video Penalties, featuring the character of a goalkeeper who is trying to defend penalties, he is defending his position as an artist, making it acceptable to a wide audience through sports and entertainment. The soundtrack of a mariachi band calls for celebration with beer and game watching on beer cases, where the video is projected. The works of Vedran Perkov and Dino Bićanić in general, not just for this exhibition, are surprising and entertaining, regardless of the number of received/defended goals and the amount of beer.