Gordana Žikić and Predrag Damjanović
All visual material about the project and previous interventions, you can see at the website:
In science, a black box is a device, system or object which can be viewed in terms of its input, output and transfer characteristics without any knowledge of its internal workings. The human brain can be used as an example of a black box.
The Black Box Project is the junction of two artists, Damjanović and Žikić, each from their own intimate starting point, re-contextualizing images, subjectively.
As artists, they each give a new context to existing, recognizable images that are easily available and present in contemporary media as well as from a historical context. In a visually dominant culture, there is no general meaning, only a subjective viewpoint that the artist perceives as a personal or social phenomenon in an associative way. The focus of these artistic poetics is social/personal goals, fears, ambitions, dreams, psychological phenomena, historical, and religious layers as both content and motive. Damjanović draws inspiration from the perspective of contemporary icons and media and Žikić relates and appropriates historical imagery.
Damjanović’s images include unusual representations of violence and distortion. Collective and individual psychological layers and conditions, prejudice and modern myths and the context of everyday perception, as representations of our constant and fragmentary experience through modern media, are the main themes in Damjanović’s work; he deals with the dark side of humanity.
Žikić explores the ancient and symbolic traces of human experience and infuses it into a modern context. Žikić creates pictures of existing images of myths and legends, shamanic symbols and archetypal images through a direct intuitive approach and interpretation of visual patterns. Eclectic mixes and visual hybrids of ancient and modern images, define a subjective view of the world, which expresses a personal symbolic language, values, and frame of reference in her drawings. The world, and what is worthwhile in it, used as landmarks of moral and practical guidance for coping becomes not just a rational and conscious message, but a set of contents encoded in images that resemble mythological scenes.
As a direct means of expression, drawing becomes a dialogue between the different perspectives illuminated by Damjanović and Žikić. Through the use of contemporary imagery, using a critical eye, Damjanović’s re-contextualization becomes the new iconic imagery of society through the exploration of images in relation to one another. Žikić with intuitive inspiration brings impulsivity to expression, allowing ancient imagery to resurface and become new through the shamanistic experience of the contemporary artist in the act of creation.
Black Box is the convergence of these two poetics, one that goes from the inside out and the other goes from the outside to the inside; these are drawings that reveal a relationship in context that is surprising and meaningful.
The project will be an installation in space, which will adapt to different environments and thus, there are different possible outcomes. Some of the possible outcomes are:
1. There will be several boxes, which a person can physically enter into as the viewer, creating an immediate metaphoric context. The dimensions of each object are approx. 1x1x2 meters. These boxes are made of plasterboard (wallboard) – the outside is white and the inside is black. There will be charcoal and white crayon drawings with images chosen in relation to the space, from a set of reference drawings used in the form of templates. These drawings will be on both the outside and the inside of these boxes. Attached, you will find some of these reference images in the depictions of past projects.
Inside the box, on a black background, Žikić will make drawings created in white crayon. On the outside walls, which are white, Damjanović will draw images with charcoal. The symbolism of dark and light, internal and external, is representative of the two different starting points of these two artists. On the inside, Žikić creates drawings of the repressed world of mythological scenes, preserved in the subconscious minds of humanity, reminiscent of a world that is constantly trying to de-mythologize reality. On the outside the viewer sees drawn depictions from contemporary media, modified by the subjective filter of Damjanović.
In combination with the boxes the walls will have large drawings done in charcoal and white crayon along with drawings on paper, depending on the interaction in each environment.
The drawings become an artistic intervention into the space with each new exhibition in this series transforming/morphing into something completely new. The interaction of the artists with the space and with the work they each create in each exhibition becomes a dramatic and rapidly evolving artistic and cultural critique challenging the viewer on multiple levels.
2. Public interaction with the artists is another possible outcome. The images then would come from the interaction of the artist and the public in a local environment according to what is important to a local community (locally validated phenomena, myths and legends, the close or remote history or direct events, important people, symbols and archeological layers). This interactive process would be documented and would include interviews with local participants. Artist would make small drawings that would be later used for big mural piece.
Pictures from first exhibition with same title Black Box that was in Remont Gallery Belgrade, April 2015. More photos here
KC Grad, Belgrade Serbia