Srđan Tunić

art historian, curator

Čudnovati stripovi Alekse Gajića/Weird comics of Aleksa Gajić (exhibition, text)

Izložbeni projekat Čudnovati stripovi Alekse Gajića započet je u novembru 2012. godine na inicijativu istoričara umetnosti i kustosa Srđana Tunića, povodom pojave neobičnih recentnih radova strip umetnika i animatora Alekse Gajića.

U saradnji sa umetničkim prostorom O3ONE u Beogradu, Aleksa i Srđan su osmislili koncept, prateće tekstove, postavku i organizovali izložbu Čudnovati stripovi Alekse Gajića: Prošireno polje stripa (radovi 2011-2013.) tokom oktobra 2013. Izložba je obuhvatila radove čiji veliki deo je prvi put bio izložben javnosti, tematizujući eksperimentalno polje stripa i postavljajući pitanje o granicima stripa kao umetničkog medija.

Izložba je organizovana uz podršku galerije O3ONE i Studija Orange. Veliku zahvalnost dugujem Aleksi Gajiću, Nebojši Babiću i Drašku Roganoviću za pripremu i realizaciju ove izložbe.

After seeing some of the new and experimental artworks by comic artist and animator Aleksa Gajić, art historian and curator Srdjan Tunić initiated the exhibition project Weird comics of Aleksa Gajić. The preparations started in November 2012 and were completed in October 2013.

In cooperation with the O3ONE art space in Belgrade, Aleksa and Srdjan formulated the exhibition concept, accompanying texts, setting and organised the exhibition Weird comics of Aleksa Gajić: Comics in the extended field (works 2011-2013). The exhibition featured the works, most for the first time to the public, focusing on the experimental comics, prompting questions on the borderlines of comic art as artistic media.

The exhibition was organised with generous support of the O3ONE gallery and Studio Orange from Belgrade. I would like to thank Aleksa Gajić, Nebojša Babić and Draško Roganović for contributing to the preparation and realisation of this exhibition.

Plakat web

Najava/announcement:

Čudnovati stripovi Alekse Gajića

Prošireno polje stripa (radovi 2011.-13.)

            Stvaralaštvo Alekse Gajića, najistaknutijeg strip umetnika srednje generacije iz Srbije danas, istovremeno vezano i za strip i za animaciju, u poslednjih par godina poprima neuobičajene i nove forme. Izložba Čudnovati stripovi Alekse Gajića je usmeren na stvaralaštvo koje ne pripada njegovim najpoznatijim radovima – stripovima rađenim za Francusko strip tržište (primer Bič Božji), ilustracije za Politikin zabavnik ili Technotise (animirani film i strip), već intimnim i eksperimentalnim formama stripa, koje Gajić naziva terapijski free style stripovi. Strip, tradicionalno utemeljen kao posebni sistem vizuelne naracije, dobija treću dimenziju i svojstva instalacije / proširene skulpture / asamblaža, udaljavajući se i poigravajući se sa standardnom strip formom.

U ovim delima dolazi do brutalnog sjedinjavanja sadržaja i forme, gde priroda medija (podloga, materijal) uslovljava i sam sadržaj stripa, postajući neodvojivi elementi. Mali deo navedenih radova je bio pojedinačno izlagan u okviru godišnjeg Međunarodnog salona stripa u SKC. Međutim, ovo je prva inicijativa da se ovi radovi, većinski nastali u poslednje tri godine i prvi put predstavljeni javnosti, uvedu u galerijski kontekst, istraže i prikažu kao celina publici, u svojstvu male retrospektive. Izložbe tematizuje logiku stripa prisutnog od bloka za skice, dvodimenzionalnog i trodimenzionalnog stripa, instalacije i ansamblaža do animiranog filma. Koncept izložbe je nastao prema inicijativi i u saradnji sa kustosom Srđanom Tunićem.

Otvaranje izložbe je zakazano za 04.10.2013. u 19 časova u galeriji O3ONE. Izložba će trajati do 20.10.

Weird comics of Aleksa Gajić

Comics in the extended field (works 2011-2013)

The artworks of Aleksa Gajić, one of the most important comic artists of middle generation from Serbia today, and who is predominantly present in comic and animation media, have gained new and experimental forms in the past couple of years. The exhibition Weird comics of Aleksa Gajić is not related to works he is most known for – comics for the French market (as Scourge Of The Gods), illustrations for Politikin zabavnik or Technotise (comic and animated feature film). Rather, these works focus on intimate and experimental comics, which he calls therapeutic free style comics. Comics, traditionally grounded as a special system of visual narration, are gaining a third dimension, as well as aspects of installation / extended sculpture / assemblage, going beyond and playing with the standard comics.

In these works, “a brutal mix of form and content” can be seen, where the nature of the media itself (material, background) is directly related to and becoming the narrative of the comic, as interdependent elements. A small part of the works has been exhibited during the annual International comic book salon in Belgrade. However, this is the first opportunity for these works, most of which have been produced in the past three years, and presented in public for the first time, to be exhibited in a gallery space, researched and presented as a small retrospective. The exhibition is a way of discussing the logic of comics, seen from sketch books, 2D and 3D comics, installations and assemblages, to animations. The concept of the exhibition was developed by initiative of, and in cooperation with art historian and curator Srdjan Tunić.

The exhibition opens at 4th October at 19h in gallery O3ONE. It lasts till 20th October 2013.

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Izložba/The exhibition

Odabrani radovi/Selected works

Postavka/Setting

Otvaranje/Opening

Javno vođenje/public guidance

Predavanje na Sajmu knjiga u okviru Strip sale/Lecture at Belgrade book fair – Comic hall

Foto: O3ONE, Branislav Radišić, Srđan Plavšić, Srđan Tunić

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Katalog/Catalogue

Čudnovati stripovi Alekse Gajića: Prošireno polje stripa (radovi 2011-2013.)

– Prokletstvo, već je 12 sati, a ja još nisam ni počeo…

– Pa naravno kad pišeš o Čudnovatim stripovima, a ne znaš ni šta je to, ni kako da ih

nazoveš!

– A kad bi ti malo ĆUTAO, možda bi mi nešto i palo na pamet!

– Ooooo, neko je nervozan, dobro, dobro, evo ćutim…

Šta je Čudnovati strip? U onoj meri u kojoj je moguće definisati strip kao devetu umetnost, logiku razmišljanja i prikazivanja sadržaja, posledično je moguće i diskutovati šta se dešava kada umetnik istupi van klasično zadatog okvira jednog medija. To je upravo i uradio Aleksa Gajić, serijom eksperimentalih i intimističkih radova koji nastaju u kontinuitetu od 2011. godine, nazivajući ih terapijski free style stripovi. Najveći broj radova predstavljenih na izložbi Čudnovati stripovi Alekse Gajića: Prošireno polje stripa u Umetničkom prostoru O3ONE u Beogradu nastaju tokom 2013…

– Eto, sedam redova i još ništa! Niko još ne zna šta je Čudnovati strip!

– Ne pomažeš mi! Dakle, hmmm…

– Drugar, mislim da si hteo da spomeneš Skota Meklauda i termin sekvencijalna umetnost, za početak?

– Da, da! Hteo sam da pojasnim kakva je logika naracije, vid pričanja priče u stripu koja se oslanja na interakciju slike i teksta, kao osnova koja povezuje i klasični strip i Čudnovati strip. Međutim, ista ta logika se može primeniti i na pećinsku umetnost, freske, svitke, film…

– Au, zbunjuješ me! A otkud sve ovo? Kako ste ti i Aleksa krenuli sa pričom o Čudnovatom stripu?

– Prateći nastanak i progres ovih Aleksinih radova, pomislio sam na teoriju o proširenom polju, koju je ’70-tih Rozalind Kraus primenila na skulpturu. Tu i tamo pronađem i nekog savremenog strip teoretičara koji to primenjuje na medij stripa. Tako smo krenuli da pričamo o izložbi… Kod Čudnovatog stripa ima puno eksperimenta, igre i prelivanja tehnika – od ilustracije i stripa, primenjenih na nestandardne podloge, uklopljenih u kutije i objekte nalik asamblažima (poput 3D kolaža), ručno rađenih knjižica, do stripa u obliku skulptura, mini-instalacija, animacije…

– Hej, došao je novi mejl od Alekse!

– Uh, što voliš da me prekidaš! Nije valjda napravio još neki novi rad! Čekaj da ga nađem… Kustosiranje, Remont, Facebook… Aha, gledam ga sad. Kaže za nove radove da je to ”brutalno sjedinjavanje sadržaja i forme“, ovo mi se sviđa. Treba da uđe u katalog. Zaista, uvek sama priroda medija i materijala (grana, bočica, kamen, krug i dr) uslovljavaju i sadržaj stripa, i tako prave uzajamnu neodvojivost – priča zbog materijala i materijal zbog priče!

– Mislim da sada komplikuješ. A šta je sa ovim što meni uopšte ne liči na strip?

– Da, neki radovi kao da prestaju da budu stripovi… Aleksa se sve vreme poigrava sa tim šta strip jeste, a šta nije – to je nepoznata i granična teritorija.

– Ahaha, upao si u zamku! Da li je strip, ili nije… Zar se i jedan rad ne zove Granično polje stripa (strip na grani)?

– …Ima nešto tu od nasleđa umetnika poput Kornela… a možda i ja projektujem svoje interese. Šta kažeš? Kad smo već kod Kornela, sećaš li se Gibsonovog romana Count Zero? Kada onaj robot u svemiru stvara kutije asamblaža na bazi sećanja i materijalnih ostataka porodice…

– Hej, pitao sam te nešto, uozbilji se, ti si mi kao neki stručnjak! Tekst ide u rasulo, a ljudi treba da ga pročitaju i da nešto skapiraju. Kako definišeš Čudnovati strip?

– Čekaj, zato što sam ja istoričar umetnosti i kustos, moram da definišem? Moja reč nije poslednja i moje viđenje je samo jedno od mogućih. Izbegnimo ekstreme – da se umetnost samoobjašnjava (što je veštačka mistifikacija i umetnika i njegovog rada) ili da je doslovno prepričana. A ljudi nisu glupi, znaš, ako im oduzmeš pravo da razmišljaju šta vide, uvredićeš ih. Baš to je izazov savremene umetnosti – da pozove na interakciju i razmišljanje, da postavi pitanja!

– Vidi, došli smo skoro do kraja teksta! Pa šta je bre Čudnovati strip?

– Pa zar ne vidiš?! Auuu, što si dosadan, šta je, pa šta je… Ne znaju ljudi sasvim ni šta su gumene bombone, pa ih i dalje jedu.

– E to ti već nije loše, možda tako i da počneš tekst: Demarkacija stripa, ili kako savladati logiku gumene bombone!

– Tako je! Uh, nije ovo moj dan… Idem ja sad lepo da spavam, a tekst ću da završim sutra.

– Što se ljutiš? Eeee, Srđane… stani… znaš kad ti je rok za ovo???!!!

Srđan Tunić, istoričar umetnosti, kustos i inicijator izložbe

Beograd, septembar 2013.

Weird comics of Aleksa Gajić:

Comic in the extended field (works 2011-2013)

 

– Damn, it’s already noon and I haven’t started yet…

– Well, of course when you’re writing about Weird comics, and you don’t even        know what they are, nether how to define them!

– If I had some SILENCE, maybe I’d have an idea!

– Oooh, someone’s uptight, OK, OK, I’ll be quiet…

What are Weird comics? To the extent we could define the comics as 9th art, logic of thought and representation of narratives, we could also discuss what lies ahead when an artist steps away from the framework of classical media. That was the very move that Aleksa Gajić made, with a continuous series of experimental and intimate works, starting in 2011, and calling them therapeutic free style comics. The majority of works that were presented at the exhibition Weird comics of Aleksa Gajić: Comic in the extended field in the art space O3ONE in Belgrade were created in 2013…

– See, just seven lines and nothing! Nobody knows what Weird comics are!

– You’re not helpful… So, hmm…

– Hey buddy, I think you wanted to mention Scott McCloud and the term sequential art, for starters?

– Yes, of course! I had in mind to make clear the logic of narration, the storytelling in comics which relies on specific interrelation of picture and text, as a basis that connects both traditional and Weird comics. But, similar logic could be applied to cave art, frescoes, ancient scrolls, film…

– Huh, you’re confusing me! Where did it all came from? How did you and Aleksa create the idea for Weird comics in the first place?

– By paying attention to how Aleksa developed these works, I thought about the theory of the extended field, which was pioneered by Rosalind Krauss in the 70’s reffering to sculpture. Here and there I find comic theoreticians making parallels with contemporary comic art. And that’s how we started talking about the exhibition… The Weird comics are fulled with experiments, play and a mixture of techniques – from illustrations and comics that are applied to nonstandard surfaces, and adjusted into boxes and objects such as assemblages (like 3D collages), through hand-made small books, to comics like sculptures, mini-installations, animation…

– Hey, here’s a new e-mail from Aleksa!

– Argh, you really like interrupting me! I hope Aleksa didn’t make another new work! Just to find it… About and around curating, Remont, Facebook… Aha, I see it. He says that new works are “the brutal intermixture of content and form”, I like this one. It should be in the catalogue. Well, the nature of the media and material itself (branch, bottle, stone, circle, etc) are conditional regarding the content, thus forming a mutual dependence – story for the sake of the material and material for the sake of the story!

– I think you’re being complicated again. What about these works that don’t even look like comics?

– Yes, some works seem to stop being comics at all… All the time, Aleksa is playing on the notion of what comics are, and are not – that’s unknown and borderline territory…

– Ahaha, you’re trapped! Is it, or is it not… One of the works is called Granično polje stripa (Branch/Borderline field of comic) – comics on a branch?

– … I see some heritage of artists like Cornell here… but maybe I’m projecting my own assumptions… What do you say? Speaking about Cornell, do you remember Gibson’s novel Count Zero? When the robot in space is making boxes like assemblages based on the memory and material remains of the family….

– Stop, I asked you something, stop fooling around, and you’re a so called expert! The text is dispersing, and people need to read it to have a clue. How do you define Weird comics?

– Wait a minute, does that mean I need to define things just because I’m an art historian and a curator? My word is not the last and my viewpoint is just one of many. Let’s avoid the extremes – to let art be self-explanatory (which can be an artificial mystification of both the artists and their work), or to literally re-tell it. People are not stupid, you know. If you take away from them the possibility to think about what they’re seeing, you’ll insult them. That, I see as a challenge of contemporary art – to call for interaction and thinking, to ask questions!

– Look, we’re near the text end! C’mon, Weird comics are…?

– Can’t you see?! Man, you’re so boring, what, why all the time… People don’t know what gummy candies are, but they’re still eating them.

– Wow, that’s not bad, maybe it could serve as a nice beginning for the text: Demarcation of the comics, or how to overcome the logic of a gummy candy!

– That’s right! Huh, this is not my day… I’m going to sleep, and might finish the text tomorrow.

– Why are you annoyed? Heeey, Srdjan… stop… do you know when the deadline is for this one???!!!

Srdjan Tunić, art historian, curator and initiator of the exhibition

Belgrade, September 2013

Download (SR): http://www.academia.edu/4982809/Cudnovati_stripovi_Alekse_Gajica_Prosireno_polje_stripa_radovi_2011.2013._

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Linkovi:

Aleksa Gajić: http://aleksagajic.blogspot.com/, http://sr.wikipedia.org/sr/Aleksa_Gaji%C4%87

O3ONE: http://www.o3one.rs/4619/cudnovati-strip/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/532408526837502/

Intervjui/interviews:

– Kulturni dodatak, Politika http://www.politika.rs/rubrike/Kulturni-dodatak/U-novom-Kulturnom-dodatku-u-subotu-21-septembra-citajte.lt.html

– Politikin Zabavnik: http://politikin-zabavnik.rs/pz/tekstovi/prica

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