White absence

10. December 2008. – 25. January 2009.
MegnyitóOpening: December 9, 2008, 7:00 pm
MegnyitjaRemarks by: Mélyi József
KurátorCurator: Erőss Nikolett
“There was terrible fear. Nobody knows what will happen tomorrow. Whatever you are doing, you cannot see the value in it. You are writing a book. The siren interrupts. You go to the basement. What is the value of the book? And what is the color of pain? I decided the color is white.”

Since the seventies, Croatian conceptual artist Mladen Stilinovic’s work has revolved around the issue of whether linguistic and visual signs can be separated from ideology; whether symbols, colours and slogans can be divested of their political and artistic context. The recycling of the symbols of constructivism or socialist realism – also basic extreme values in the region – at once refers back to the original contexts and suspends them. The artist is thoroughly familiar with the linguistic plays of the communist regime and observes those of capitalism with some aloofness; his works are ironic and often melancholic comments to the aesthetics of appropriation.

At the time of the Yugoslav War, helplessness and the lack of means compelled the artist to turn away from political reflection towards silence and the narratives inherent in it. When words dwindle into the silence of lost meaning, the unspeakable transpires from his contemplations about pain and loss. The almost monochrome installation constructed of small everyday objects in the gallery space uses the dynamics of shift, equivalence and repetition to speak about silence, intimacy and pain: the colour white.