Inclusive Disjunction, brings together five artists who had once been classmates at the Belgrade Fine Arts Academy, but had since gone their separate ways. Having all independently arrived in New York City over the years for various reasons, they are now reunited in an exhibition that reflects on home, migration, and identity.
The title of the exhibition refers to an operation in Logic. It normally takes two inputs, whereby the statement is false when both inputs are false, otherwise it is true. Put in another way, as long as one of its statements is true, then the whole statement is true. A similar operation is at work when each of the artists speak about their experience moving from Serbia to New York City. They not only have to adapt to the language and customs, but also reexamine and recontextualize their own works within a new discourse. Despite this, their identity as an artist remains true, even if one of the variables, or city, no longer is home.
Formulated in Logic as:
p v q = T
!p v q = T
p v !q = T
!p v !q = F
Curated by Mensur Bojda
July, 25 2017
9 Monroe Street, Basement, New York, NY 10002
In my work, The Carpet, I recreate a pattern used in the traditional Serbian carpet, called Pirotski Ćilim. The carpet is made using unique and complex weaving technique, which create identical patterns on the top and bottom surfaces. They were traditionally made by poor women as a way of making a living. The knowledge of weaving was passed down through the maternal line. Due to the carpet’s fame and international recognition, they became masculinized and repurposed as a new symbol of the neo-national state. It became a specifically Serbian object, and a symbol to be proud of. It suddenly populated all the essentially anti-modern, new-old architectural spaces of post-communist Serbia.
This newly repurposed, and ultimately masculine, symbol is in stark contrast to the carpet’s original feminine heritage. The original history was robbed and replaced by a new one. In the light of its nationalistic repurposing, I took an ambivalent attitude to the carpet and wanted to recognize its true origins. In my installation, I reproduce the pattern of the carpet, but the pattern is now balanced above the ground on needles that embody my aching ambivalence. By choosing to work by long crafting method, the performance resembles the original process it took to make the Pirotski Cilim. The intensive labor is not visible in the delicately crafted object, therefore it makes the whole work seem effortless. The emancipatory part of the work comes from the beautiful reflections that emerge on the walls surrounding the installation when illuminated. The resulting reflection serves to once again open up the pattern’s history, and suggest a third interpretation beyond these clashes of narratives. My aim is to create disbelief in the pattern’s current singular role as a national symbol. The installation is both beautiful and uncomfortable to look at, with the strong reflected light and optical vibration that pierces the viewer’s eyes.
Capitalism and renaissance is a project I started during my studies in Belgrade Fine Art Academy in 2011. It serves as a criticism to the system in which I was participating in. Today, I live and create in New York City. I didn’t make any real progress with changing the environment. Here, the air still smells like capitalism, so much so, that some experts say it needs a renaissance. Therefore, continuing this project makes a lot more sense today. In this exhibition, I’m presenting one of the first and last artworks of this project. Development of this project is an expression of the dirty and run-down parts of New York, where I will present something that looks like museum art in street art form.
It seems like I am having a couple of dreams. Introvert, meditative, but in a hot way, full of tension. I feel that my personal experiences are touching the culture in general. Therefore, in some of my cycles one is joyful and allows me a certain identification, but the others are just the opposite. Let me call them melancholic handwriting, which has its own power. It is driven by cramping, a nervous painting scar, and the expression of pain and anger characteristic of the genuine expressionism, and of the still modern postexpressionism.
My work is based on both the real and the imaginary, with unconscious contents and narratives weaved throughout various styles and mediums. I incorporate the traditional, such as painting and drawing, as well as using contemporary mediums, such as photography or video, in order to document the working process.
Although most of my work centers around the human body (figures, bio-processes, intimacy, and the exploitation/perception of the body in society), my approach varies from my personal motivation and imperatives. Whether it is by presenting rustiness, deviance, and disintegration, or by using semantic, symbols, and myths with intention to change its context, the process of creating usually leads me from the abstract to the real.
Vladan Sibinovic was born in Belgrade, Serbia, and received his MFA in Painting from the University of Arts in Belgrade. During his junior year, he was a recipient of Traunkirchen Akademie Summer Fellowship, where he had the opportunity to work with artists such as Arnulf Rainer, Eva and Adele, and Xenia Hausner. After his graduation, he had the opportunity to be involved in many projects through art residency programs, including Glo’ Art in Belgium and the International Summer Academy of Fine Arts in Salzburg, where he was working with artist Imran Qureshi. Sibinovic continues to work as a member of the Atelier 8 group in Serbia. Vladan currently lives in NYC and works at Takashi Murakami’s NY studio. A special segment of his work is dedicated to the question of human communication – verbal and body language. Namely, he questions our relationship with the city environment, individual and the society, sameness and difference.