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Petar Grimani exhibits in Korcula

grimani shadow

Petar Grimani: XXXXXXXX at siva) (zona – gallery, Korcula

Monday 13. 7. and Tuesday 14. 7. from 21 to 23 h.

Petar Grimani’s exhibition xxxxxx will be opened on Monday 13th of July, in the Siva Zona gallery in Korcula.

The exhibition is a complex art installation which consists of drawings, paintings, video, sound, light and shadows that are specifically made for the occasion.

The installation, that occupies five cellars within the gallery, represented with still and moving images of bison and the concentration camp Auschwitz, questions the achievements of civilisation in terms of Euro/Asian space and ethnic cleansing.

Where is that bison?’ (20 min, 2008) is the title of introduction video work, which follows the author’s flow of conscience in contemplating bison. Spatial colour shadows of bison drawings are a separate installation, while acrylic painting of human shadows is made on carpet (3×5 meters).
The installation is spatially concluded with new video work that uses footage of the author’s performance in Auschwitz II (Birkenau) from 2008 following the final exit to the gallery’s terrace on the seashore.
The artist’s obsessive search for European bison, that powerful creature almost completely extinguished in Europe and Asia, refers to a desire for a return to traditional, basic values that include unity of human beings and nature.

The aim of the project is to use the allegorical figure of the European buffalo, a species almost totally extinct in this territory, which has multiple significations, and represents natural strength and primordial values of the ancient times, but also can be transferred to the context of the recent war in the territory of ex-Yugoslavia and the PTSD syndrome that continues to affect ex war veterans.
The question we can ask is: «Is our civilization utterly repressive and violent as it continuously endangers and violates other species and the harmony that used to exist among the different species and the nature? »

The artist chooses non-violence by refusing to actually kill the animal, but takes photographs instead, which symbolizes his desire to restore this harmony that seems to be lost.

 The installation xxxx is part of the project where is that bison?’ started in 2008, shown on Drawing Trienal and ‘T-HTnagrada@msu. hr’ in Zagreb and  ‘Paso Doble’ and ‘Dopust – days of performance’ in Split.  This project is dedicated to memory of victims of Srebrenica massacre (9. – 14. 7. 2005)


/// from artist’s statement:
Where is it? Where is that bison? There has to be a bison somewhere around here! Where’s the bison – I have to find a bison! A multi-layered parable about the obsessive search for a European bison, a magnificent being which is almost extinct on the vast territory of Eurasia I have used as an allegory about searching for a master drawer. The video work that would be projected onto a drawing on a wall tells a story of a man who is searching for a bison where there is none and in a way we can interpret the symptoms of PTSP in this way, as well as a need to bring fiction back down to the matter, which a drawing is certainly capable of. Exactly the cave motifs of a bull can serve as a template for describing ritually magical obsessions, as well as a mechanism of anticipation.

There was this European bison and I have to kill it! I have to kill it because a bison is a really strong creature. There is so much strength in it that when I kill it I will become as strong as the bison! The European bison exits the area of hunt and becomes a symbol of prehistoric Europe which is in traces preserved to this day in the protected natural parks, but it is important to emphasize, through a way that necessarily demanded a human intention or even a more serious intervention. Even the mythological Europe – its name means a place where the sun comes to the Mediterranean on the back of a giant bull.
But the arrival of civilisation has urbanized the territory of Europe and coexistence with nature swiftly changes – the more westward we go, the more settled and populated and concrete-covered it gets. Today’s European centre of government is right in the centre of the radius of some three hundred kilometres in the heart of the most urbanized and most densely populated area on planet Earth, which is obvious if we look at the night photographs taken from satellites orbiting the planet.
Oh, my – when I see it, great as it is, standing somewhere on a hill, and then… BOOM! When I hit it on the head and it falls down to the ground and I come and put my hand on it when it is still warm, oh dear, what a feeling will that be. I have to find that bison and strike it in the head and run while it is still breathing… And lean my head on it, put my arms around and let all this strength coming from the soil and the hills enter into me. And let the last bison die.
Drawing is obvious in its intentions and precise as a discipline which can be explained or interpreted as leaving a trace or as an extension of a mental projection which is materialized in the controlling trace of the line. When a hunter shoots an arrow, throws a spear or releases a trigger, we assume that the fired projectile flies in a straight line.

…because then I have to hit it directly in its head, and I have to be very, very, very careful when I aim, because if it attacks me, I’m history.
Is there a purpose or a function in a drawing? Of course there is, even though it seems neglected and unimportant when compared to the technological development and the possibilities it offers (especially digital image editing). There is no medium which can better or more precise intensify and train our senses and combine the experience of watching and the creative articulation. Just like when we tune a guitar we train our hearing receptors by listening to the tone and colour of the sound, in the same manner the process of drawing synchronises us with what we are watching and develops sensitivity in relation to the line, composition, weight, lightness and intensity of light.
…we will become one. And in one moment I will think about killing myself, too, and then your spirit will say – Don’t!

And all those Indians and indigenous original inhabitants of old Europe will be with me and we’ll thank you for letting us kill you. Personally, I am convinced that it is not possible to be a good visual artist, even in contemporary art, if one does not master the art of drawing..

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