The exhibition will open at 8 PM on Monday, March 21, in the Studio 21 Gallery. The event is organized by the Beat Cultural Organisation (Velebitska 66, Split). With this exhibition, the association is starting on the implementation of a curatorial project by art historian Toni Horvatić entitled “Possibility of the Peripheral”. Through a series of art exhibitions of contemporary artists, the project aims at improving the situation in the outskirts of town, in a setting void of the slightest cultural content of any note. The project will also also contribute to the activation of yet another relevant point on Split and Split-Dalmatia County’s culture map.
My work is a matter of fundamental sounds (without any intention of joking), made as fully as possible. I do not take responsibility for anything else. If people want the headache of additional meanings, so be it. They have to provide the aspirins themselves.”
In the exhibition Thoughts for March, Vedran Perkov is showing sixteen illuminated slogans that thanks to a distribution board alternately go on and off in the darkened gallery. By a physical intervention, the walls of the gallery are covered with black, insulating water-resistant cloth by which the exhibition space is additionally neutralised. The wish from the outset is to avoid any certainty of habit of being in the known, so as to enable a meeting with the known in the unknown and the unknown in the known. Ten of the sixteen slogans are in Croatian, and four are in English.
What is fundamental is the issue of meaning and context. We might take just one of the slogans exhibited as an illustration – The worst has passed. If the worst has passed does it mean that in future it can be only better than that which was or that of all the possibilities, only the worst have been fulfilled? Obviously this drama takes place in society, but is it not in me at the same time? In my life, is the worst going on or can I state with certainty, with my acquired experience, that the worst is behind me?
The exhibited luminous objects (verbal and visual representatives of expressive ambiguities) address the visitor directly, as have actually all this artist’s works to date. They are always in Perkov in spirit clearly constructed provoking spaces of laughter and tension between private and public identities with which the visitors make rapid contact, for at the exhibition they include them into themselves. The illuminated works actually light up points of intimate identification, thoughts and views that derive from them, resulting in an active or passive relation to the self and society.
Vedran always draws from life and never fails to emphasise the manifold meanings of its phenomenal aspects. His environments are always places of relaxation and fun that he quite often parodies, as well as places in which personal viewpoints are always put to the test and re-examined, needing to be reset. Although in his works he relatively often uses text he has never been loquacious. Without sermonising, he suggests a permanent upgrading and refreshment of his personal value system, as essential spiritual hygiene without which it is impossible to be and to remain one’s own person in the society of spectacle.
Although Thoughts for March are primarily mobilising at a personal level, they can also and should be read in the context of the artist’s social engagement of denouncing the grey administrative areas. But they are void of an imperative to agitate for a better today and tomorrow, although not of self-irony here and now. They seem harmless while they are provoking the visitors to the game of “involving the brain” in which it seems that solutions are just with reach and in which it is apparently easy rapidly to win. A fallacy.