Revolution of Insanety or Sacral Soberness of Life?

Darko Kuzmanovic’s exhibition “Relations” focuses on questions of interpersonal communication and relations, including the problem of individualization, as well as communication with spiritual and symbolic elements, by foremost with archetypical pictures. Positioning of separate figures points to inability of communication, despite their apparent mutual interaction. Vertical or horizontal direction of figures symbolizes orientation of energy of communication towards the transcendental or to space/ nature, excluding establishing of interpersonal contact. Some of the figures although, are in relation of direct connection, where the physical contact is presented as spiral extension, which indicates the deformation of particular figure, that can be interpreted as a kind of change of personality or its depersonalization in striving to achieve completeness in connecting with the Other.
Figures presented in free movement seem like trying to establish communication with the observer, provoking him to search for meaning, moving from banal associations to deep revelations. Caricature and simplification of expression seduce the observer, to whom the scenes seem naive and uncrafty at first. This achieves humorous separation from pathetical and easy-to read “purpose”, downplayed to already seen answers to which we arrive without true inquisitiveness, and which are often presented via medium of realistic and plastic imagery. Nor wanting to cater to the eye of an average consumer of art, neither to sophisticated conceptual mind of a few selected connoisseurs, Kuzmanovic is trying to set us free from pre conviction and common concepts of an “artistic idea”.

Some of the works underline the relation between figure and spirituality, mostly symbolized by round backgrounds, halos and recognizable symbols of infinity or enlightenment (Sun, Moon, stars, the bluishness…) Precisely the relation to the spiritual, and displayed longing of the figures toward union with absolute, signalized in broad specter of ways, represents the second surface of meaning of the exhibition. As a pendant to this longing for union with the absolute, which usually implies elevation, vertical upward movement; appears a figure which symbolizes the fall. Idealized picture of spiritual elevation is challenged by pointing out to its opposite extreme – fall, and the (en)light of the halo – indication of emptiness. Elevation/ absolute and plunge/ emptiness as inseparably connected urges and destinations of human endeavour bring to question philosophical and religious notions of achieving perfection, and point to paradoxical and ironical-melancholic essence of a man as finite being directed towards the infinite.

“Relations” are therefore artistic explication of provisory of human existence. If what we live is the state of temporality in which we play different roles – comical, tragical, filled with happiness, irony, suffering or boredom, banality, sacredness, craziness or sobriety- there remains fragile hope that we will somehow escape finality. Human existence in time, presented in Kuzmanovic’s work, moves on a scale from playfulness to rigid ceremonially, with never solved dilemma whether what we need is revolution of insanity or sacral soberness of life.

Ivana Bašić