Saša Janjić, Reality Cut-outs, 2009
“… each form is the face that watches us…”, Serge Daney
What is reality? What we see, what we feel or what we know about the world that surrounds us. We rarely stop and think about it because it goes without saying, and yet to each of us it is different.
Somebody said once that memories are not what we have been through but what we remember. The same can be said about the experience of reality. Branislav Nikolić does not lean on memories or what he has experienced in his work. His starting points are realistic items that he collects, notes down and modifies. They are every-day mundane objects which become aesthetic once they are separated and replaced from their usual contexts. Branislav Nikolić’s paintings move along the trace of pop research of industrial products which the artist ambivalently plays with constantly. Volumes of notebooks of printed matter, newspaper cut-outs, pages from magazines, different packaging materials. They are all heroes of our times, products of consumer culture
When you extract an item or its part from its usual environment, it does not represent anything by itself, but if you reduce it to the level of form, which has a feature of a sign, then it can be a prototype and yet a symbol, too. In the simulation times of simulacrum the world is created by simulation models which almost completely replace reality. By applying Baudrillard’s theory, Branislav creates a meta-space where the form is the primary and building element. By transforming products of the modern civilisation he creates a new simulation model which, on both the formal level and on the level of meaning, represents the view of the other. Why the other? Well, maybe because contrary to the very item which closes down due to the style and personal signature, Branislav Nikolić’s forms expose something that exists only during an encounter, during a dynamic relationship that is established between his statement and other forms.
His images are reduced, minimalistic clean and naked, with a form which dominates. Yet, the very beauty of the form is not the goal by itself. Although seemingly simple, his paintings are multidimensional because they involve images of values that a modern society writes into forms recognizable to all of us. There we can see a modern man’s fascination with goods which completely take up the space of our social and cultural lives, and the capital alone reaches such levels of accumulation that it becomes a painting.