Conquistador. Iz kulture i umetnosti, Salon Muzeja savremene umetnosti, kustos: Dušan Savić i Una Popović
Beograd, 22/02 – 25/03/2019
CONQUISTADOR. FROM CULTURE AND ART – Mariela Cvetić
The starting point of the exhibition is the rug covering Freud’s couch, which together with the couch has become a metonymy for psychoanalysis itself — its history, praxis, cultural function and its critique; it has gained an iconic status that long ago surpassed its original function. As an object and interior element, the couch has oriental provenance, while the rug has nomadic characteristics: it originates and exists in the realm of nomadism. Nomadism does not only apply to physical movement, but also to mental processes (self- analysis). The exhibition also problematizes the geography (and history) of the Balkans through Freud, an atypical (dual) representative of the Western gaze on the Balkans, and through his theories that were formed at the end of the 19th century and have had important implications throughout the 20th century and up to the present. After his return from the Balkans in 1898, Freud perceived himself as a conqueror and psychoanalysis as a campaign, and a successful conquest is always understood in terms of value and profit.
Like a Painting (Paintig cure) is a monochrome acrylic painting on canvas in the original size of Qashqa’ I Shekarlu rug (1:1) — 290 cm × 162cm. It was made in stages or 50 minutes long sessions, over a period of 6 months in 2017, analogous to a series of psychoanalytic sessions. Talking cure received in the analysist — patient exchange took its form as a painting cure, a certain self-analysis in the absence of a regular protocol. This monochrome piece refers to the documentary character of a traveling object (rug): first in the movements of the tribes themselves, then the routes of merchants with the Oriental goods to Vienna, and finally Freud’s exile to London, where it is kept ever since. In addition to the physical nomadic piece, this work also points to its (potential) posterior mental nomadic character, where the artist brings and conducts it through its own ways of words, time, dreams, and weaves/paints its doppelganger.
Like a Consulting Room, an installation/reproduction of the Freud’s sofa set and the elements around him in the same sizes and the layout of the elements (originally at the Vienna Office, now at the Freud Museum in London) where oriental carpets are replaced with the blankets known in the SFRY of the 1970s and 1980s “The Ambassador of the blanket”. These blankets are of different, but usual patterns, colorful, almost delirious in color and drawing. They were a compulsory element of every house in the SFRY, they were produced in several factories (Vutex, Otex), and the break-up of the state ceased production, while they themselves were scattered to different parts. That is why the room staged as Freud’s office with the “ambassador” blankets (the carpet works both as a blanket and as a bedclothes) is understood both as a nomadic (ambassador) and comes as a result of researching the personal past — the childhood times when those blankets were current.
The drawing Like a House was made according to the drawing of Richard Neutra, an Austrian architect who stayed in Trebinje during the First World War in 1915, and according to documents about Freud’s trip to Trebinje in 1898. In September 1898, Freud stayed in Dubrovnik on his trip to the Adriatic Sea, where after being persuaded by his cousin in a military garrison in Trebinje, he made a one-day trip to Trebinje to see the remains of Beg’s house (and possibly a harem that fascinated him) as well as life in them. The important Freud’s texts were written after this visit (to which he himself does not give too much importance in his letters and texts), but the visit itself was fabulous and with unclear dating.
A frieze of drawings Some of the Freud’s symmetries derived from elements from the immediate Freudian environment, seen through the Rorschach eyepiece, Freud’s iconic visual form, now in reverse function: they offer to the viewer named shapes.
Like an Empire is a painting of Austro-Hungarian empire at the passage of centuries in the form of Rorschach’s stains.
Superego is the name/title of an artist’s book, which has ego in the body of the text, and in the footnote id.
Work that deals with Freud’s letter to his friend Karl Abraham written on 26. 7. 1914. on the occasion of the Austro-Hungarian attack on Serbia in 1914 and is presented in the form of a book installation: For the first time in thirty years, I feel myself to be an Austrian, and feel like giving this not very hopeful empire another chance. For all my libido is dedicated to Austri-Hungary.
Like a Narcissus is a series of postcards from different periods and geographies which serves as a document about those who chose them and sent them with a message.
A PSYCHOANALYSIS SO TO SPEAK: A CONQUISTADOR ON SO TO SPEAK HIS OWN COUCH – Jasmina Čubrilo
Through various art procedures, i.e. the use of various media (painting, drawing, ready-made, text, installation), the exhibition Conquistador. From Art and Culture by Mariela Cvetić thematizes psychoanalysis, its major topoi (Freud in the light of selected biographic data, Rorschach’s tests, narcissism, personality structure, doppelganger), the topoi of historical period in which it was formed and developed as an empirical and theoretical discipline (the Balkans in the transition from the 19th to the 20th century and in the first decades of the 20th as a geopolitical cultural intersection of two empires, as a place of bringing about the cultural hegemony of the Western gaze and the experience of the abject in the encounter with its otherness, and as the confusing,
in terms of the psychoanalytical theory of the blind field), also as the associations to its own childhood mediated by the object whose design, branded name (“Ambassador blanket”), and destiny metonymically multiply meanings.
The beginnings of psychoanalysis as a systematized research approach in the study of the psychic processes of modern man and the beginnings of modern art as a way of expressing the experience of modernity share the same historical framework. Throughout the 20th century, these two would come to intersect in various ways: from the examples of artists who in their work visually explored the ideas of psychoanalysis and/or shared their interest with it when it comes to the origin of dreams and fantasies, research on the subject, identity, sexuality, to appropriating psychoanalytic terminology in art and above all in the history of art, and not just as an interpretative tool for a more adequate analysis of artwork referring to or structured by the ideas of psychoanalytic theory, but also in the purpose of modeling an interdisciplinary methodological approach precisely for the reason that art is substantially or closely determined by the gaze, the relationship to reality, production of reality, projection of desire, etc. It is only after one approaches the theory as a structural asset, the debate about psychoanalysis in art/history of art acquires its more functional destination. Otherwise, if psychoanalysis in the field of art, and in the wake of Freud’s relationship to art as a visual content through which along with the biographic data one can analyze the author, is employed this way that would reduce the artwork to a mere symptom the analysis of which would lead to an argument useful for drawing conclusions
relevant for psychoanalysis but not for the understanding of other aspects of artwork (formal-aesthetical, ideological, political, social). The thematization and problematization of psychoanalytic concepts in art practices, on the one hand, and the appropriation of these concepts in textual practices and historically new artistic practices, on the other, share the same starting points: concern for critical examination of the subject as a product of psycholinguistic and social processes, and understanding of “aesthetic experience” as a shifting discursive practice.
The works included in the exhibition/project Conquistador. From Art and Culture in various ways approach the psychoanalysis, its two-fold, practical-theoretical nature and its history: via displaying (Like a Narcissus, Like a Doctor’s House, Like an Austrian), via the appropriation of a standard visual test for diagnosing the psychic and emotional state of a patient and their modification (the cycle Some of Freud’s Symmetries, Like an Empire) and the appropriation of the asymmetrical treatment of the visual and the verbal which presupposes that the truth of the image can be reached only through its translation into the verbal (Like a House). At this exhibition what is deconstructed in a witty and ironic way is not so much the psychoanalysis as the shunning thereof — e.g., the self-analysis
or the transformation of talking cure into painting cure, the postcards with the Narcissus motif, the artist’s book Superego whose main text is composed of the multiplied word ego while the text of the endnote is composed of the multiplied word id. Also, attention is drawn to the mercantile nature of the fundamental assumption of the faith in the efficacy of the psychoanalysis, the assumption about the neutrality and the objectivity of the therapist that is proved (or, from some other perspective, bought) by paying the service.
The comparative particle as in the titles of works pointing to appropriation or imitation of standard procedures and their translation into art procedures makes art into a (bizarre) doppelgänger of the psychoanalysis. Nomadism, physical, intellectual and cultural, implied by the painted copy of a carpet (object traveling from south Persia on merchant roads, via Vienna, and via emigration channels, to London), by the books from the culture and art of the Germanophone zone, by spectacles, contents, post stamps and postcard addresses, by the drawings done according to Richard Joseph Neutra’s drawing with the representation of Beg’s house in Trebinje as a token of a confounding cultural Other, by the blankets in the installation Like a Doctor’s House as a metonymy for the blanket, for a country that is no longer in existence and its vestiges dispersed around the world, is nothing other than chaining of associations, such that we could easily come to the conclusion that this project is structured through psychoanalytic procedure or techniques, just as the project The World According to Me (from 2013) was structured by the psychoanalytic concept of Das Unheimliche.
Finally, the works in this exhibition ask the question of and examine the place, meaning and possibility of painting in contemporary art: installation as tableaux vivant operates more through the logics of the image than the spatial situation incorporating in itself the spectator; the ensemble of arranged ready-made postcards has the format of the image; installation/ensemble of books is also an image… The exhibition raises the concern of the painting in “extended field” i.e. the radical ramification and expansion of the painting, its giving into limitless dislocations and fragmentations in other media. At the end, which however is not of less importance, the exhibition discreetly asks the question of the artist’s work (Like a Painting) taken as a kind of a mental process, the elaboration of signs ripe with knowledge, its meaning and “competitiveness” with, for example, the work of a psychoanalytic therapist.
The exhibition Conquistador. From Art and Culture brings to light lateral and less familiar facts from Freud’s life such as the trip to Trebinje, or his identification with the invader/adventurer when it came to his professional orientation, i.e. in the crucial historical moment, in July 26, 1914, with the Austrian nation, recognizing in it the true, all-encompassing, total national identity in which all other identities within the multiconfessional and multinational Empire blend in. Thus, they obtain the value of memory traces, of the outburst of the unconscious within official histories,
being only fragments, unregulated, with non-articulated meaning, attaining their meaning through symbolization done by artworks.
Das Unheiliche: on (un)translatable (Das Unheiliche: Über das (Un)Übersetzbare),
Galeriie“Wechselstube”, Goethe-Institut Belgrad, 2017
Exhibition Das Unheiliche: on (un)translatable is part of the project “The World According To Me” started 2010 and for the first time exhibited 2013 in Cultural Center Belgrade, Belgrade. Project was articulated as an installation, and now it comprises photographs and drawings as an “mobile archive” which represents itself.
Knez Mihailova 53/Knez Mihailova 53
Galerija FLU, Beograd, 2014
Knez Mihailova 53, Knez Mihailova 53 is project made for Fine Art Faculty Gallery, Belgrade. Installation made of of the machine made lace is in the middle of the Gallery stretched between two columns and it is same size as entrance portal. Thus, this entrance portal (door and window) is “translated” as lace made portal: they both become doubles. Being transparent, it is possible to see through it. Public space of the street and inside public space of the gallery is connected. Also, the project refers to Marko Stojanović private house designed by architect Konstantin Jovanović in 1889. Later on, this house inhabited the Fine Art Academy.
The World According To Me,
Kulturni centar Beograd, Beograd, 2013
Facts: Formally, Mariela Cvetic’s project The World According to Me is in a kind of fluid state. At this moment, it is in the process of being articulated as an installation comprising a scale model and photographs. The central part of the installation is a scale model of a dollhouse in real size, made of the usual scale model materials (cardboard and modeling paste), by hand, precisely, meticulously. The surfaces of its elements are painted and varnished or sandpapered, depending of their nature; however, all are the results of a painting procedure which, though rooted in illusionist painting, often (particularly on larger „furniture“ surfaces) evokes C. Greenberg’s qualification „oriented to flatness“… >>> >>> More.
L’orangerie, Library at Faculty of Architecture
Re-enactment does not always have to be conscious decision and strategy of the author; sometimes artistic act or work are subsequently interpreted this way, in both cases history repeats itself, or: Life, once again. Re-enactment does not emphasizes, but promotes the occurrence or event in the history (of art) and gives itself the task to find meaning in it, because only the repetition creates differences in which meaning is produced. Cross-reenactment, not merely doubling: Hamlet, re-enactment of the king’s death in Hamlet, L’Orangerie Museum, re-enactment of Les Nymphéas in room 236, Hamlet’s clouds and Ofelia’s death in the water lilies …
La Biennale di Venezia, 2008
Exhibition Pavilion of Republic of Serbia on 11th International Architecture Exhibition, Authors: Ljiljana Blagojević, Dragan Vasiljević Tomić, Vladimir Milenković, Mariela Cvetić and Tatjana Stratimirović
Architecture contumacia, Gallery Remont (Gallery Remont)
Podizani iz ličnih pobuda, kompleksa i slabosti, uobraženih strahova, strasti ili tajnih hobija, zidovi su tokom istorije okruživali, a neki i danas okruzuju, “carstva” na ovom i drugim kontinentima: koliko ih okružuju da spreče da se u njih uđe, toliko i da se iz njih i ne izađe. Međutim, kroz/preko njih, pre ili kasnije, ipak se prolazi, u jednom kao i u drugom smeru, jer ne postoji zid koji neće biti srušen i koji jednog dana neće postati arheologija; samo žrtve u svojim neuspešnim pokušajima prelaska ostaju neizbrojane i zaboravljene. Ono što ponekad počinje kao četrdesetodnevno sanitetsko osmatranje putnika često traje vekovima – lazaret i svet van njega jedno su isto.
Catoptric Room, Library at Faculty of Architecture
Koncept, The Advancement of Learning – Kao čin romantičarskog solipsizma, čitanje najčešće rezultira ekspanzijom ličnosti: čitamo da bismo saznali nešto što ne znamo. Postoji i obrnut proces: čitati da bi se kondenzovala sopstvena ličnost. U oba slučaja, međutim, ideja da se konačno znanje o svetu može naći u knjigama opovrgava se pogledom u te iste knjige: ono što se o predmetu čita, samo su različite percepcije kulturnih perspektiva. Knjige uvek govore o drugim knjigama i svaka priča ispoveda već ispripovedanu priču. Biblioteka je katoprička soba iz koje nema izlaza, a čitaoci zajedno sa najboljim duhovima čovečanstva, začarani u njoj lutaju. Postupak, forma – Na primer, tačka presecanja romana Ernesta Hemingveja i Umberta Eka je u stihovima Džona Dona. To je način na koji su knjige međusobno vezane prologomenama kao malim alkama u lancu. Libri katenate i enkaustika. Upotrebiti motive tako da ispremeću ideje a ne da ih uteraju u red. A opet, Sumatra.
Real estate, Gallery Graphic Collective (Gallery Graficki kolektiv)
Niz radova predstavljen na ovoj izložbi započeo je kao komotna igra iscrtavanja oblika, konacno neuhvatljivih, a u funkciji da se zadrže na papiru, da ih se ima, tek zarad hedonizma, a u vremenu benignom i neograničenom. Period benignosti bio je, medjutim, pod izmenjenim okolnostima kojima se, individualno, može duže ili kraće odolevati, smenjen vremenom u kome su više ne samo motivi crteža, unapred zadati kao fragilni, čak himerički, već i crteži sami, kao i mesto njihovog nastajanja, postali nespokojni i nebezbedni. Jednom imobilizirani motivi postali su iznova ugroženi. U takvim složenim mešavinama osećanja i spoljnjih uticaja nastajali su crteži, na izvesan način kao biografski talog jednog vremena, sada translirani u prostor Galerije i ponudjeni gledaocu da učini napor i pronadje tačku gledišta crtača – tačku sa koje se gleda. Svaki rad je datiran i jedino je autoru poznato vreme njegovog nastanka.
The Kyrenia range-beyond the mirror, Installation in Hadjigeorgiakis street
Nicosia, Cyprus, 2000
Installation along street Hadjigeorgakis, Nicosia, Cyprus. Right side: photography of The Kyrenia range that devide the island on cypriot and turkish part, dimensions: 40 cm x 10 m. Left side: mirror that reflects the picture, making „visible“ the other side ,dimensions:10 cm x 10 m.
Objects, Gallery of Dom Omladine (Gallery Doma omladine)
Hamlet: Vidite li onaj oblak koji gotovo ima oblik kamile
Polonije: Bogami, zaista je nalik na kamilu.
Hamlet: Čini mi se da liči na lasicu.
Polonije: Leđa su mu kao u lasice.
Hamlet: Ili na kita
Polonije: Vrlo je sličan kitu.(1)
Nemoguće je u istom trenutku odrediti položaj i oblik oblaka(2).
Postoji bar jedan element pejzaža koga se ne može ( niti se sam može ) kontrolisati. Nebo(3) je
moguće registrovati fotografskom kamerom, moguća je i istina 24 puta u sekundi, ali to i dalje neće
imati veze sa onim što se zaista događa. Stalna promena koncentracije i boje, promena brzine
kretanja u pravcima x, y i z ose – sapliće svako optičko pomagalo, a svaki pokušaj da se priroda
objasni pomoću mera propada upravo zbog neba.
I mada od Luka Hauarda(4), bar za meteorologe, oblaci bilo na kojim geografskim širinama izgledaju isto,a njihov broj uvek konačan, istrajnom gledaocu svaki je oblak u svakom trenutku drugi oblik. Ono što se oku neposredno nudi tek je povod za pitanja:
Šta je ispred, a šta iza?
Kad je nebo belo na plavom, a kad plavo na belom?
Kao mesto koje samo pogled dotiče i za koje ruke nikad neće saznati ( jer je za oblak zauvek osujećena taktilnost), oblak postaje slobodna zona (nepoznata geografija – nema karta sa konstantno promenjivim granicama) dovoljno komotna da u sebe sve upiše, ali da u isto vreme pokrene rad sećanja i ponudi putovanja.
Međutim: dugo gledanje u rasplinute oblake ume splin da vrati gledaocu, a tuga što je izaziva efemerno može da potraje.
(1) Šekspir,V. Hamlet, prevod S.Pandurović
(2) Vidi : Hajzenberg, Verner: princip neodređenosti
(3) O važnosti neba u pejzažu Konstejbl ( John Constable) piše: It will be difficult to name a class of landscape in which the sky is not a key note, the standard of scale and the chief organ of sentiment. –Leslie.C.R.: Memoirs of The Life of John Constable, Phaidon Press Limited, 1995, str.73.
(4) Luke Howard, engleski meteorolog amater, 1803. izvršio klasifikaciju oblaka na ciruse,kumuluse istratuse. Oduševljen njegovim radom, Gete mu je posvetio ciklus pesama Howard Ehrengedachtnis
(M.C., tekst u katalogu, decembar 1997.)