October 3rd - 13th, 2014
Pictures from Nešković’s series Otvoreno (Opened) (since 2009) were made by a well-casted roller, almost mechanically, repetitiously and periodically, as if the painter was some kind of pre-programmed oscillator that repeats the motion. Top to bottom, from left to right, at correct, defined intervals, which are lost in the final result before impressions of the space intersection. These images are both manual and mechanical, programmed and aleatory, both conceptual and decorative.
The oscillator is the key component of every mechanical (as well as quartz and digital) timer. The simplest oscillation principle is spring weight. The system is in equilibrium when the spring is static, and when the spring is dynamized, a return force emerges that tends to return the mass to balance. But also motion inertia appears, delaying the balance, and the oscillation period can be extended if a constant force, such as gravity, is added to the oscillation system. The oscillator is an object-machine that repeats the same movement constantly and again, and which initiated by the movement itself.
However, time is the movement, repetition, existence, but also a form in which some life is inhaled. This is the case of Nešković’s watches a whole “domestic” cultural field which determines why the watch is in the form of Disney Goofy, and some are covered in brass, why some watches bear the logo of a perished socialist company. The installation of the wall clocks collection is supplemented by a video, where we see him with red tape on the hand with on which is written “Dežurni (Attendant)”, walking in equal intervals from left to right, and from right to left, each time going out of the frame edge. With his movement, we can measure time, as the periodicity and repetition of time define his movement. Staticity and dynamism become one and do not lead to resolution, but each time they are harmonized as Now and Here.
Although in his fifty-year-old work, mostly accepted in this region, Nešković’s work was characteristically the subject of some diminished misunderstanding, which, as a rule, materialized in a gossip. One Belgarde artist creates illustrations of accumulated goods purchased mainly on flea markets. He made an indicative comment about Nešković’s watches exposed with his series of pictures called “Opened” at the 50th October Salon five years ago. Many watches have been collected for this installation and they were presented without any artistic sense because they were just overwhelmed on the walls, and are not “arranged” following some clear concept or form.
This suggests that the local art scene is characterized by a strong polarization (in accordance with both ideological and aesthetic) and constant expression of the need for the consensus establishment between two scene gender: between the artists who remain faithful to the traditional perception of art and aesthetics (in the time of need to mark “Serbian art”; and artists who are bound by a common concept of “conceptualism”, which is mostly misunderstood and called “influence from the west”. This “reconciliation” is often phrased through the need for style, and the artists are praised by whether they have succeeded in reconciling imposed differences, both aesthetic and conceptual, painting and installation, drawings and videos, etc.
However, Nešković’s position precisely refuses to reject this polarization as well as the dream of reconciliation. His position could be summarized in painting – yes, but not aesthetics; conceptualism – yes, but not mystification of dematerialized creativity. Nešković’s watches are fragments of this fracture drawn from a pot of domestic culture.
(More info: Branislav Dimitrijević, Predrag Nešković – “Ovo nikada nije bilo”, Vujačić collection, Belgarde 2014)