Sebastijan Vojvoda: Future is not what it used to be

Novmber 7th - 17th, 2017 > Koče Popovića 9

Sebastijan Vojvoda – Future is not what it used to be

Abstract geometry painting by Sebastijan Vojvoda

Abstract geometry painting by Sebastijan Vojvoda is confusing at first glance by the choice of aesthetic forms, shapes, and colors, which was already adopted long ago. The works at the Belgrade exhibition are one possible choice from many works that Vojvoda has been realizing for a long time. Why choosing just these pictures, and why they are placed exactly this way at the Belgrade exhibition… for the artist, it does not matter at all. The composition could have been different, more dynamic, more gentle…

Vojvoda in his entire artistic life tries to draw the line between the creation of aesthetics and attitudes. His stance is based on the precise reasoning of the social events context and their impact on the painting praxis itself. Therefore, by deleting this line of separation, these works should be placed in an already used position. However, Vojvoda points us to the field of many memories derived from the abstract geometry painting, he also knows the historical consequences of certain epochs of painting in the last thirty years. For him, the painter Kazimir Maljevič, or the art of the early Russian avant-garde, is important, not because of iconographic seduction, but because of the ideology legacy that is brought during this epoch. For Vojvoda, the ideology of left-wing discourse is crucial, and with his paintings, he emphasizes with distinctive red passages and black verticals and horizontals, which are frames. The use of a square basis is intentional, conceptualized, which defines Vojoda as the artist who knows what he wants in the environment from which he comes. But why is the position on the opposite side so important to Vojvoda? What would be the essence of this position? For Vojvoda the subject of reconsideration, the repositioning of the connection between art and ideology is a “quote”, or quotation of already common models in which art is always a reflection of reality, therefore, a determinant. By re-problematizing his work, he examines the ideology of the dominant code of postdigital spectacular images, images of the screen, spectacle, consumption, therefore, everything that neoliberal capitalism imposes as the only paradigm. As if he’s sculpting such images or objects to the audience, with the idea of changing their identities that are now based on a discourse of pixels. By the fact that his works are within the already known model of geometric abstraction, the danger of wrongfully understanding his work has been avoided. The visuality of his work is quoted and not fictitious. Vojvoda builds these images in the same way as someone borrowed an object and put it in his narrative. He confirms the thesis that there are no phenomena, unless if it’s not multifaceted by a political, economic, cultural… it must be shaped under the influence of some ideological conception. If they abandoned the formal artistic, aesthetic determinants of these works than they would find themselves in a very slippery situation. What could it be “left” in his work and life? The square is a very direct appropriation of Kazimir Maljević square, a recognizable iconography of the Russian avant-garde. However, Vojvoda perceives the square ground as an elementary posture. The square is intentionally chosen conceptualized dimension. this view can be a quote, and it can also be a logical continuity of the principal. Both positions are intentional and with such a quotation, Vojvoda emphasizes the creation of the attitude about an epoch, but with the idea which is part of his everyday life, the discourse of the Russian avant-garde is deliberately placed in the center of private life activities. His social engagements are derived from the art and, as such, try to induce associations of the large cultural project from the beginning of the 20th century, to directly problematize relation’s in today’s Croatian society. Vojvoda, without calculating, defines the position of the artist in his midst who is threatened by the dramatic colonization of the implemented positions of cleric aesthetics. Here the cleric aesthetic notion is used as an attitude towards the dominant aesthetic of the screen, digital machines, companies, corporations, advertisements, consumption… He knows that after the revolutions in Russian society, relations between society and art must be based on a model in which artistic work is composed of the society material, but also relates that critically determines and encodes it. Symbols with wich Vojvoda operates to create tension between him and society. His paintings are personalized in the same way as classical painting. When concentrating on the way of the painting, apropos of the constructing way, the structure itself within geometric shapes, we encounter the experience of classical art painting. Vojvoda builds the structures of his image in the same way as the master artists built after the Renaissance and Baroque era. In this constructive position, Vojvoda paintings offer great possibilities for the functioning of iconography and it’s deliberate ideology. The position of such signs represents the continuity of the suppressed art of avant-garde movements from the beginning of the 20th century, expressed by the art of color painting in the context of digital machine aesthetics. This text about the Sebastian Vojvoda exhibition supports his view on the importance of the artist’s work in the time he lives, creates the connection that exists in every society, provides alternatives, but does not create allegories, hidden symbols, but very directly interprets works and conversations with Vojvoda. Vojvoda and this text have the power of depersonalized viewing of the exhibition in one Belgrade gallery.

Živko Grozdanić

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Photo: Skullcheez

Sebastian Vojvoda is born in 1976, Pula. He finished elementary and high school in Poreč. He studied at the Art Academy in Split from 1999 until 2000, after that, he continued to study at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Ljubljana, painting section, in the class of Professor Metka Krašovec. He graduated under the supervision of Professor Zmago Jeraj and Borut Vogelnik in 2006. In 2005 he was a scholar at the Art Academy in Gothenburg, Sweden. In 2012 he graduates postgraduate master’s studies in painting under the supervision of the Professor Bojan Gornec. He participated in various art projects as a designer, photographer and film cameraman. So far he has exhibited at several solo and group exhibitions. He lives and works in Poreč, as a curator and art director at the Public Open University.

Featured exhibitions:
2002 – Townhall, Pula, Ars Atack, a student group exhibition from the Academy of Fine Arts, Istra
The foyer of Istra National Teatre, Pula, Ars Attack Gallery of the Italian community, Rovinj, solo exhibition of painting Gallery Equrna, Ljubljana, students exhibition Academy for Fine Art and Design in Ljubljana
2005 – Rotor Gallery, Göteborg, students exhibition of Art Academy in Göteborg, Sweden
2007 – Gallery MC, Velenje, solo painting exhibition
2008 – Miklova Hiša, Ribnica, students exhibition of second-year master’s degree at ALUO Ljubljana
2009 – Museum of Modern Art – Small salon, Rijeka, Final exhibition of the national photographic competition Photo days, Rovinj
2012 – Town Museum, Rovinj, Art colony, group exhibition
2014 – Poola Gallery, Pula, solo exhibition
2014 – Subgallery MUL, MMC Luka, Pula, solo exhibition
2015 – Forum Gallery, Zagreb, Topology, solo exhibition
2005 – Nomination for the ALUO Ljubljana Student Prize achievements in the final year of the studies
2009 – Finalists on the national photography competition Photo days, Rovinj, in category /art act/