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'So much furniture and light in dis room' by Kristina Nikolić at Voždovačka galerija, Belgrade

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Let’s put words and objects into a system where one can replace the other.

For example: T​his is an image displaying a bridge whose length matches that of your footstep.

In the lack of imagery, words can be everything and anything, concrete terms represent abstract forms. Forms know something and they direct us to meaning, like portals, standing silently one across the other. So we attach our emotions to forms, otherwise we wouldn’t know what to do with them. Things become clear only when given names, up until then they’re mushy, up until then, there’s no boundaries. There is endless projection, a chain reaction: when an object acquires more than one meaning and starts spilling over onto other things. One color mixes with another, metal with cotton, a regular word with a metaphor.

Kristina Nikolić belongs to a generation of artists who treat concepts and art-making as parallel processes, whose art begins before the idea is conceived, through a fascination with visual and verbal phenomena. This kind of art is not concerned with succeeding, as its intentions are often shaped after an artwork has already been materialized. Its identity lingers between formalism (the contemporary aesthetics of the casual, the instant, the weird, the other, the obscure) and concept, going back and forth, just like the term c​ hain ​shifts between two semantic groups, security and imprisonment, corelation and co-dependence.

This exhibition represents a thinking process and a multitude of smaller thoughts at the same time, all affected by the possibility of visual imagination, the influence of local popular culture, a romantic view on human relationships and a desire to simplify love through symbols.

Because of this, we give you chains: a symbol of security and of giving up control for others to deal with, because chains (short or long) have their physical limitations, a distance to which they go. Anything greater seems like a fantasy. This way, the system where words and objects are interchangeable manipulates our ambitions. Through ungraspable terms, such as anxiety, identity, success, dream; And simple things, objects that cannot answer our questions.

We nurture material relationships between people and social relationships between things. We treat objects as if they were human. We want them. We fetishize them. We treat them as something of value. We expect them to make us happy. Objects are witnesses to our experiences, which we use when we want to go back to the past, which make up our present and will probably be there in the future. They are used to adjust collective sentiment and behaviour - euphoria. We put objects on our bodies, so as to feel stronger and more self-confident. Objects have names, and even their names can invoke feelings in us. When placed together, attached one to another, objects build a certain network, intensifying the things that we have already lived through and bringing them back. They create a situation in which any interpretation is possible, because everyone has had a different experience with each of the objects from the network. 

26.2.19 — 9.3.19

Voždovačka galerija - Vozdovac gallery, composed of Natalija Paunić, Aleksandra Stepanović and Marija Bjelić

Text by Natalija Paunić and Kristina Nikolić

Photo by Ivan Zupanc

Voždovačka galerija

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