DUŠAN TODOROVIĆ - RE-VISION OF A FANTASTIC DREAM

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DUŠAN TODOROVIĆ
1945, Kragujevac


 

Todorović graduate from the Academy/Faculty of Fine Arts in Belgrade in 1972 and did his M.A. (1974) at the same institution, Department of Painting, the class of Professor Đorđe Bošan.

He has been a member of ULUS (ASA) since 1974. In 1980 he was chairman of the Association of Artists of Vojvodina - ULUV (presently, SULUV). He is a member of the Association of EUROPEAN ARTISTS in Essen.

He taught at the Arts Academy in Novi Sad as Assistant Professor (1976-1981), Docent (1981-1986), Associate Professor (1986-1992), and Full Professor (1992 until his retirement). From 2004 to 2009 he was Dean of the Academy.

He has been on study tours in almost all European countries; he also received a grant from the Government of Denmark and the „Moša Pijade“ Yugoslav grant for visual artists.

His first solo show was in 1979 in Belgrade (where he also had several more afterwards), and then in many cities in the country and abroad (London, Paris, Budapest, Timișoara, Przemysl, Poland). His first group exhibition was in 1974 in Romania and later on he exhibited in a number of shows in the country and abroad.

He has received many awards.

Todorović has participated in numerous symposia and artists’ colonies.

His works can be found in many public and private collections locally and abroad.

More about the artist in the monograph study: ДУШАН ТОДОРОВИЋ, ВИЗУЕЛНИ ТРАГОВИ, Завод за културу Војводине, Нови Сад, 2017.

 

 

 

 

 

 

PRVA ILEGALNA OPERACIJA (ADAM&EVA) / THE FIRST ILLEGAL OPERATION (ADAM&EVE), 2016, triptih / triptych
 

VIRTUALNI PROLAZNIK (WAP PORTAL)
/ VIRTUAL PASSER-BY (WAP PORTAL),  2017

SKUPTURALNI OBLIK, FESTUMSKI SKAKAČ
/ SCULPTURED FORM,   PAESTUM DIVER, 2014

TELOMERA_ELEKTRONSKA INFORMACIJA, NO MORE FREE SPACE / BODYMEASURE_ELECTRONIC INFORMATION, NO MORE FREE SPACE, 2019

GEOMETRIJA SVETLOSTI_ELEMENTAL (PRELAMANJE) / THE GEOMETRY OF LIGHT_ELEMENTAL (REFRACTION), 2019

 

 




FESTUMSKI SKOK
/ PAESTUM JUMP, 2014

TABLET_E_AKRIL NA PLATNU sa aplikacijama
/ TABLET­_E_ACRYLIC ON CANVAS with applications, 2016

SMS FROM PARADISO 1, 2019

SMS FROM PARADISO 2, 2019

 

RE-VISION OF A FANTASTIC DREAM

 

For almost fifty years Dušan Todorović has served as example of an original activity of a committed intellectual and humanist. He has endowed his stand about contemporary life with a creative form and the following explanation: “To catch the spirit of the time as an abstract dimension beyond the visible space and record reality with an individual experience has been the quality of each artist’s supreme desire.”

            In a witty interpretation of a modern, frequently used part of clothing, he created his cycle ZIP in the 1970s referring to the ambience of contemporary consumers and uniform society.

            In the 1980s and in the wake of New Expressionism, having surrendered to an original version of painterly “ecstasy”, he created his cycle Historical Gardens, both luxurious and libertine.

            At the beginning of the new century he is consumed with an overwhelming incentive to make critical comments, so that the cycle Virtual Passer-by contains powerful social and political metaphors that make him a participant in the changes of contemporary consciousness.

            Numerous symbolic scenes, entitled The First Illegal Operation of Adam and Eve or Technomachia suggest the artist’s philosophic views on dichotomies between the contemporary way of life and his personal doubts of a user of technological benefits and the utopian need to be in Harmony with Nature and God ... The specific quality of these works lies in the scenic appearance of a powerfully energised plastic milieu with intellectually committed and witty poetic commentaries “woven” into it. All this is additionally supported by his comments about the present day society buried under the technological innovations of systems ruled by information war – the one leading to real wars...  Therefore, anyone’s dependence on an ambience overcrowded by screens, telephones and other vehicles of contemporary technology incites the Shakespearean dilemma: “To be or to click – that is the question today”.

            The artist’s ecological awareness suggests his fear from technological civilisation, from meddling with the courses of Nature. What will happen to human kind? The technological system of electronic communication now has the upper hand. In his cycle Museum of Virtual Possessions or Virtual Passer-by, in the space of ready-mades, recycling, re-designing, the same dark figures (metaphoric pictograms) move as silhouettes or guided clones in uncorrelated directions, directed behind the screen by “The Man from the Shadow”... It is the world of virtual sensations where the use of black light contributes to surrealistic visual effects...

            Equally turned to classical painting and modern technologies, Todorović has been, as he himself says, “on a seesaw” when applying either of those approaches. There is a profound agreement between an idealist and a sceptic, a dreamer and a cynic, a manual builder and a technical manipulator...

            On this affluent and creatively diverse creative path, the present day phase seems to be a logical continuation – conceptually, plastically and visually. The artist has called it, after one of his paintings SMS from Paradiso, as a kind of “instruction” for the entire cycle of works entitled The First Illegal Operation of Adam and Eve. Those pictures, objects, assemblages and luminokineme, are free from all “additional” iconographic elements in order to focus on the mythological silhouettes of Adam and Eve. Now, the reduced space can be interpreted also as the artist’s ideological “purification” from existential fear in relation to manipulative technicist strategies and ecological peril.

            By invoking archetypal symbols, such as the Tree of Knowledge and the labyrinthine scheme (path to the “way out”) he suggests a heretic viewpoint about the “status” of Eve, thus promoting her role as the provocateur of “the original sin” into a new symbol of total liberation of man’s creative thought, mind and spirit...

            The act of receiving the “apple of sin” takes place in the mystic – mythological space of luminoambience, among the dark silhouettes of the protagonists. The dramaturgy of the scene accentuates the model of the key symbol – the bitten apple of sin on a separate stand illuminated by UV rays. It is simultaneously the fore-symbol of the original sin and the sublime act of liberation ... Light is the metaphor of spiritual light and power...

            In the next, acrylic painting, a similar scene contains the lettristic segment that reads ILLEGAL OPERATION, “certified” by the form of bitten apple in a medallion.

            In that way we all become “witnesses” of the ambivalence of the mentioned symbol and its allusion to the contemporary Macintosh sign of the APPLE. A representation of myth in contemporary civilisation...

            Equally impressive is the scene based on the concept of LIBERATION that we follow in the cycle of spatial installations Paestum Jump, entitled after the Cretan fresco of the same name (from 480-470 BCE), where the basic idea acquires a new visual and plastic staging... The mythological representation of the naked Diver is transformed by means of computer stylisation into the metaphor of full corporeal and spiritual liberation. The conceptual arrangement of the artist follows the impressive staging of objects (metal, acrylic sheets, canvas as tablet, plasma, screen, black light) that certify the current value of the myth and link the past with the present.

            The archetypal symbol of BAPTISM by submerging into water has meant, in different periods and different civilisations, the purification from sin, new birth in the spirit of a new man... Water, as materia prima, as a symbol of purification, at the same time keeps in its structure, in its elements, memory of the past, the present and the future...

            Dušan Todorović emphasises his fundamental credo: A LIBERATED CREATIVE SPIRIT AND THE ARTIST’S IMAGINATION CAN CHANGE THE WORLD.

Ljiljana Slijepčević

 

 

 




A few sentences about the antinomic ambience

 

THE REVISION OF A FANTASTIC DREAM

 

            My artistic activity has been inspired by the postulates of time and the functioning of computers insatiably feeding on questions and answers, on an enormous quantity of information that we naively believe to be our possession while, in fact, when the computer is not ready to offer them we are practically confronted with a large void in our own knowledge. Therefore, most computers carry the warning: „This machine has no brain, use your own!“

            By using the systems that free our brain from memories and recollections, also our unrestrained imagination as well as adopted learning, we enter the world of virtual sensations with short flashes of vague associations, and leave our memory to oblivion.

            I believe that the role of art is to be the general signpost, warning and essential refreshment in the worn-out and bleak times. Without it the world would certainly be poorer.

 

THE BIG TRAP

 

            The virtually-real is a formatted ambience of a materialised mental inbox, buried under a multitude of information, but essentially it is a personalised dialogue with time.

            The contemporary world has become a perfect global trap that depersonalises us and transforms us into addicts of the info_screen system. We are living in a labyrinth of information, alienated by the rule of the screen, while real life is passing by.

 

Dušan Todorović