ZDRAVKO JOKSIMOVIĆ

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A Personal View

TODAY EVERY NONENTITY HAS A STATEMENT

     Today, everybody has a statement. Embellished and made-up. It tells us that he/she knows what he/she wants, at least pretends to know. And whatever happens on the way from the artist to the audience, all that is just a pattern which has only shuffled the cards differently, reassigned the roles and disturbed the usual arrangement of duties and obligations. The meaning has been promoted to the key position and perceived as the promised land, as the prime award that can be drawn from a work of art. Everybody feels to have the right to structure it, use and distribute it, to be the monopolistic factor, the child of global politics. In that skiddy field, in front of the semantic fortress that should be conquered, looted and put under control, that is the place and reason to cross swords, found modern strategies and assemble various interest groups. From curators, custodians, selectors and managers one cannot see the artist or his work. Obviously, everything has become politics and under diverse hypocritical excuses and arrogant tortures of seemingly free information, politics arrives everywhere and before all, at any time of day and night. Our thanks to the abundance of information how to become a successful artist. Our thanks to the hidden distributor who thinks on us, calls us friends and apparently takes care of our ambitions and needs. So that we could be accomplished as professionals and find the place we deserve. So that we could comfortably settle into a certain context that regulates everything and endows everything with meaning. If you are not a professional, you are not within an officially approved context, where are you? You are nowhere. You cannot allow this these days. You have to be somewhere, refer to something, be a part of something. Even if you follow your rebellious nature trying to make your works subversive, provocative, current and anarchic, you can do all that today, but you have to know how. you only need to fill in the application with credible data twenty-four hours before you even think of making anything and everything will be OK. Someone has to approve because someone has given him/her licence to be engaged in that.

     And so on... you know the story. It is so easy to become and be an artist today. It is all a pattern... fortunately, not everybody must succumb and accept this game.

     I have always been doing what I wanted to do.

     My thanks to the state without an art market, without art criticism, and even less interest, thanks to the state where the same audience is circling so that we all feel like a family, where the largest and most important museums are not functioning, only thinking of become functional again one day, thanks to the state where not a single studio has been built in the last fifty years, where monuments only reveal misunderstanding with the commissioner and elevate to another level the misunderstanding with the audience or public, but are in fact just one-time, matinée political-cultural spectacles, thanks to the state that gives you a pension when you are fifty but calls you young and talented until you are sixty-five, thanks to the state that allocates so little funds that such a negligence can hardly be explained, the state which no longer recognises honorarium as a remuneration for artistic work, which pretends not to know that everything has its price because a good sculpture cannot be made from nothing... and let me not enumerate any longer, thanks for the enormous misunderstanding that generously removes any need of obligation, except before myself. I answer only to myself and my ambition to say something about my most persistent feelings and the world... that surrounds me. I still feel sufficient passion and desire to further develop the means of expression inherited by the visual art for many generations. I believe it is of equal importance what is done and how it is done. I still classify art only too good and bad, regardless of the medium it uses. Thanks to the professional pedagogue whose duty is to demystify whatever can be illuminated and who endeavours to give the problems and solutions the right names. My thanks to the state which has burdened me, if with nothing else, then with the freedom that one has to fight every time anew.

I have always been careful what and where to exhibit my works.
I have never made any work for sale.
Even when working on commissions I endeavoured to do it conscientiously.
I believe that this occupation I have performed professionally for thirty years is a privilege.
Between routine and duty there are always moments of joy and pleasure.
Pleasure is something you appreciate more with age.
And I exhibit together with Aleksandar Rafajlović, out of sheer pleasure.
I hope that this feeling of pleasure will be the best guide through the exhibition.