A three-room installation for GOOD LIFE, the 53rd October Salon at Geozavod, Belgrade.
Curated by Branislav Dimitrijević and Mika Hannula.
Works comprising the installation:
Around About, 2012
Various materials and objects
A floor-based installation comprising several clusters or arrangements of found objects, in which progressively smaller and smaller things are placed inside one another. All of the objects used are loops, circles or ovals – placed on the ground and inserted one inside the other, gradually getting smaller and smaller as they move towards the centre of the arrangement they are a part of. The loops are either intact circular objects, or improvised constructions made by linking together strings, cables and lines of materials.
The act of inserting hollow and circular things into one another muddles the distinct borders between the objects, and between objects and the space they occupy. Exploring the idea of containment and an impossible ambition of attempting to encapsulate and grasp the physical world, the work playfully questions the ways that barriers delineate space and complicates the clear distinction between where one thing ends and another one begins. When an inside of one thing becomes an outside of another, the spatial order is disrupted, and the negative space of a ‘hole’ simultaneously activated and eliminated. The unexpected provisional constellations and meetings between the objects and materials taken from a variety of different contexts bring about a range of new associations, constructing surprising relationships and turning spatial hierarchies on their head.
Door to Door, 2012
A tightly packed line of doors – which have been removed from various rooms inside the Geozavod building – span across the room, from a door on the left-hand side wall to a door on the right-hand side wall. Pushed against one another, the displaced objects connect together two ends of the room, as well as functioning as a through line, a string of sorts connecting together two additional rooms on either side of this middle room. In the two adjacent rooms, additional doors are leaning against the fixed doors, as though denying the existence of walls dividing space into rooms. On the one hand, Door to Door speaks literally about the spatial situation constructed, describing in a concrete sense the intervention and the object relations operating in the room. On the other hand, the doors installed in this way become humanized, suggesting lines of bodies queing one behind the other, waiting in front of doors (presumably for access), or being locked out, or left behind, closed doors. Exploiting a certain absurdity of employing an object which is normally associated with regulating access and entrance, as a thing wanting access and entrance, the work explores the dynamics of mobility and stuckness, collapsing the usual utility and function of the door as an object regulating passage. Released from their hinges and granted provisional mobility by being relocated from their usual location in whichever doorway they used to inhabit, doors – as employed in this work – are transformed into an unmoveable barricade, a wall-like obstruction preventing passage and entrance into the room.
Fenced Off Area, 2012
Reclaimed wood, canvas webbing, staples
Starting from the radiators in the corner of the room and continuing out into the central space, a makeshift crudely constructed fence curves around the area in the floor where some parquet slats are missing, creating an appearance that this hole in the floor has been cordoned off. Evoking strategies of protection of space, prevention of injury, and more generally, regulation of access into an area deemed “un-enterable”, this unfinished, and in places unstable and collapsing, fence structure enacts provisional spatial segmentation, speaking to the temporary nature of organized/divided space, its impermanence and porousness. The gesture of sectioning off a previously existing hole in the floor’s surface with an intervention whose scale is bigger than the scale of the apparent “problem,” invokes the possibilities and problematics of spatial organization – affecting use of space and its navigation. A kind of a parasitic presence in the room, the incomplete fence – which here additionally misrecognizes and incorporates the radiator into its structure – is performing the role of a space divider, as well as an obstacle course, altering both the physical space and the visitors’ movement in it, sending them onto a maze-like path and into a semi-circular spin in the centre of the room.
By cordoning off the central area of the room – drawing a line around the space – this provisional fence constructs and proposes the middle of the room as a staging ground for an undisclosed and unspecified purpose, by designating it as an area separate from the rest of the room, separate from the margins of the space. The act of fencing off an area performs an additional segmentation of the space of the room, creating inside it further instances of ‘inside’ and ‘outside’. Surrounding an area with a cordon gives it a kind of “special status”, and marks it as a space that’s protected, secured, or featured in some way; or else into which (or out of which) access is restricted. The gesture of drawing a line around an area draws attention to it, inviting us to see it as a space of importance and potential, as a space where “something might happen.” At the same time, it’s a gesture that separates both the space and its implied inhabitants, evoking holding pens, animal enclosures, police lines, etc. to speak of the world in which borders, barriers and excessive cordoning have become the norm.
In Holes, 2012
Site specific: Rubber bands, nails
In Holes responds to the existing features of the room’s architecture, intervening upon them by mimicking and repeating, subverting or altering the many holes and openings found in the walls of the room. The intervention enacts two different gestures upon the walls’ cavities using deliberately inadequate materials for the job: openings are either blocked or “repaired” using rubber bands stretched between two nails at each side of the hole; or else additional rubber band loops are created on the walls, clustering around existing holes, excavations and circular obtrusions, suggesting additional openings in places where none exist and creating a playful sense of the room’s surface being riddled with pores and orifices.
ArtPyre (link) – Nov 2020: “Vlatka Horvat: Listening to What the Objects Want.” Feature by Ian Pedigo.
Art Review (pdf) – March 2013: Review by Sara Arrhenius of the 53rd October Salon, Belgrade.