Globalism and Transition

by miodrag šuvaković | pdf


Dejan Grba, Le Lotus Bleu, 1998-2001.

Dejan Grba (Bored to Death, 1998-2001 and Le Lotus Bleu, 1998-2001) works with the non-expressive presentations of the symbolic aspects of human relations mediated through cartoons, photography or film. He achieved a completely ‘cool’ position in presenting the structure of contemporary alienation, and the cancellation of the ideology of the visible human relations and ‘existentialist humanism’. The artist has performed the painterly representations of a new visual kind – the produced and distributed ‘artificial imagery’ in the place of Lacanian Real. The Real is covered with the image and suppressed from the conscious into the field of potentiality and ambush that may erupt from that field.

Grba has created a precise and strict painterly poetics in which the relationship between the manual and mechanic image is conjured in mutual reference. In other words, the image is painted manually but in such way that it strictly resembles a technical product: a media imprint. Thus he achieves an affect of alienation and a deconstruction of ‘aura’ in Benjamin’s sense. The narrative background of his paintings (in cartoons, photography or film) Grba reduces to the elementary figurative units that are deprived of the capacity for telling a story of this-and-that but became isolated, iconic units which can be included into any narrative system performed by the viewer’s gaze.

Miodrag Šuvaković, Serbian Art in the 20th Century, Volume 1: Radical Art Practices, pp. 850-853: Painting in the Age of Media / Contemporary Paradigms: Globalism and Transition, Orion Art, Belgrade, 2010.