The Appeal of Inconsequence

by gerhard gross | pdf


Dejan Grba, a video installation, Dom omladine Gallery, Belgrade, 2006.

About the video piece a by Dejan Grba

The highest possible precision shapes the way Dejan Grba works. So does the reduction to the smallest possible number of components that can achieve fundamental meaning within the textual concept. In a negative case, this consequence can generate a result that withdraws itself from individual perception through overreaching clarity and purity to such a degree, that it appears as a detached and sterile construct. In a positive case, this consequence can generate a result that charges the natural content of the original material through overreaching clarity and purity, and thereby opens new spaces.

a is the invitation to the viewer to devote himself to an intimate meditation that reveals private snapshots of the artist in fast motion. In a clearly outlined way the relation of time lapse and image are predefined and executed through daily selection. Via morphing, the 365 self-portraits of a year-long period are being merged to screen sequence that is particularly expressive and effective through certain inconsequence.

The specifications of identical light situation and perspective are not realizable over a long period. Hence, the resulting change from motif to motif within the metamorphosis actually takes ad absurdum the technical possibilities of the computer and should clearly be interpreted as a flaw. But exactly this ‘shortcoming’ marks an advantage compared to a technically perfect animation.

In addition to the documentary image of a consistently changing daily form, the slightly varying angle and the diverse light/shadow settings within the screen sequence induce a subtle motional instant in the face of the portrayed. A mimic expression develops, which seems to transgress the privacy of the viewer in its assumed intimacy. The viewer is to expose himself to the oversized, horizontal projection to his side and thereby put himself into a pseudo-intimate face-to-face position with the portrayed person.

Dejan Grba does not make the mistake of making technical perfection of his subject matter. He uses the technical possibilities to give a temporal dimension to the classical subject of self-portrait, which is furthermore expanded by an acoustic element – a kind of personal and coded additional information. In classical portrait, composition often plays a decisive role for the content of the image. In a, the formal requirements are being reduced to the most basic form conceivable. Solely the expression of the face at the moment of exposure is relevant. It emblematized exactly one day in the life of the artist. Through the quick progression of images the meaning of that stage in life is put into perspective and its transience is documented without emotions.

Gerhard Gross, The Appeal of Inconsequence: About the video piece a by Dejan Grba, a exhibition catalogue, Dom omladine Gallery, Belgrade, 2006.