Installation View

a project by veljko onjin | pdf


Veljko Onjin, Installation View No. 407, lambda print, 2003.

In the last couple of years, a number of the emerging artists at the Belgrade art scene base their productions upon their relationships with the world of media. Although it encompasses a wide array of positions and approaches, they are all characterized by the ethical and æsthetic ambivalence towards the technological aspects of the media they operate within, towards their contents and their sense and, finally, towards their own authorial positions. And while the scope and the degree of self-consciousness which breeds that ambivalence certainly vary from one artist to the other, a thought-provoking example of this new trend is the Installation View project by Veljko Onjin that was recently presented at the DKSG Gallery in Belgrade.

Installation View is a series of Veljko Onjin’s digital 3D objects composed into photographs that emulate the photo documentation of his sculptures, installations and performances as presented at prestigious international shows. This project builds its identity on self-cancellation, thus revealing the two crucial facts of artistic success: that intensive monitoring and understanding of art scene is essential for surviving on it, and that representation of an artist’s production can be far more critical career-wise than the quality of documented works. However, Onjin’s thematization of artistic pragmatism that might seem obscene only if perceived out of context of the world that necessitates it, is neither programmatic nor moralizing. Doubts that accompany artists’ attempt of distancing toward requirements of the trade are employed by the artist as a natural mise-en-scene for a vigorous demonstration of pure, uninhibited creative joy.

Onjin’s objects and animations merge the horror of ghastly snuff traumas with adolescent lustfulness and myths of omnipotence in hyper-existentialist design of computer games. The nasty, intimidating forms and actions of freakishly regressive mutants, although ironic, are packed with the sour appeal of transgression that brings the illusion of sense to our everyday actions, remaining one of the major artistic challenges. But simulating transgression within the gallery space which automatically immunizes it by making it socially acceptable, functions as a critique of the naivety of art practices that attempt to correspond with the world through excess.

In the production of his bizarre memories of the future, Veljko Onjin establishes a different, more consequent and far more relevant contact with reality. By creatively ‘abusing’ the digital environment, whose crucial influence to our structuring and understanding of the world largely surpasses that of traditional arts, Onjin transforms and relativizes reality, endowing it with virtuality that is constructed by layering of previously unknown truths.

Culture - Art - Science No. 40/LI, 12 January, Politika, Belgrade, 2008, p. 12.