Čisto umazano / Pretty Dirty

O razstavi / Teksti / Umetniki / Kustosi / Zahvale / Mediji / Fotodokumentacija
About the exhibition / Texts / Artists / Curators / Acknowledgments / Press / Photo-documentation

Damijan Kracina: The Ant, video, 3:00 min, 1997

Damijan Kracina (1970) - his basic education was in the classical study of sculpture and a postgraduate study of video and the new media at the Academy of Fine Arts in Ljubljana. He attended several workshops and courses in new media, video and computer arts.
He was the founding member of the Provokart art group, which performed several public art events and projects. He was founder and art director of ARTileria Kluže (1997-2000). He was artist in residency in: Werkstadt Graz, Graz Austria(1998), Studio of Ministry of Culture of RS in New York, USA (2000), Tamarid Institute Albuquerque, New Mexico USA (2002), SFAI Santa Fe, NM, USA (2004). http://www.kracina.com

In his artistic work, Damijan Kracina intensively deals with animals, but as an artist / explorer, not an exploiter. He also brings their existence into the sphere of the visible, but without the authoritative voice imposing "true" conclusions. On the contrary, in an unpretencious way, he tries to let them "speak" for themselves. As we can see in his video-installation Talk to Me Like Lovers Do (1997), this is impossible: the spectator is trying to have a conversation with the fish, hear her message, only to hear again the echo of his own voice. This is a subtle criticism of the superior position of man. The video Ant (1997), presented at the exhibition Pretty Dirty, shows an ant - the insect which, in the categorization of living creatures on Earth, represents an intruder, parasite in the living space of man. The ant cannot be exiled into "nature" or locked in a cage. It has the possibility of penetrating the urban, closed, sterilized spaces of man and it is exactly this capability of transgressing the border that characterizes it as dirt, something to be put away so that order could be reestablished. The very set-up of the work points precisely to this concept of the margin, the border, as the key concept in the categorization of cleanliness and dirt. A miniature monitor, displaying the last seven minutes of the ant's life, is built into the gallery wall, almost invisibly, but enough to create a whole in the system, a possibility for "invasion". The representation of the ant again excludes any kind of imposing of the author's "message" - it simply focuses on one existence (and disappearance); magnifying its real dimensions it magnifies its visibility, leaving us to, simply, watch and, maybe, come to our own conclusions. In that sense this video, in an intermitant loop, like a tiny flickering spot on the dull gallery wall, transforms into a kind of exercise in meditation, during which the ant becomes just a symbol, a metaphor pointing to numerous others invisible existences, unwanted and stigmatized "dirts" in the wholes of systems, and their consequential removal, cleansing, all in the name of various hygienes, "healthy way of life", the "common good", "respect for the law", "preservation of moral" etc. - endless parading of slogans and expressions in which every word is completely emptied of any kind of content.

Ivana Bago