The project LII, which I did together with Vukašin Nedeljković in the end of the year 2002 and throughout 2003, consists of twelve video works recorded at a part of the district of Zvezdara, in the main around Cvetko Pijaca greenmarket and “The Towers”, the East Gate of Belgrade. This region we called LII circle.
Most of the works are short stories related to phenomena of the LII circle. We apply the following method: a phenomenon is chosen and the recording follows sometimes a monologue, often a dialogue between Vukašin and Myself. The conversation is circling about what our camera documents. While the camera is recording in a way that contains a mainly documentary, albeit voyeuristic or poetic view, the reality in our conversation is different.
In one of the works called Biotop, recorded in a cafe at the bus turning point at the end of Ustanička street, an ashtray, outworn through long-lasting and unkind use, is an ashtray in the “eye” of the camera, but in the dialogue we are leading it is a coral. The asphalt over which the people are hurrying becomes water. The bus station is a corner of the beach. The people waiting for the bus are bathers…
The dialogue in the works is generally not prepared. In the beginning we start from some objects and ideas and a conversation develops about them, gradually working out and complicating that relation through a system of mutual correlations between the ideas. In the course of the work this system becomes quite solid and consistent. One of the leading ideas of the project is the attempt to accept through different interpretation our surrounding even in that aspects, which we don’t completely agree in.
Born in 1975 in Belgrade. Lives and works in Westport, Ireland. Selection of solo exhibitions: Sierre, one mademoiselle, ghosts and prison, Custom Studio House, Westport, Ireland; Small plates, Piroshka gallery, Vienna; Family album, the Youth Hall Gallery, Belgrade; Tea shop, the Students’ Cultural Centre Gallery, Belgrade. Selection of group exhibitions: Chere anecdotes, Georges Pompidou Centre, Paris; 44th October Salon, Belgrade; Prenelle Film Festival, London; Proof, Studio 1.1, London; Serbian photography, the Faculty of Fine Arts gallery, Belgrade.
Born in Belgrade 1977. He graduated on Faculty of Mathematics in Belgrade. On postgraduated studies of Multimedia Art at the University of Arts he presented the postgraduate work Short cuts, which is mainly processual work with stories and video as main components. The interdisciplinary project Small plates based on photography, mathematical terminology, theory of fractal and video, he realized with the I.P.O. group. This project has been presented in Wien – MuseumsQuartier21. He organizes actions in which he mostly works with people from nearby. Had solo and group exhibitions in Belgrade, lectures, video-screenings and art actions in USA, Germany and Austria.
Belgrade is a chameleon-like metropolis. Its history, its past, does not live on in monuments; rather, it is there in an invisible substratum: cultures and epochs, which have decomposed like leaves in the soil, in a multi-layered, fertile humus in which this manifold city has put its roots, which constantly renovates itself a germ-spot of metamorphosis. The artists Nenad Jeremić and Vukašin Nedeljković are working with that incredibly vital capital, destroyed and reconstructed so often. In their videos, they explore this metaphoric city space, with floating images produced by a certain view of their surroundings, transforming, alienating the most familiar. The videos assimilate themselves in their composition to their object but perhaps the approach is transferable to other, even stranger environments.
The project is not only a research project, a neutral observation of things, but it is also a personal action: the artists attempt a poetic reconciliation between themselves and their surroundings. Conflicts always emerge out of differences and misunderstandings between people of different cultural, economic, and social profiles, who nevertheless live together in the same area. The idea of the artists points in the direction of consuming something strange, something that may look decadent, or retro in the sense of stepping out of the circle of social, economic, cultural and other oppositions. To do so it is necessary to change one’s perspective, to give up established and unquestioned viewpoints and attitudes. Only in the escape from a comfortable conformism, can content, form and images be perceived in an open-minded way one condition for overcoming internal and external conflicts and the intention of starting with very intimate concerns. Of course, by imagining, transcending, and playing with the city, with its images and myths, structures of spaces don’t change. It is not to be expected that something transforms its inherent order only because of personal desires. This unpleasant fact probably has to be accepted, but in a very conscious, self-reflecting way, with complete awareness, with poetic and scientific means.
Video works invest the urban space, its recess and margins, with meaning, memory and desire; both works deal with moments of miraculous, but bewildering, experiences as reaction and product of the kaleidoscopic urban environment, offering the possibility of oceanic connection. They are snapshots of a world permanently in flux.
Excerpt from the text Artificial Landscapes, publication:
International Conference CULTURE NATURE SEMIOTICS: LOCATIONS IV, 2004, Estonia