The Opening of Zdravko Joksimović’s Exhibition “Art Therapy”

Art Therapy

Within the exhibition “Art Therapy” in the Lucida Gallery, Zdravko Joksimović presents a selection of his new and already existing artworks in a new, but for his work characteristic, ironic and poetic context. The exhibition title tells us that art is a cure, but also that we all need a strong art therapy, to initiate the process of our healing. The idea that art can be understood as a cure derives from Joksimović’s work Art Therapy from 2014, which, according to the author, presents a mild irony on the parallel structured Irvine Jalom’s book The Schopenhauer Cure; in this eponymous exhibition, this idea, as well as the humour always present in the titles of his artwork, represent a common denominator for all works.

Under the auspices of this idea, the artist exhibits sculptures, assemblies, and drawings, presenting us with a different, alternate view of the world that represents the critical reflection of society, but it also plays with our perception of the world that surrounds us.

Along with the drawings, Zdravko Joksimović also presents his sculptures and assemblies on the walls of the gallery. A large wooden panel painted in pastel blue colour carries a whirlwind of leather in motion in the artwork Skin Colour Does Not Matter, sculpture Lying Nude represents an isolated stylized female sex organ and a part of the buttock seen from the lying perspective, plastically articulated of the worm-eaten wooden headboard of the ancient bed; A Thousand Times Because depicts a raised segment of the stylized metal spine on the wooden base in the shape of the pink colour cello, while Art Therapy, Wishing You Lots of Health and Consult Your Pharmacist display blow-up medicaments dozers that remind the sweets boxes made of seemingly soft lead, filled with remnants of the original packaging of drugs, Christmas round ornaments or plastic pearls that represent medicines – candies. Where Are the Glasses? anticipates the idea of introducing the interior of the apple fruit, seen by the eye of the artist in the glasses case and seeds.

From the drawings, the artist’s selection is consists of three studies of exhibited artworks and two variations of the Hockey Field. The latest two were created thirty years ago, but relate to the artworks mentioned above both formally, with their circular elements and the emphasis on different thicknesses and the line course direction as the primary expression medium, and conceptually, thus within this exhibition, they found their new context, a new life.

Zdravko Joksimović brings all his artworks to the elegance of the pictorial reduction of the sign.


 Collection – combinatorics – recontextualization

Zdravko Joksimović is a passionate collector of various objects – some of them he finds in a dump, neglected and discarded, and others he notices and buys in unexpected places. Everything that attracts his attention because of its design, but also due to its function and primary meaning, becomes a part of his collection of interesting forms, colours and possible allusions and metaphors of different meanings. He places and stores these objects in a physical space, but he also deposits them in the depths of his mind, from where they can suddenly escape the actuated by a visual trigger when the idea for their recontextualization and the opportunity for reuse arise.

His artistic creativity in recognising objects gives over to the sudden insights and the intuitive. The artist believes that “every part brings its formal and conceptual traits into the whole: form, colour, measure, function, a story, its history.” Within the artwork, these objects and their parts change their “ID card”, they get a new identity and different, unexpected meanings. Joksimović says that “each part has an important constituent role – their strong visual identity influences the formal sculpture arrangement; everything must come to unity because the statement without that unity cannot be communicated to the audience.”

Zdravko Joksimović uses utilitarian objects which he adapts with artistic interventions to each other, as well as to the independently created pieces of assemblages; by combining them, he articulates a firmly connected compositional whole characterised by unique, recognisable aesthetics. “Assemblages perfectly suit my need to combine, change and modify, add and subtract, to separate parts from the whole, to move them to another place,” says the artist.

Zdravko Joksimović finds pleasure in combinatorics and recontextualization, he amuses himself by matching the parts of his artwork as if playing Master Mind against himself, but his perfectionist side must be satisfied as well. Therefore the artwork is not completed until all the constituent elements are matched in a way that it looks like that their new layout has always been their natural state of existence.


Respecting the nature of material

Zdravko Joksimović understands, accepts and treats the material as a “living thing”. For this artist, material represents one of the essential elements of the sculpture, besides form and space; the choice of material reveals much about the artist’s intentions regarding the conception of the artwork, but also about the anticipated audience perception. The material is a medium through which the ideas are transferred, whether it has a dominantly representative role or it only conveys its quality to the audience. For Joksimović, the material can be the primary trigger of the idea for creating a particular artwork. Whether we are an audience or an author, the material reveals the manner in which we see it, but also what we recognise in ourselves by discovering it, the artist considers.

Various materials open up a wide range of possibilities for examining the form and displaying unexpected qualities: in the artist’s works, lead is thin and vulnerable as skin, the leather is light as a feather in the wind, and noble ideas on art therapy he represents with cheap plastic pearls and Christmas ornaments. He always presents material in a thoughtfully designed and carefully executed form. Zdravko Joksimović plays with perceptions, opinions and attitudes on everything that his artworks are consist of. Therefore he combines, at first glance, incompatible materials in a firm artistic unity, or, as he says, “I intentionally use the most sophisticated material with trash”.

In most of his artworks, Joksimović reviews their pictorial values. Colour is an essential element of his compositions’ visual structure, even crucial as material and form. The pre-existing colour of an object or a part of an object that the artist incorporates into its work he uses as an organic quality of the surface and allows it to affect the outcome of the work.


Artwork titles – the ironic thinking out loud

Zdravko Joksimović regards the artwork titles as their first and last name. He says that some artworks, without their specific names, would not be what they are. He believes that giving a name to works has all the characteristics of creativity. By naming artworks, Zdravko Joksimović adds that final, poetic element to his compositions, thus uniting them into a compact whole. The titles represent the artist’s thinking out loud of the artwork’s idea and intention, but also about the doubts that the artist has not managed to solve completely.

The titles explicitly reveal the humour, irony and cynicism that need to be formally discovered in his works, which are one of the distinct features of Zdravko Joksimović’s artistic opus. The artist does not give up on humour and poetry, because, as he says, they are “a part of my nature and the way I initially joke with myself, and then I try to make this reality more tolerable.”


Work, work and more fun

Zdravko Joksimović creates very carefully, patiently his artwork paying attention to every detail. The childish questioning, curiosity and the ability to identify and reveal a part of the visual identity of something completely different in the appearance of an object, lead this artist to the ultimate reaches of art. His perfectionist mind does not give him peace until the new composition becomes utterly self-sufficient, to the perfection of a pictorially shaped visual entity and until its irony finds the right balance between being too obvious and insufficiently clear.

Joksimović does not play safe, he takes risks, but very meaningfully, thoughtfully and imaginatively, by choosing forms and materials (in processing which he is a real virtuoso) to entertain his curiosity but also to engage the audience in the puzzling out these visual riddles. “I believe that what one does is equally important as how he does it,” says the artist.

Zdravko Joksimović is in the eternal quest for beauty phenomenon. Though he concludes that aesthetics is no longer in fashion, he believes that human nature still strives to observe harmonious, beautiful forms that, because of their features, appear susceptible. He concludes that the need for beauty, being one of the universal philosophical categories, will always exist and that in art it is necessary to strive for high aesthetic ranges, and not to run away from them.


The meaning – does looking for it make sense?

Zdravko Joksimović’s artworks are not stories for themselves – they are the main protagonists of the story, and the stories are around them, weaved from that, at first sight, invisible, that one has to distinguish, recognise, observe and perceive. In creating and reading these stories, both left and right hemisphere, logic and intuition take part. The ambivalent interpretations are encouraged by the unusual, at first glance illogical relation between form and content of his artworks, although in these interpretations the author leaves no place for any arbitrariness. As in life, the meaning of the artwork is never what it seems to be at first, nor does the artwork have only one meaning. “There is no too much mystification, what is in front of you, these are the signs that we puzzle out every day, and they are very easy to read,” says Joksimović.

In his works, the artist often uses metaphors and metonymy, the rhetorical stylistic figures that, as he explains, help him to organise his thoughts and feelings in a way that goes beyond the personal. “My sculptures are aware of the semantic potential of things,” the artist says. “Semantically defined objects form a complicated relationship within the sculpture – they bring with themselves everything that they are, know and can be, but also what they are not, or even did not know that they are. Sculpture reveals their other nature, their other self. “

By manipulating the established perception of things and social stereotypes, the artist entertains himself by bringing about a distortion in the observers’ judgment and force them to think.


Final thoughts

By his art, Zdravko Joksimović transmits into material his feelings and his current thoughts about the world that surrounds him. He believes that “with the sculpture, one can transmit the most subtle and deepest feelings, which do not come so easily to the surface – we need to find a new form that protects them as much as it has to and reveals as much as it can.” Feelings are the essential element that makes both person and art truly alive.

The art therapy is a process in which the artist, the artwork and the audience take part. It confirms our need to change and cure this crazy, chaotic world in which we encountered, or at least ourselves within it. Joksimović holds that the ultimate goal of any artistic work is its cognitive healing abilities, which can be useful to us in finding the answer to the chaos that surrounds us daily. Dealing with arts encourages us to continually re-examine our beliefs and feelings, to change ourselves and influence the changes in our environment. Therefore, the author claims that dealing with arts can be curative, which this exhibition confirms.

Ivona Fregl

Lečenje umetnošću

U okviru izložbe „Lečenje umetnošću“ u galeriji Lucida, Zdravko Joksimović predstavlja izbor svojih novih i već postojećih radova u novom, njemu svojstvenom ironično-poetičnom kontekstu. Naziv izložbe govori da je umetnost lek, ali i da nam je svima potrebna jedna jaka terapija umetnošću, kako bi započeli proces sopstvenog isceljenja. Ideja da se umetnost može shvatiti i kao lek potiče od Joksimovićevog rada Lečenje umetnošću iz 2014. godine koji, po rečima autora, predstavlja blagu ironiju na paralelno strukturiranu radnju knjige Irvina Jaloma Lečenje Šopenhauerom;  na ovoj istoimenoj izložbi ta ideja, kao i uvek prisutni humor u nazivima, predstavljaju zajednički imenitelj svih radova.

Pod okriljem ove ideje, umetnik izlaže skulpture, asamblaže i crteže, predočavajući nam jedan drugačiji, alternativniji pogled na svet koji predstavlja kritičku refleksiju društva, ali se i poigrava našim poimanjem sveta koji nas okružuje.

Uz crteže, Zdravko Joksimović svoje skulpture i asamblaže takođe predstavlja na zidovima galerije. Veliki drveni panel obojen pastelno plavom bojom nosač je vihora od kože u pokretu u radu Nije važna boja kože, skulptura Ležeći akt predstavlja izolovan stilizovan ženski polni organ i deo zadnjice viđene iz ležeće perspektive, plastično artikulisan od crvotočnog drvenog uzglavlja starinskog kreveta,  1000 puta zato nam prikazuje izdignut segment stilizovane metalne kičme na drvenoj podlozi tela violončela roze boje, dok su Lečenje umetnošću, Puno zdravlja i Posavetujete se sa farmaceutom blow-up prikazi dozera za lekove koji oblikom podsećaju i na bombonjere od naizgled mekog olova, ispunjene ostacima folije originalnog pakovanja lekova, novogodišnjim ukrasnim kuglicama ili plastičnim perlicama koje predstavljaju bombone-lekove. Gde su naočare? opredmećuje ideju predstavljanja unutrašnjosti ploda jabuke, viđenog okom umetnika u futroli za naočare sa semenkama.

Od crteža, umetnikov izbor čine tri studije izloženih radova i dve varijacije Terena za hokej nastale pre tridesetak godina, koje se nadovezuju na gore pomenute radove i formalno, svojim kružnim elementima i isticanjem različitih debljina i pravcem pružanja linije kao osnovnog izražajnog sredstva, ali i idejno, te su u ovoj izložbi našle svoj novi kontekst, novi život.

Sve radove Zdravko Joksimović dovodi do elegancije piktoralne svedenosti znaka.


Sakupljanje – kombinatorika – rekontekstualizacija

Zdravko Joksimović pasionirani je sakupljač raznorodnih predmeta – neke pronalazi na đubrištu, zanemarene i odbačene, druge prepoznaje i kupuje na neočekivanim mestima; sve ono što mu privuče pažnju svojom likovnošću, ali i funkcijom i primarnim značenjem, postaje deo njegove zbirke zanimljivih formi, boja i mogućih značenjskih aluzija i metafora koje fizički smešta i skladišti u prostor, ali ih takođe pohranjuje i u dubine svog uma, odakle umeju nenadano da isplivaju podstaknute nekim vizuelnim okidačem, kad se ukaže ideja za njihovu rekontekstualizaciju i prilika za ponovnu upotrebu.

Njegova umetnička kreativnost u prepoznavanju predmeta prepušta se iznenadnim uvidima i intuitivnom. Umetnik smatra da „svaki deo u celinu unosi svoje formalne i konceptualne osobine: oblik, boju, meru, funkciju, neku priču, svoju istoriju.” U okviru umetničkog dela, ovi predmeti i njihovi delovi menjaju svoju “ličnu kartu”, dobijaju nov identitet i drugačija, neočekivana značenja. Joksimović kaže da “svaki deo ima važnu konstitutivnu ulogu – njihov snažan vizuelni identitet utiče na formalno rešenje skulpture; sve mora doći u jedinstvo, jer se iskaz bez tog jedinstva ne može saopštiti publici”.

Zdravko Joksimović koristi utilitarne predmete koje umetničkim intervencijama prilagođava jedne drugima, kao i samostalno izvedenim delovima asamblaža; kombinujući ih, on artikuliše čvrsto povezanu kompozicionu celinu koji karakteriše jedinstvena, prepoznatljiva estetika. “Asamblaži savršeno odgovaraju mojoj potrebi da kombinujem, menjam i prepravljam, dodajem i oduzimam, da odvajam delove od celine, da ih premeštam na neko drugo mesto,” kaže umetnik.

Zdravko Joksimović zadovoljstvo pronalazi u kombinatorici i rekontekstualizaciji, zabavlja se slagajući delove rada kao da sam sa sobom igra Master Mind, ali i njegova perfekcionistička strana mora biti zadovoljena, tako da je rad završen tek kad sve konstitutivne elemente ukombinuje na način da izgleda kao da je to oduvek bilo njihovo prirodno stanje postojanja.


Poštovanje prirode materijala

Zdravko Joksimović razume, prihvata i tretira materijal kao “živu stvar”. Za ovog umetnika i materijal, pored forme i prostora, predstavlja jedan od osnovnih elemenata skulpture; njegov izbor otkriva mnogo o umetnikovim namerama u vezi sa koncepcijom umetničkog dela, ali i sa njegovom percepcijom od strane publike.  Materijal je medij preko koga se prenose ideje, bilo da da ima dominantno reprezentativnu ulogu ili da publici prenosi isključivo sopstveni kvalitet. Za Joksimovića, materijal može biti i osnovni pokretač ideje nastanka određenog rada. Bilo da smo publika ili autor, materijal otkriva način na koji ga mi vidimo, ali i šta otkrivajući u njemu prepoznajemo u nama, smatra umetnik.

Različiti materijali otvaraju široki dijapazon mogućnosti istraživanja forme i predočavanja neočekivanih kvaliteta: u umetnikovim radovima olovo je tanko i ranjivo kao koža, koža deluje laka, kao pero na vetru, a uzvišene ideje o terapiji umetnošću predstavlja jeftinim plastičnim perlicama i novogodišnjim ukrasima. Materijal uvek predstavlja u pažljivo osmišljenoj i brižljivo obrađenoj formi. Zdravko Joksimović se poigrava uvreženim percepcijama, mišljenjima i stavovima u vezi sa svim što čini njegove radove. Zato u čvrstu likovnu celinu kombinuje na prvi pogled nespojive materijale, odnosno, kako sam kaže, “namerno koristim najsofisticiraniji materijal sa trešom”.

U većini radova Joksimović preispituje i njihove pikturalne vrednosti. Boja je izrazito važan element vizuelne strukture njegovih kompozicija, čak podjednako važna kao material i forma.Već postojeću boju predmeta ili dela predmeta koji inkorporira u svoj rad umetnik koristi kao organski kvalitet površine i dopušta joj da utiče na konačan ishod rada.


Nazivi – ironično razmišljanje naglas

Zdravko Joksimović posmatra nazive radova kao njihovo ime i prezime. Kaže da neki radovi, bez svojih karakterističnih naziva, ne bi bili to što jesu. Smatra da davanje naziva radovima ima sve karakteristike stvaralaštva. Imenovanjem radova, Zdravko Joksimović dodaje onaj završni, poetični element svojim kompozicijama, zaokružujući ih u čvrstu celinu. Nazivi predstavljaju umetnikovo razmišljanje naglas o ideji i nameri umetničkog dela, ali i o nedoumicama koje nije uspeo do kraja da reši.

Nazivi nam eksplicitno otkrivaju humor, ironiju i cinizam koje treba i formalno da otkrijemo u njegovim radovima, a koji su jedno od osobenih obeležja umeničkog opusa Zdravka Joksimovića. Od humora i poezije ne odustaje, jer, kako kaže, oni su “deo moje prirode i način na koji se, prvo, šalim sa sobom, a potom i pokušavam da svet i ovu stvarnost učinim snošljivijim”.


Rad, rad i samo zabava

Zdravko Joksimović stvara svoje radove veoma pažljivo, strpljivo i obraća pažnju na svaki detalj. Dečja ljubopitljivost, znatiželja i sposobnost da se u pojavnosti predmeta prepozna i otkrije deo vizuelnog identiteta nečeg sasvim drugačijeg, vodi umetnika do vrhunskih dometa umetnosti. Njegov perfekcionistički um ne da mu mira sve dok nova kompozicija ne postane apsolutno samodovoljna, do savršenstva pikturalno uobličena vizuelna celina i dok njegova ironičnost ne iznađe pravu meru između previše očiglednog i nedovoljno jasnog.

Joksimović ne ide na sigurno, vec rizikuje, ali veoma smisleno, promišljeno i maštovito, birajući oblike i materijale (u čijoj je obradi pravi virtouz) kako bi zabavio svoju znatiželju ali i angažovao publiku u odgonetanju ovih vizuelnih zagonetki. “Verujem da je podjednako važno šta i kako se nešto radi”, kaže umetnik.

Zdravko Joksimović je u večitoj potrazi za fenomenom lepote. Iako zaključuje da estetika danas više nije u modi, smatra da ljudska priroda i dalje teži da posmatra skladne, lepe oblike, koji zbog svoje likovnosti deluju prijemčivo.  Zaključuje da će potreba za lepotom, kao jednom od univerzalnih filozofskih kategorija, uvek postojati, te da u umetnosti treba težiti visokim estetskim dometima, a ne bežati od njih.


Značenje – ima li smisla tražiti ga?

Radovi Zdravka Joksimovića nisu priče po sebi – oni su glavni junaci priča, a priče su oko njih, satkane od onog, na prvi pogled nevidljivog, što treba uočiti, prepoznati, sagledati i dokučiti. U formiranju i iščitavanju ovih priča učestvuju podjednako leva i desna hemisfera, logika i intuicija. Ambivalentena tumačenja podstiče i nesvakidašnji, na prvi pogled nelogičan odnos forme i sadržaja njegovih radova, mada u tim tumačenjima autor ne ostavlja mesta ni za kakvu proizvoljnost. Kao ni u životu, smisao umetničkog dela nikad nije ono što nam se na prvi pogled učini da jeste, niti rad ima samo jedno značenje. “Nema previše mistifikacije, to što je pred vama, to su znaci koje odgonetamo svakodnevno i vrlo lako iščitavamo”, smatra Joksimović.

U svojim radovima umetnik često koristi metafore i metonimije, retoričke stilske figure koje mu, kako sam objašnjava, pomažu da organizuje svoje misli i osećanja na način da prevaziđe ono lično. “Moje skulpture su svesne semantičkog potencijala stvari”, kaže umetnik. “Semantički definisani predmeti u okviru skulpture grade komplikovan odnos – oni u nju unose sve ono što jesu, znaju i umeju da budu, ali i ono što nisu, ili nisu ni znali da jesu. Skulptura otkriva njihovu drugu prirodu, njihovo drugo ja”.

Manipulišući ustaljenim poimanjem stvari i društvenim stereotipima, umetnik se zabavlja unoseći pometnju u percepciju publike i nagoni je na razmišljanje.


Završna razmatranja

Svojom umetnošću, Zdravko Joksimović transponuje u materijal svoja osećanja i aktuelna razmišljanja o svetu koji ga okružuje. Smatra da se “skulpturom mogu preneti najsuptilnija i najdublja osećanja, koja ne izlaze tako lako na površinu – moramo da pronađemo neki novi oblik koji ih štiti koliko mora i otkriva koliko može”. Osećanja su onaj neophodni element koji čoveka, ali i umetnost, čini zaista živim.

Lečenje umetnošću je proces u kome učestvuju umetnik, delo i publika. Potvrđuje našu potrebu da promenimo i izlečimo ovaj suludi, haotičan svet u kome smo se zatekli, ili bar sebe u njemu. Joksimović smatra da su krajnji cilj bilo kojeg umetničkog dela njegove lekovite spoznajne mogućnosti, koje nam mogu biti od koristi u pronalaženju odgovora na haos koji nas svakodnevno okružuje. Bavljenje umetnošću nas podstiče da stalno preispitujemo svoje stavove i osećanja, da menjamo sebe i utičemo na promene u našem okruženju. Zato autor tvrdi da bavljenje umetnošću može biti lekovito, što ovom izložbom i potvrđuje.

Ivona Fregl


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