We easily get used to scenes of suffering. Hunger, homelessness, war, traffic accidents, violence and crime, self-destructive behavior, etc. - we see all of that daily in our hypermedialised reality, a reality determined by images produced by television, newspapers, computer interfaces, and we accept all that as constitutive features of a society that we share with our neighbors. And this adaptedness is understandable; it would be unbearable, of course, to sympathize with all those scenes of suffering or to feel guilty for all that we perceive as civilizational upheavals that go beyond our individual responsibility. The idea that we ourselves are individually responsible is unacceptable to us because we ourselves, it seems, can do little for a less painful social reality.
And this is the very thought that motivates Zoran Kakša to collect discarded stuffed and similar toys, arranging them in situations that simulate our everyday lives. On the photomontages of Zoran Kakša teddy bears, bunnies and puppies are freezing on a garbage dump, being killed on the road, performing suicide. This opposition of innocence embodied in a toy and the collective guilt that is imposed by the drastic scenes is, of course, only a caricature that places the question of our own responsibility between two untenable extremes. Neither we have, of course, ever been innocent, nor are we obliged to expiate the archetypal guilt, but we always had the freedom to decide on everything that directly concerns us. The behaviour towards things is not only an expression of basic environmental awareness, but a reflection of our relationship with the world that we share with others. Among them there are certainly millions of children without childhood. As long as we live in a world where they live, rejected plush menagerie from our nurseries will be a symptom of our subjective ignorance, an unintentional backside of misfortunes of others which do not concern us directly.
About Zoran Kakša
Born on 12 May 1974 in Zagreb. He matriculated from the Applied Arts and Design school in 1993, in the Graphics department with prof. M.Poljan. He graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in 2002, in the Education Department (graphics), class of prof. I. Šiško. He worked as a professor of visual arts in Zagreb and Samobor and as an associate conservator of the Croatian Conservation Institute on the altars of the monastery of St. Leonard in Kotari/Žumberak, the Pula polyptych from the Church of St.Francis/Pula and the Croatian State Archives in Zagreb. He had seven solo and 65 group exhibitions at home and abroad. His works are in galleries and private collections in the country and abroad. A member of HDLU, he lives and works in Zagreb.