RENE BACHRACH KRIŠTOFIĆ
9.9. – 23.9.2011.
The name comes from the title of a book by Arthur C. Clarke, but also a piece of text from a poem by Alfred Edward Housman, which speaks about the passage of time where the poet asks if anything we create can be immune and saved from the passage of time or oblivion. The name is an introduction to the work, the idea of a cycle.
· How does this cycle refer to the previous ones?
This cycle is sure to continue on the last cycle of "Western Land" on display at the SC Gallery, as it continues to reflect on similar issues. I examine what memory of individuals, families, missing persons actually is ... After a person disappears, can the image of that person be sustained through something they left behind, or is it constantly changing as time passes, what happens? Do we idolize that person? Is it possible to preserve memories through art? Does art help or support an illusion we created anew, or is that actually the entire point - to create the image that we want to see?
· As your work grows, can we say there is a linear development in painting with an inner coherence of ideas? What are the main preoccupations which move you and want your work to communicate?
What matters is the continuity of thought regarding certain problems which are resolved while opening other issues. The desire to raise issues that may not have answers is always present, but it is important to establish them. My basic concern is often the end, not necessarily as a tragic form, but the end a period in life, for example, childhood. What are, in fact, memories, documents, things of which we make reality? How is all this actually real, and what makes a kind of shelter for ourselves?
· How important is it to signify your works, provide them with a context? To what extent do you give your own meaning to your works or do you prefer the audience to have their own say?
As soon as the work is exposed, regardless of any intentions by the artist, it interacts with the audience. It is somewhat inevitable. Will the unexposed image fully take hold, that is up to the person who created it. I think that even if the image is exposed to just one person, in most cases it is still communicating with the intended person, thus gaining its audience.
Sometimes it is important for my work to have context, but not necessarily, it is something that occurs on its own. I gladly allow space for the audience's own interpretation, I do not like to point them towards a specific interpretation, and prefer to let them construct their own story through my work, leave them to their imagination. The audience's experience of my work is important to me, whether positive or negative, the important thing is the perception, that an issue is created, to allow at least a second thought for reflection, it is important to me that work is not only observed on a superficial and surface level.
· How come that figurative expression is more dominant as the basic approch to your art? Do you feel the need to express outside the painting medium?
Figurative approach is close to me because I was always surrounded by movies and comics (I grew up reading the works of Moebius and Jodorowski), that was somehow imposed from the beginning. At the Academy we start from the figurative approach, and I simply continued the process. I think that at this point, I find it easier to paint than work in another medium, which does not exclude such developments in the future.
· Your paintings are not elaborate and detailed, spaces are usually undefined, empty. The viewer is clear that something is happening within the painting, but the plot is not straightforward, there is a sense of tension, and the atmosphere is often surreal or dreamy.
Sometimes a big amount of detail does not clarify the story. I think that it is precisely because of this bareness that it is sometimes easier to guess what it is, you can make a certain presumption, because the focus is only on the details. Motifs and scenes come alone, I have formed an idea and by looking at materials and sketches, I notice some details and pictures that fit within the current idea and create a story. Like with the image of Dead Marat, a segment of which I used in my work. By taking a part of an image, it gained a different context, such as becoming a memory. An image lost a context and gained another one, created a new action as a constructed memory.
· Lately, your work has featured experimenting with different formats. To what extent does a particular piece play an important part as opposed to the whole composition?
It is essential to the whole composition, a small amount of work in itself makes the whole, in fact, it is almost always more works combined. The cycle comes to the fore only within the whole. What matters is content, not form.
· Do you have any particular attachments to some of the scenes from 'Against the fall of night'? There is a self-portrait in almost every one of your cycles, including this one. We know there are pictures of your late grandfather, your mother, portraits of complete strangers, and other more abstract actions covered by the shroud of the night…
I am attached to the whole cycle, I can hardly single anything out. I have already experienced them as a whole in the process of painting. Each tells a separate story, but I think that together they come to the fore, and reflect in the best way what I wanted to show. Since I always start from an idea, a concept, my work begins with years of collecting material, family documents, articles, sketches, photographs, a large number of different materials that I use in creating the cycle. I do not really finalize my ideas, they often fall into the next cycle, it is all one work without beginning or end, the only end of which we can speak is the end of the cycle when it is exposed, when the cycle itself is finished.
Rene Bachrach Krištofić and Martina Marić