Mladen Stilinovic

Mladen Stilinovic
The discursive and visual art of Mladen Stilinovic(born in 1947) falls between Conceptual Art and postmodernism. The elements of Conceptual
Art in his work are its linguistic functions, tautologies, and critical investigations of the value systems of cultural institutions.What is postmodern in his work is the use of eclectic and inconsistent paradoxes, appearances, and errors expressing the repressed sites of ideological discourses,a multiple reading of the metaphors and simulations of everyday language,a discursive use of the nondiscursive aspects of ideological imagery,accentuated artificiality, and the arbitrary use of political signs.

”The subject of my work is the language of politics,i.e.its reflection in every- day language.These works are not just made up.I would like to paint.I paint, but the painting betrays me. I write, but the written word betrays me.The pictures and words become not-my-pictures,not-my-words,and this is what I want to achieve with my work—not-my-painting. If the language (the colour, the image, etc.) are possessed by ideology, I too want to become the owner of such a language.I want to think it with consequences.This is neither criticism nor ambiguity.What is imposed upon me is imposed as a ques- tion,as an experience,as a consequence.If colours,words and materials have several meanings, which is the one that is imposed, what does it mean and does it mean anything—or is it just idle run [idling in neutral],a delusion? The question is how to manipulate that which manipulates you, so obvi- ously,so shamelessly,but I am not innocent either—there is no art without consequences.”

He shows what happens to the artist, art, and artwork when relations in the art world are replaced by the relations of politics,of belonging to the Party,by repression and manipulation.His works are not a simulacrum of avant-garde,socialist,or modernist culture;they are a simulacrum of the to- talitarian world of art in its most dramatic and tragic aspect. What the works of Mladen Stilinovic offer at first glance is a surface. Many of his works contain words and are in fact word works or sentence works,reminding us a little of the works from the 1980s of Ilya Kabakov or Andrei Roiter,but are situated in a completely different context and have no direct connection with them whatsoever.
That is why an artist is not innocent, clean, transparent, and untouchable, but is a symptom of the political projection of everyday reality.A symptom is a place where the totality (of art,politics,religion,or everyday life) slips.
Stilinovic displays the way in which the sign is dying.

”..the exploitation of the dead refers to several things:first,to the exploitation of the dead poetics of painting—Suprematism, Socialist Realism, and geometric abstraction. Second, to the exploitation of dead signs: for me, these signs are dead because they have lost their meaning or their meaning is so transparent that it is in fact dead.For other people,of course,these signs are not dead.Third,the signs of the cross and star initially represented man and were later used by religion and ideology for their purposes; today, and this is a personal interpretation, they have turned into signs in cemeteries, not dead signs,but signs of death.”

Book :Postmodernism and the Postsocialist Condition: Politicized Art Under Late Socialism
University of California Press, 2003 ,Aleš Erjavec

stilinovic“An Artist who Cannot Speak English is no Artist”  – 1992

sasaRed Pink – 1975

Catturasing! -1980

eAEMartistatworkallArtist at work – 1975

Book :Postmodernism and the Postsocialist Condition: Politicized Art Under Late Socialism
University of California Press, 2003 ,Aleš Erjavec



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