Sandro Đukić

Journey around the world in 100 days

(…) Sandro Đukić has gradually led us to the visual matrix as one of the consequences of the digitalization of the media arisingfrom the nexus of science and art, where art induced media, among other things, explores the aesthetic potential of the interactive and processed world of images. However, within the culture of virtual images which is dependent on the development of these new models, what attracts most attention is the continuity of his portraits which are connected to the theme of recognizing and questioning identity, and to the impact of the media and its manipulation of the individual. With the help of fiction, he constructs real spaces within which he, despite everything, manages to retain a genuine interest and relatability. “The background images from my Journey around the world in 100 days are from photo stocks; I picked such landscapes that are able to cover the whole world – I ‘hired’ the spaces for my desired journey – and edited them with my self-portrait.” What did he want to achieve with those representationsmade bychroma key editing? Credibility? Longing? Diverse exhibition set-ups will to some extent influence how we perceive this work: when it is exhibited as a multiple sequence of photographs, it functionslike a linear diary structure. It is possible to view them in a loop because we can hardly (if at all!) recognize a sensible beginning and end. Of what?The skies are supernaturally blue, adorned with clouds, which are perhaps also theresult of some previous editing or alterations. What is real in them, except our facing the consequences of media manipulation, though, this time without drastic consequences? The work can also be realized as a spatial installation. Đukić uses the same images presenting them as stills on screens mounted on high monolithic bases, which he positionswith equal spacing around a spread table. In its centre, there is a built-in screen with one of the scenes from the imaginary journey. We assert its symbolism – because there are twelve chairs, but this number can vary as it, in fact, depends on exhibition conditions. The meaning is individualized; the identity and the focus of the experiences overlap. The subject is part of the process which, at first glance, seems simple; he is simultaneously active and passive – the creator as well as a part of this imaginary landscape. Julije Knifer and his series of drawings served as one of the inspirations for this cycle; the repetitive character and the reach of the meander (the sign “recognized” bySandro Đukić in the artist's self-portraits) are built into the foundations of the adventure and into the examination of the media, the road on which the artist has long been treading on. (An excerpt from the text: At Second Glance. The Positions of Contemporary Croatian Photography, Sandra Križić Roban, 2010)


Starting from the idea to make “a portrait of his friend,” the agreed photo session turned into a performance of this particular art duo, resulting in 510 photographs. The cunning orchestrator of this action played the role of a collector of Gotovac’s intimate associations. Together with a dynamic conversation about film, art and life, Gotovac transformed himself into a mythical gallery of characters larger than life. It seems as though the exhibition “Passions” in which the curator of Rijeka's Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art juxtaposed Tom Gotovac's video portrait with Sandro Đukić's self-portraits, which were frenetically sequenced in digital form, served as an introduction to this dialogue. The exhibition in Rijeka pointed to the artistic similarity between its protagonists. (…) “I have always perceived the world of art very personally, as lifestyle, more than production or creating a product it was creating spiritual space.” ”I am interested in Tom Gotovac as an idea, a view on the world, an ethic principle. His introduction into public space, what he represents as a critic of the system and a curious man questioning the boundaries of art and life, helps me position my own identity as well,” said Đukić, who used new technological procedures to continue the ideas of Gorgona, early experimental film, New Tendencies, New art practice... In 1990, at the exhibition Images Objects, where he displayed his self-portraits at the Gyptotheque for the first time, Đukić turned to displaying himself, the project Tomislav Gotovac dedicated his life to. Đukić's self-referential portraits, in which his model transforms into characters taken from his own cinephile cornucopia, reflect Gotovac's credo – “it's all a movie.” (…) Tomislav Gotovac, who despite his bourgeois origin always felt like a loner from the social margins, provoked aesthetic and ethical laws of the world in which “the only thing with real value is what the society rejects.” Posthumously, mediated by Đukić, Gotovac uses this occasion as well to anarchically provoke the cult of beauty and youth through self-erotic pornography and self-parody. “His opinion was the same as mine: that the changes inthe social paradigm, after all transitional processes, result in body recolonization. That today, perhaps more than ever, we are in a war for the right over our own bodies,” explained Đukić. (An excerpt from the text: BodyScan, exhibition catalogue, Leila Mehulić, 2013)

The Outworn Structure – Ironworks Sisak