25/09/2013 - 20/10/2013
Karlin Studios, Prvního pluku 2, Praha 8
Artists: Ivo Burokvic, Wieland Schönfelder, Paul Wiersbinski
Curator: Viktor Čech
"The language of money is precisely a language that pretends to have no limits. That is the reason why it is an insane language. It is a language that presents a world that has no limits. A world of unlimited desires. Actually money makes money, money is something that always asks for more money. That is why the rich are never rich enough, because it is not about "money", they want even "more money". And that is an unlimited desire.
And as an unlimited desire we could say, that in reality , it does not build a real world. There is a reason to say that the limit of a language is also the limit of that world, and if the language pretends to have no limits, then it is as if the world did not have limits: so as a world it melts down."
Ivo Burokvic and his paintings
We must state, that the position of Painting in the field of contemporary art has been many times critically evaluated. On one side we may follow the loss of its position as a dominant medium, in the frame of which crucial creative events of all the previous eras were happening, at least until the end of late modernism. On the other hand we cannot totally foresee the painting’s eternal return to the exhibition halls and evident interest of the public for it. Still it is possible to object, that medium of painting is somehow a surviving relict of modernistic bourgeoisie and its culture and in the frame of its 2D surface its only the trend waves which setup combinatorial repetition of long time ago exhausted tools of expression emptied of any potential for showing the authentic creative message. Even worse - painting in our contemporary society, manipulated by the mass media visual culture, does not provide even enough space for the radicality of real artistic creation. It remained only the cultural echo of the past, when the beautifully painted bouquet had served as a decoration of the household and large canvas as a tool of aesthetic contemplation in the sanctuary of gallery space. What even the worst - painted canvas became a symbol of how a work of art can be degraded to the role of good, investment, something in which this noble aesthetic and ideal value is sold for the merchandise value in the frame of capitalistic mode of exchange. So did the persona of the painter - painter who in many real and also literal images embodied by the society expected role of creative bohemian, became in our era, appreciating mainly the intellectual capacities of the creator, sole anachronism.
In the frame of this critical approach it would be possible to judge the paintings of Ivo Burokvic and its further creative activities as a banal fulfilment of the art market demand seeking expected artifacts and pre-experienced image of the artist as provoking celebrity. Based on this judgement of the “convencionality” many “radical” critics and judges will not double take the actual formal value of the artistic expression, lying in the artist elegant ability to fill up the empty stencil offered by the art market. Yes, it is only the the external social form, which the artist here enters, the expectation of the bizarre machinery consisting of “cultural enterpreneours”, galerists and their for good investment, hanging over their couch, crawling customers, those hard working labourers of the capital. Their demands for “acceptable” and “attractive” and in the same time well sell able art makes us, also thanks to their snobby limited taste and education, disgust. But their victim is most of all the artist, whose Oeuvre and persona are just as a piece of puzzle inserted to the context they themselves control. But does the form of this piece really respond also to the value of its content?
Canvases of Ivo Burokvic definitely does become a merchandise in the auction process, however a merchandise which value is setup by the actual buyer, who is also the one who ascribe to the art work the status of a good in the frame of exchange. The painting is for this buyer a fetish, and he becomes attached to it in the very moment when he decides which value is he wishing to ascribe to it. We can therefore allow ourselves to skip the absolute artistic value of the Burokvic works, this value is in the frame of this system irrelevant. The artwork become in the very moment of its auctioning mainly a commodity with fluctuating value, a commodity which reflects, as a small laboratory sample, indirectly the life of the whole huge organism, being a world of business and money. Since the first denial of the suggestion, that contemporary painting is able to reflect the state of contemporary society and therefore can become actual social art, we came through the example of Burokvic’s body of work consequently to the opposite position. However this also make us being out of the space to evaluate the actual formal value of Burokvic’s works, therefore we don't have any other chance, then to leave it to someone else. In any case, it is certain, that the creative persona of Ivo Burokvic, who is being presented in the frame of this exhibition through the mediation of Paul Wiersbinski, is an ideal model case for further dealing with the above mentioned problematics.