Boris Mrkonjic’s first solo exhibition in London; White Ink is held at IBID PROJECTS.
White Ink, an exhibition of Boris Mrkonjic’s recent work, shows how history and its relationship with narration plays an important role in his practice. With sculpture and works on paper the artist explores the failures of his subject. Through appropriation, alteration, and montage of well-known materials he disrupts the usual historical narratives and constructs new meaning through recombined fragments.
Models of classical avant-garde utopian architecture are the source for the artist’s investigation into the making of history. These sculptures, which recall amongst others; Tatlin’s monument of the 3rd International and Constant’s SI Babylon project are products of Mrkonjic’s immersive questioning of the trajectory in recording the past. At first sight the objects entice the viewer with the promise of a utopian architectural model, on closer inspection one finds they are constructed from traditional model making materials coupled with found objects. Promptly the sculptural purpose of these works is defined as pure existence, the root of which one is inclined to define as mystical. ‘Haus 12’ is a model for a flying city, inspired by the artist Wenzel Hablik. Constructed from foamboard and ‘aged’ wood the work bridges the past with the present through a futuristic quality. Flanking the sculptures are wall drawings and works on paper. Varying scales reinforce the impression of searching for solutions, perhaps a formula for writing history or possibly a desire to show the misleading relationship between science and free will; which both have their place in the construction of what is termed history. Sketches, map like drawings and text citations create the sense of an impossible undertaking, which carries with it an apparent madness, a doomed failure; thereby granting the work its own will. The haptic qualities in the alteration of one hundred and fifty year-old newspaper cuttings seem to stem from another time creating further convoluted layering. The work ‘Black Flag (Reschit be hochma)’, it’s title taken from the Kabbala meaning: ‘Beginning with wisdom’ displays the importance of conflicting materiality. It opens up the discussion if you begin with wisdom what does one end with?
A number of so-called portraits of angels, which long and successfully have been part of human history recall Paul Klee’s Angelus Novus and Walter Benjamin’s Angel of History. They do not solely remind the viewer of utopian worlds but composed of fragmented single parts they appear not so much as the officials of heaven, but as a metaphysical disclosure. The collaborations of scientists and spiritualists on metaphysical theories have influenced Mrkonjic, he sits between these worlds and tries to join them harmoniously through his use of material. For Mrkonjic the idea of utopia involves a common search for God, eternity, fortune and love; he believes that philosophical fundamentalism will not save us, instead preferring the concept of self-experience: ”Everything in nature is what it is and finds its purpose in itself. No one causes. Things simply happen. A and B do not exist. They are merely names for parts that should be inseparable” *Quote from Thomas Pynchon’s text ‘Gravity’s Rainbow’
Boris Mrkonjic (b. 1976 Kehl, Germany) lives and works in Berlin. Recent solo exhibitions include Project Room, Galleri Christina Wilson, Copenhagen and Silence.Logic.Security.Prudence at Self Service Open Artspace, Stuttgart (Germany). Recent group exhibitions include Provinz – young contemporary art, Lindau (Germany), Das Gerücht, Galerie Conradi, Hamburg and Missing Link, Balhaus Ost, Berlin.
For more information or images please contact Jessica Watts: +44 (0)208 983 4355 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org