press release

March of 2000 remained in my memory as a period of an intensive emotional, slightly existential, but when looking at it as a whole, almost essential - crisis. Stress, fear, loneliness, insecurity, fury, frustration and other demons alike, kept "washing me out" on a daily basis. I was full of self-pity, thought of myself as a poor zombie, where the only way out seemed to be excessively "conspicuous" behaviour (it has reduced its intensity nowadays) that sufficed the criteria of bourgeois categories: peripheral, risky, irresponsible, immoral, and even illegitimate. But all of this did not bother me at all; furthermore I slightly enjoyed in my own misery for the reason that it offered the inspiration for my creative work. I in a way voluntarily subjected myself to personal experimenting on my own self. And so, one day, all miserable and in search of company and a comforting thought and space, I dropped by Devic (carefree and happy) where we, on his initiative in the "peak of fucking around" got high by some intoxicating substance. The whole situation including our 'high' stupidity (especially mine), was bluntly recorded by his camera on a couple occasions during the period of several days. I considered the recording an activist performance 'spiced' with my own 'pro-exorcist' exhibitionism. In all I temporarily managed to cure a part of my spiritual wounds, while their potential relapses were supposed to be neutralised by this exhibition. The idea of a 'CHURCH' came out several months after the film was made, and after the internal 'flash' - revelation, I find out how to define it. Well (blah-blah) within the context of my escapist world view, I think of my life as some kind of quasi spontaneous performance (work of art), and of my art as some kind of analytical simulation of the relived - where I actually live. This means (luckily or unfortunately) that life lives (survives) me, and I live (relive) art. Furthermore, I am characterised by the play-safe animism that combined with over-sensitiveness (being spoiled) to all that (at least in my mind) interacts with me, often results as consecration, fetishism, ritualism and alike of my everyday life through some media or by myself. This praxis yields also an idea of 'sanctification' of an existential space that explains church as a combination of those circumstances that make me 'purified' and relieved i.e. more religiously dedicated to myself or into something that makes me more content, even if it is called God. Whatever. Depending on the mood. The mood 'decided' about the realisation of the exhibition, furthermore, 'the CHURCH' was not created on the basis of a conscious creative premeditation, but strictly spontaneously - 'on the brink of the present situation'. The negative side of this way of thinking is that it sometimes evokes the negative, which, under those circumstances, actually 'feeds' my creativity. To make things more complicated, within the metaphysics of the church, contrary to endless combinations of possibilities fabricated in the objective (public) reality (life), stands my (private) curiosity for temporarily loss of myself (identity) in various states of consciousness or their blend that can arouse due to exhaustion, high concentration, dazedness (befuddlement, intoxication) and in general due to any kind of psychophysical encumbrance, and all under the influence of various world-views and alike. This inseparably covers the flashbacks from the previous daydreaming that as an additional encumbrance appear in recent Ômental conditions'. By the way, all those psychedelic mixes and sampling, i.e. autogenous play-offs with relations; conscious-unconscious, dream-being awake, real-virtual, have been an inexhaustible inspiration for the artists since ancient times. Consequently, video and TV (cyber and alike) media have through electric (electronic) light materialised the archetype of human window into the world of dreams. While looking at a certain image (virtual apparition) on a screen, a common spectator is more or less unconsciously detaching from his objective reality and identifies himself with the projected one, holding on to empirically acquired habits of perceiving (conceiving pain, pleasure, touch, climate, joy, sorrow etc.) 3D space (image). In the state of teleTVmental hypnosis he is transferred from the personal 'real' (virtual) into public 'virtual' (real), and all through the mediation of the emanated image (stressful transfer of 3D universality into 2D (de)construction) i.e. a projection that in my mind is an example of what is traditionally called consciousness. Living lives (of this and that side or kind) we live 'projections' about ourselves, without feeling the boundaries (if there are any) between a dream and reality, public and private, someoneŐs and personal etc. In the light of this principle, the 'CHURCH' gallery should be understood as interdimensional transmission capsule that floats on the basis of intersection of personal 'projection' with the video 'projection' and these with fetish-like objects (holograms) visible (media decoded) on the recording. Furniture=relic, my paintings from 1995/1996=icons, actors=spirits. The listed artefacts and their mutual relations have the task to suggest (in the mind of the spectator - participant) the dematerialization of the matter i.e. the digitalisation of the existent, i.e. the identification of the brain with the 'head' of the video camera. The camera is actually that invisible supervisor (God) of the gallery (church) and the moving inside it - within which l was the spectator should (video head) receive (record) the connotation of a redeemer of human sins (the 'maste'), while a man (code) can be recognised only through a TV signal, through its own confession (recording), that identifies everything exhibited; like when the rock-stars through their fame consecrate (and economically add value) their instruments, songs and other personal belongings. In this euphoric constellation of values it is not important to edit and brush up the recording with effects, what matters is exclusively liveliness combined with leisure offered through endless possibilities of contemporary artistic practice combined with post-industrial iconoclasm. The listed items make, and 'art' my present religion. This text being the surface (screen) of what is for me 'unreachable', and quotation marks, brackets, phrases, local expressions and possible crap, are noise and mistakes of reproduction, interference, mixing of channels, loss of picture, loss of signals ...

Marijan Crtalic

Marijan Crtalić was born May, 8th, 1968 in Sisak, Croatia. 1987 graduated from The School for Applied Arts, Zagreb, Croatia. 1992 graduated painting from The Academy of Fine Arts, Zagreb, Croatia. Works and lives in Zagreb and Sisak.

Marijan Crtalic
The Church