Modern Art is delighted to announce a solo exhibition of new work by Bojan Šarčević, Comme des chiens et des vagues. This will be Šarčević’s first exhibition with the gallery, and his first solo show in London.
Bojan Šarčević’s work has an incredible elemental sensitivity. His practice centres on the cusp of the experience of form, where material intersects with the phases of creative process and aesthetic judgement. Šarčević takes this sensible experience and interpretation of material character and compresses it with the codes of architecture and ornamentation as the basis for an abstract narration. His narrative is constructed in such a way as to seem ambiguous and feel abstractly formed — deferring the representation of certainty and opening a field for the interplay of history, analogy, interpretation, and the expression of meaning.
For his exhibition at Modern Art, Šarčević has produced an extraordinary body of new work that expands on notions of autonomous sculpture and represented experience. Throughout, the works in the show are defined, precise and particular. Objects are intuitively formed and connected in such a way that the processes of reading and sense-making skip like a mirage, just out of reach of comprehensible grasp. Simple and complex elements coexist, and what might seem a known reference to shape or position meets with heterogenous material or a feel of slight dislocation. Comme des chiens et des vagues proposes the transference of mineral properties almost as an analogue to flesh; proposing an eroticisation of aesthetic experience and the sculptural inhabitation of space.
Occupying a room to itself is a sculpture carved from a large single block of Persian onyx. To acquire the stone, Šarčević travelled to the ancient Silk Route city of Yazd in central Iran, from where the block of raw stone was transported by road to Britain for carving and finishing. Precisely worked with rectangular, square cut shapes and cavities, it suggests a semi-functional form, while its sensuous materiality and ambiguous purpose lends a disquieting presence. The interplay of shape and man-made geometry effects properties of change and transformation, while revealing the fundamentally unchanged and highly aesthetic qualities of this rich and elemental material. Its presence offers a constant reflection on sculptural tensions: fragility and resilience, weight and gravity, shape and texture, geometric and organic form, organic and mineral flesh.
In the second room are three smaller geometric steel sculptures made from welded hoops of steel. The sculptures are each accompanied by framed photographic sets depicting young women, engaging physically with the sculptures and performing in particular urban, wilderness, and domestic situations. The photographic documents effect an otherwise immediate sculptural experience, supplementing the presence of the objects themselves and demonstrating a performative dimension of surrendered aesthetic activity. These sets of photographs cinematise the sculptural experience, activating the sculpture as a semi-purposeful object to taint pure notions of formalism with an aestheticised bodily presence in a complex dialogue of autonomy and supplementation.
Bojan Šarčević was born in Belgrade in 1974, and lives and works in Berlin and Paris. Šarčević graduated from the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts, Paris, in 1997, and studied at the Rijksakadamie, Amsterdam, 1999 – 2001. Recent solo institutional exhibitions include Eventuellement, Le Grand Café Centre d’art Contemporain, St Nazaire (2010); Involuntary Twitch,De Vleeshal, Middelburg (2010); Only After Dark, Kunstverein Hamburg, Hamburg (2008); Already Vanishing, MAMBO, Bologna (2008); Kissing the back of your hand makes a sound like a wounded bird, BAWAG Contemporary, Vienna (2007); To what extent should an artist understand the implication of his or her findings?, Project Arts Centre, Dublin (2006); and Cover Versions, Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam, Amsterdam (2001). Bojan Šarčević’s work was included in the 50th Venice Biennale (2003), the 3rd Berlin Biennial (2004); and Manifesta 2, Luxembourg (1998). His work has been included in museum exhibitions at Tate, St. Ives (2009); Thyssen- Bornemisza Art Contemporary, Vienna (2009); ZKM, Karlsruhe (2008); Kunstmuseum Bonn (2006); Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (2005); Centre Cultural Andratx, Mallorca (2005); Tate Modern, London (2004); New Museum, New York (2004); Modern Art Oxford, Oxford (2004); Witte de With, Rotterdam (2004).