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Center for Contemporary Arts Celje presents UROS WEINBERGER Displaced world, deplasiran svet

Center for Contemporary Arts Celje presents UROS WEINBERGER Displaced world, deplasiran svet on view 28.2. – 14.4.2013.

Uros Weinberger
Uros Weinberger, This World Needs No Cripples, 2012, olje na platnu

Painter Uroš Weinberger has always been met with a warm reception in the environment of his origin, a proof of which has been his perpetual presence on this visual art scene in the area, among other things. Already as a fresh graduate from the Ljubljana Academy, he presented his work masterfully at the third biennial exhibition, A Look 3, at the Lamut Visual Arts Salon in Kostanjevica na Krki. Since then, he has been invited to all the consecutive exhibitions, including the latest, where he was the winner selected by curators from all over Slovenia. This award strengthened the artist’s recognition at home, and his presence abroad is growing.
Relentless research, which has led the artist to carry on along his path, and an extensive opus that Uroš Weinberger has created in mere ten years of making art make the observer realise that this is a painter whose exhaustive creativity denotes not only his calling, but a primal need of vitality. His creative action is always based on making something new. And as we can see, his creative path always follows a particular aim in his effort to achieve the appropriate visual articulation, which is to function as a message, and last but not least as the truth, so meaningful to Uroš Weinberger. What I am referring to is the joining of the autonomy of the medium of painting with a creative attitude dependent not only on fleeting mental flashes or associations; moreover, it is about deliberate, thorough research into the appropriate visual formulations of meaning.

It is a fact that this is a studious artist, who has, however, never let himself be seduced by the abundance of available modern media of expression, like some of his generation have. From the beginning, he has been profoundly convinced of the choice of a single medium of expression, making painting his consistent and, as it appears, his definite creative path.

Nevertheless, it is with the exhibition entitled Displaced world, deplasiran svet., it appears, that Uroš Weinberger is finishing the era of youthful eagerness to find his personal expression. The works, with which he has chosen to reach us this time, were made in the manner, which he has used and perfected for a long time, and which practically characterises his entire opus, the principle of collage. Frankly, he has chosen various means of expression. He concentrated on the classic collage initially using his own drawings and sketches on paper, transferring over time to painting compositions, which allude to the collage, while in this kind of concepts he has recently been using carefully chosen documentary photographs, or their details, taken out of different media and contexts, which he interprets in paintings creating in this way his view of the world.

As we know, the principle of collage as such is not a very innovative manner of expression in visual arts. Owing to its exceptional possibilities of relating meaning, a number of artists have used it since the beginning of the previous century (Dadaism), for instance Robert Rauschenberg as a prominent representative, and Sanja Iveković or Sigmar Polke among the most recent artists, and it is not a rarity among young artists of today after all. It is tailor made for Uroš Weinberger, as we say, with a number of his creations belonging to the top achievements of Slovenian visual arts scene. Standing out are those packed with narrative.

We can sense certain bivalence in his opus manifested in two extremes. Some of his works are of an explicitly monumental nature. They are characterised by clear borders and a minimum number of scenes in undefined environments. Meanwhile, others are packed with narrative, which makes their readability highly intricate. Although a presence of the artist’s fear of the empty (horror vacui) comes to mind, we can recognise a principle made plausible by the topic itself. Uroš Weinberger relates his topic by listing and intertwining carefully chosen metaphors and quotations.

Uroš Weinberger has reacted plentifully to everyday problems in recent years. Interpretive perceptions of intense impulses of our increasingly cutthroat living that we experience in our immediate environment and follow through the media every day, which is generally difficult to avoid, have become his priorities. In his attitude of deep social involvement, he has directed all his creative passions into a charge of powerful eruptive expressiveness. Attracting the observer with their allure of highly aesthetic ideals, his works actually cut deeply into the core of the problems singled out. It is the artist’s goal to seduce the observer and corner them immediately in order for them to recognize the issue. He wants to trigger a switch in their minds, so that they would rethink and change their established points of view.

Uroš Weinberger has designed a highly thematic display. Its name, Displaced world, deplasiran svet., tells us graphically where and what its message is. This is reinforced by purposely writing the title wrong. We live in a world, which under the cover of virtual order is essentially deformed, full of confusion, nonsense and contradiction. We are becoming more and more passive, uncreative, and thus more easily controllable. Individuals recognizing and confronting this are exposed to omnipresent mechanisms of control, which contribute to their taming.

As an artist, he stresses this exhibition was meant in its very design as an extremely personal statement. We can imagine the presence of the artist in individual images going through all this since his naive, perceptive childhood. He also refers to the present statuses of an artist and the arts in general. He says that an average day will leave a void filled in by the mass media that are becoming increasingly aggressive in trying to take over the control of material arts.

Of course, Uroš Weinberger does not mean the once utopian Orwell’s Big Brother, supposedly omnipresent and all-seeing, and sending the disobedient for reeducation, or the eye of God, who can apparently secretly punish our sins. The artist forces us with his representations to face the reality and makes us confront the base methods of monitoring control, and uncompromising methods of persecuting people who violate the order and are ill-adapted to our environment. The persecution progresses to beating with truncheons or to simple elimination. At the same time, he reminds us that these methods are not new. They come from the days of our ancient, and not so ancient, ancestors, and they are popular even today with all totalitarian and authoritarian regimes.

Entering the exhibition, we are distracted by sound impulses enveloping the display area as they are coming from tubes snaking through the entire room – from paintings through all places and forword outdoors. They seem to insist on involving us in the events on the canvasses, so that we become part of this displaced world, willingly or not.

Barbara Rupel

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