Repeat After Me
Eastwards Prospectus / BUCHAREST (Romenia)
13.10.2016 – 23.12.2016
Past couple of years Damir Očko has produced a vast body of work consisting of artists films, objects, installations, poetry and works on paper such as photo-collages or graphic musical scores shaping artistic interest based in exploring poetic and political potential, by placing the human body in the center of a kaleidoscopic image that reflects positions of power, fragility or violence and their relations to modes of representation.
On the occasion of the artists first solo exhibition in Romania, the exhibition project by Damir Očko Repeat After me at Eastward Prospectus, occupying gallery’s two floors is conceived as a vast immersive panorama and is one of the most comprehensive exhibitions of his works to date giving an insight into Damir Očko’s artistic practice.
The exhibition builds up around the ideas and artworks behind several concepts explored in previous exhibitions such as Studies on Shivering: The Third Degree, which saw Damir Očko representing Croatia at the 2015 Biennale di Venezia. It brings together artists’ recent film production - four major film works since 2012: We saw nothing but the uniform blue of the sky (2012), followed by Spring (2012), TK (2014) and The Third Degree (2015) presented as film installations in the basement exhibition spaces.
Films are set in dialogue with a series of newly produced and older interrelated works presented in exhibition rooms at the first floor. In this way aesthetic, conceptual and formal frameworks behind Damir Očko’s artistic practice that are mainly shaped around a central position of a moving image based work becomes fully discoverable in the gallery space, inviting the audience to explore them and establish new connections.
Each film follows a fragmentary narrative, a dialogue between the languages of film and poetry, as an architecture of partially connected images, texts and contexts, fluidity of language, camera moves and cinematic procedures.
At the first floor the gallery display is structured by series visual, textual, aural works generated from concepts found in artists’ films, as taking off the skin of the film itself. Based on photographic background of images such as production photographs and film stills exhibited collages are intervened on by a layer of minimalistic abstract forms.
The artist often gives the observers and visitors the role of explorers ready to grasp the many layers of works either intuitively or rationally. Therefore by saying Repeat after me, the artist is performing a speech act, inviting us to follow him embarking on the exhibition as a journey. Choreographing our way through the exhibition what we are doing as an audience is we are actually following the artists’ request from the title. By saying Repeat after me, it implies a performativity inscribed in the theatricality of the exhibition display. Očko’s meticulous presentation at the gallery turns the gallery space into a device, an apparatus dis/orienting and shaping a dramaturgy of the exhibition, both physical and discursive spaces it occupies.
Curated by Branka Benčić
Courtesy of the artist and Eastwards Prospectus