Under the counter
Apoteka / VODNJAN (Croatia)
05.09.2015 – 10.10.2015

The artistic practice of Mladen Stropnik, shaped around works on paper, collages, drawings and short video loops, builds up on a specific intervention in the spaces of the everyday, immediate and recognizable, yet wondrous and distorted. Mladen’s artistic process is shaped around minimalist and conceptualist practices, and its artistic gestures operate through cuts and breaks while the narrative is reduced to a minimum.
Relying on a consistent visual language and a certain economy of representation, the procedures, processes and relationships within the work of art build up as a series of interrelationships and cracks that inform the formation of meaning, making visible the invisible, hidden, point to the construction, de / montage, remind us of the constructed character of the work of art. Mladen Stropnik’s drawings or collages are based on minimal gestures intervening in the conceptual and abstract frameworks, as hints and fragments of the visible world, its bare and basic abstract details, often with elements of humor, playfulness, curiosity. In this way, the works represent a certain reframing of objects and images that question their existing internal logic; placed in ambiguous orders, often indecipherable or unexplained, including contradictions and meanings deliberately left suspended, to be deciphered by the observer. " His collages, drawings, objects and videos operate like miniature black holes which suck in our attention, opening for us a world of possible meanings..." – points out Vladimir Vidmar.
Breaks on which the idea of collage is built upon (or broken down), represent a gap in the fabric of the text, provoking breaks in reception analog to the fragmentary character of the work of art. It is in places such as gaps and fissures that meanings are formed, that are sometimes impossible to verbally articulate. Within those new relationships unfolds the title of the exhibition at Apoteka "under the counter," which invites the viewer to try to figure out new meanings, articulate the unknown, what the artist is holding as a surprise, under the table, as a range of options in the relation with the everyday, the usual and unusual, to expose it, inviting us to look again.

Curated by Branka Benčić

Courtesy of Apoteka