Mladen Stilinović: Nothing Gained with Dice

time: 28.03.2014. - 21.05.2014.
place: New York, USA
organiser: e-flux
Nothing Gained with Dice is the second solo presentation of work by Croatian artist Mladen Stilinović at e-flux.

While the 2010 exhibition Artist’s Books focused on that form, with which Stilinović has continuously been engaged since 1972, the most recent exhibition offers broader insight into the great variety of media and themes that characterize Stilinović’s work—with its interweaving of politics, language, art, and daily life—while tracing them back to his earlier and lesser-known experiments in poetry and film.

The exhibition, titled after a quote from poet Paul Celan, which Stilinović uses as the opening line of his text “On Money and Zeros,” foregrounds the crucial link between his visual work and language and poetry; while the early films, which Stlinović produced in Zagreb’s so-called amateur cine-clubs, call forth his passionate dedication to auto-didacticism.

Since the beginning of his career in the 1970s, Stilinović has been opposing social norms, ideology of political and culture canons, always questioning his own human and artistic status. From 1975 he was a member of Group of Six Artists, a group of avant-garde artists in Zagreb, who organized exhibitions-actions in public space, seeking for more autonomous art venues for art production and distribution.

Stilinović constantly reaffirms his position of an artist who operates as an artistic corrective to the surrounding reality, from the Yugoslav socialism to the neo liberal global capitalism. From a formal perspective, Stilinović proposes an examination of the aesthetic (and social) heritage of historical avant-gardes, overcoming the intellectual strictness of conceptual art, and opening a space for humor and irony. Stilinović’s works are mainly simple in their execution, but meticulously engaged with such subjects as poverty, death, money, economy, and pain, while systematically researching the relations between language and ideology. (Read more…)

(D.H., 24.03.2014)