Goran Despotovski.

Goran Despotovski was born on 13th August 1972 in Vršac, Serbia. He graduated from the College of Fine and Applied Arts in Belgrade (1995); he received his bachelor (1999) and master degrees (2003) in painting from the Academy of Arts in Novi Sad, and acquired the title of the Doctor of Arts – Fine Arts (2018). He has been employed at the same academy since 2004. He was elected a full professor, for the narrower artistic field of Painting in 2019. He is the president of the Union of the Associations of Fine Artists of Vojvodina – SULUV (since 2017). He has exhibited at sixty-one only and several collective exhibitions in the country and abroad. He has received numerous awards in the field of fine arts and authored several projects under the Academy of Arts in Novi Sad: Differences (2005–), Image (2011–), Book (2016), The Space of the Digital Image (2016) and projects within SULUV: SMIC. Moving form (2019–), Move in code (2021–), etc.


ASC/DESC (Plank)

Interactive/Video, Full HD, 11 min, 2022.

This work opens the fundamental questions of our existence, referring to the freedom of thought, feeling and stated attitudes. Putting forward the position of man who is unrecognisable in society, and recognising him and suggesting that this is applicable to all of us, through a combination of randomly or purposefully defined, controlled circumstances, the work speaks of a destiny given to us under specific rules.

The positions in the work emphasise that man’s life is absent, yet implied and hinted at only in traces. The message of the work opens new questions, aimed primarily to provoke a person to ask oneself in the face of the time when strategic control of everything essential to life and where the moments of re-examining the personal, specific, characteristic is brought into question. The stage has been taken over by irony as a signifier and paralysis of the time, as well as an allegoric relationship towards a new understanding of things in the distancing of humble man.

The title ASC/DESC is actually the key phrase for data management referring to indexing relations, denoting a specific sorting, an ASCENDING-DESCENDING sequence of the controlled choice. In the context of this work, the title underscores the paradoxical system that can sort a given sequence in opposite ways, that is, to reverse it. This automatized option to change the direction is suggestive of a flow of life that can take on the turn of the lifeless, ironically associated with the notion of fateful fateful and the state of levitation. This levitating state to denote a state between life and death. In art, there is a term gravitropism[1] used to emphasise and create a sensation of an environment as radically different. This position of the figure is dictated by the position of the bed. Besides this, the figure is turned upside-down, towards the bed and floor, in an atypical planking position, suggestive of the fall, sinking, falling through. The way this person is dressed – formal suit (a suit jacket and trousers) – denotes something universally-belonging, since a person/dummy dressed in such a way can be measured by different status categories, different places, events, etc.

The bed in the work ASC/DESC, with its minimalist form and structure represents a place, a habitat, a territory; it transcendentally alludes to comfort, a homely environment, but it is not in such a place. The bed is a place with an emphasised absence of everything connected to life. The bed is a place of man’s functions that are overcome, where social and life aspects are absent. The bed is in the position of immersion with a synthesised moment in the field of the unsustainable and, as such, is a signifier of the first and the last echo of life, without reproduction, without feeling.

The content of the messages and the implemented sound represent a distance connecting all the elements of the works, starting from the environment, through the sound, to the textual detail of the messages. The sound provides spatial unification of work and an ambient noise with the only sound change given by a ping tone in varied time intervals, suggesting arrival of some virtual messages. The simulated display on the bed surface, which is differently positioned and placed in different segments, is always located in the space between the bed’s surface and the figure-dummy, bringing a certain textual content. The texts are constructed in such a way that they establish a relation contrary to how the bed and figure are experienced; they open a space for understanding the contrary principles of thinking, state, moving, etc. Actually, the textual messages’ content, originating in the way the phrase ASC/DESC moves, come from a random choice of stray messages, temporal points, messages with an error, an error in the context of interpretation, and so on. These textual messages correspond on the relation of dramatic and at the same time usual messages in everyday communication. Besides, this communication can refer to a dialogue between two people or a monologue, that is, an inner voice.  This is a place of the relation of momentary, accidental, disconnected content of textual messages, the floating and connecting element of everything levitating. The messages are not recognised on the basis of the source, i.e. origin, or sender. The messages in segments vary, and present a characteristically different context of the meaning, ranging from highly subtle to banal, from ordinary to sublime and authentic. Kafka explains this function of an image that is visible in its character as a relationship of not belonging, as a basis of recognition. The message, however displaced, random or manifested as a mistake, with the elements of the dummy and the bed, takes a position of something ambient-related and belonging and indicates things that cannot be put into words.[2]

[1] Eduardo Kac, Against Gravitropism: Art and the Joys of Levitation, http://www.ekac.org/levitation.html

[2] https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/wittgenstein/ 2.2 Sense and Nonsense