Blesok no. 103-104, December, 2015
Document Child by Monika Moteska
Document Child by Monika Moteska
The artistic practices are today irretrievably transformed into an endless and boundless, diffuse and decentralized universe of declarative, expressive and conceptual practices. Considerably long time has passed since the boundary and distinctive particularities between these practices and the other media and discursive structures have been disturbed within a global “Babylonian” culturological and civilization syndrome. Since the first modern, basically avant-garde breakthroughs, through the neo-avant-garde and conceptual movements of the 1960s, up to the post-modern dispersions, the artistic practices seem to have crossed the border of the “end of the art”, decomposed to the level that Danto has formulated as an essentially artistic: a discursive-conceptual field of declarative patterns. The aura of the autonomous medium and the authentic patterns are thus destructed and immersed into the deconstructive matrices of the declarative concepts which we still, in the traditional manner, refer to as “artistic”. But on the other hand, this reveals an endless and exciting field of playing with the artistic, with the accumulated culturological and civilization models, and with the syntactic and semantic contents of the reality and fiction, which reveals new dimensions of the artistic idiom and its expressive possibilities.
Today this exciting planetary adventure is mostly carried out through the different use of the photographic medium, but now completely released of any autonomous and “authentic” pretensions. The virus of photographic manipulation and exploitation has been dominantly present in the current artistic practices of the artistic scene in Macedonia for a considerable time now, and the relevant declarative occurrences in the recent artistic life are almost completely infected with the visual, informational and conceptual possibilities of this medium.
Monika Moteska, as an artist dedicated to the cultivation of her own artistic idiom into a relevant and current pattern on the rather modest artistic scene here, is focused in many of her projects on the conceptual-narrative application of the photography when rendering her declarative artworks. Moteska applies the photography in different modalities, from a free use of others’ photographic models to self-referential photographic exposition, from unpretentious, documentary evidencing of certain conditions or reality artifacts to conceiving narrative strings. Her approach in the application of the medium is consciously led by the desire to model simple, yet concentrated narrative structures with a subtle formal and connotative capacity. This manner of sustaining of seemingly small and unpretentious photographic statements and stories proceeds from the tenderness and simplicity of a typically “female idiom”, susceptible to profiling the layers of the insights and the levels of meaning.
In two of her latest projects (NATURA MORTA, 2010 and document.child, 2011) Moteska forms her artistic idiom into a matrix based upon the old genre or individual photographic model upon which she superimposes her imaginative and conceptual idiom. Thus, the “borrowed” genre or “others’” photographic model is segmented and “alienated” from its former context and bravely artistically incorporated into the new conceptual and narrative surrounding. But, while in NATURA MORTA she applies a resourceful allegorical shift and ironical dethroning of the basic iconography of the genre of still life in order to use the components of the genre in a shifted and contemporary context, in the project document.child this ironical play is completely absent. The inspirational model of this project is included immediately and spontaneously, with a lot of sensitive charge in the process of relating and superimposing of the idiom structure. Actually, this narrative artistic superimposing in the project is done in such a way that it conceptually does not differ from its model. Namely, the concept of the model – the photography of Blagoj Žežoski, a photographer from Prilep, made in 1929 as a triple exposition on a glass plate with a portrait of a child in its full size in three different poses – is applied also in the 34 photographs made by Moteska. It is rendered on the principle of an equal approach with three exposition in digital techniques, conceived while photographing 34 children from the class of her son in three different poses. Same as on the model, the children were advised to hold in their hands parts of their favorite objects, in an infantile, yet cheerful iconographic milieu. Almost identical is the visual scenery, both in the model and in Moteska’s photographs. And, despite the temporal distance, their symbolical and connotative habitus is identical, as well. As in an out-of-time scenery, the impulses of pure innocence, unburdened joie de vivre and delight are equalized and permeated. Moteska resourcefully incites and maintains the concentration and the interest of the children who participate in this project, although the rendering of such social project, a project of “social plastic” as Beuys would define it, requires hard and thorough psychological preparation and engagement in the course of the practical realization. This is why this project of Moteska is a particular innovation in our current art, since it is a rare example of applying the art in relation and the art understood as social modeling.