“ [...] I can’t tell you how,
I knew - but I did know that I had crossed
The border. Everything I loved was lost
But no aorta could report regret.
A sun of rubber was convulsed and set;
A blood-black nothingness began to spin
A system of cells interlinked within
Cells interlinked within cells interlinked
Within one stem. [...]”
(lines 698-706 from Pale Fire, Vladimir Nabokov, 1962)
One of the many functions of contemporary art is to analyse critically the daily patterns that are obvious before our eyes and to find different and unconventional ways to connect them which yield small revelation and a new perception of reality. Through such practices, items that have seemingly nothing in common, get connected in such a manner that they give birth to complete different systems and generate unique results.
In the same manner, Miroslav Cukovic and Jake Kelly are two artists that use peculiar materials and unconventional methods to make their artworks. They have the wonderful ability to rewire the observer’s mind through visual experimentations and change the perception of the anatomy of the artworks themselves and the space in which they are installed.
In the hands of Miroslav, a simple bicycle brake becomes a printing tool, leaving behind the traces of its journey while finding its way around the white field of the paper sheet: the pathways bend, cross over one another and soon enough it’s impossible to determine where the begging and the end are, letting one’s eyes drift along a Moebius strip that feels completely natural.
On a more intricate level, these pathways create solid shapes by jumping back and forth within confined borders: the thin lines of a ballpoint pen become a thick network that it’s so much more than the sum of its parts, it’s an entity that rules the canvas.
Jake Kelly has a passion and a dedication for ordinary and repurposed materials that he transforms into big-scale installations and complex artworks. Therefore, a simple 3mm jute string takes the shape of an organic sculpture that has many tendrils wrapping around the walls and stretches its long body in one direction, finally anchoring itself to the floor and becoming a living part of the space. It is impossible to ignore it and the observer has to adjust themselves to its presence.
Natural objects find their way into Jake’s practice as a fulcrum around which art works are built: gently bending and persuading its initial function and nature, a branch found in the forest becomes one with metal rods and natural string to create a more complex structure and transforming radically its shape.
This transformative ability is the throbbing core of Reticulum, where dots are connected to become a net that has its own will and meaning, where lines are intertwined to form a system that envelops the viewer, a place where binary thinking is challenged and the possibilities for unexpected links in the future are close to endless.
By Marth von Loeben