Boštjan Drinovec: Cacophonous Generator

The sculptor Boštjan Drinovec who has been teaching sculpture at the Academy of fine arts and design, Ljubljana since 2008 credits himself in his CV, just alongside his academic career, with being “a creator of Metelkova Mesto”. At first, this might seem an obsolete fact, seemingly telling us only that the sculptor's atelier is to be found in Metelkova Autonomous Cultural Centre. Yet there is more contained in it.  
Boštjan Drinovec has had a significant impact on the image of Metelkova Mesto, and Metelkova has certainly marked him in return. Boštjan Drinovec is the sculptor who in 1999 placed a copy of the Greek sculpture David on the Alkatraz Gallery façade. The urban landscape became the central image of Metelkova as recognised by its users. Furthermore, Boštjan Drinovec is the sculptor whose kind of production as well as visual and thematic aspects express a “Metelkova attitude”. The image of Metelkovec (i.e. someone to do with Metelkova) is the type of image we all understand, yet no one knows how to explain it thoroughly. It can be attributed to “social subjects appearing at the intersection of dominant cultures, cultural industry, mass culture, struggle for space, struggle for cultural hegemony and the right to free creation,” but difficult to define in more detail. The “Metelkova attitude” is far from being a perfect reflection of the current Metelkova moment. Rather, it is constructed of elements of reality, later to be internalised and again introduced to the reality in the manner that is used by “the alternative scene to stage Metelkova.”
Typical of Boštjan Drinovec is a variant of “Metelkova attitude”. His works are no expression of direct political statements, but permeated by them at several levels. As regards production frameworks, they are to a large extent characterized by the DIY approach, which can also be identified at all levels of Metelkova mesto, but can also be related to the idea of maintaining the métier knowledge, which has been gradually but plainly disappearing from the increasingly professionalized (and thereby industrialised) world of visual arts.
Cacophonous generator, the eponymous sculpture of the exhibition, producing a mixture of organised and chaotic rhythms, Posttetris, an abundance of Tetris computer game elements arranged in three dimensions for visitors to combine them, although they can never be combined into a uniform surface, and a recognisable monumental steel Lego sculpture holding its head below its arm: they all comment on the society surrounding the sculptor. The cacophony of sounds produced by the sculpture responds to the cacophony of contemporaneity, the hustle and bustle of big cities, and the chaos of diverse power-seeking social believes that keep failing to harmonise themselves or only manage to do it for a short period of time. Posttetris is of similar layout, its elements having been designed so as to practically prevent combining. However, according to the artist, the sculpture still “enables a range of combinations that produce a variety of visual experience and exceed the experience of being organised and combinable.” Clearly understandable at first sight is the motif of the nearly human figure Post-modern man, which is surely recognised by a Western visitor as the image of a toy industry product, even if his head is placed somewhere else than his neck.
It is not only their motifs and topics that comment on contemporary social issues, equally telling are the sculptures' materials and the art forms composing them. The tension created between the shiny steel and polished plastic rouge of the Lego figure head, or the appearance of the found base cut to acquire the urban look as opposed to the precise technology of the instrument posed on it, all this creates a cacophony of materials and surfaces. This then further supports the thematic layer of sculptures and combines with it. When observing the sculptures made to perfection by Drinovec in a DIY manner, the surface and materials introduce us to the “Metelkova attitude”. However, when considering their message, this can only become clear through the forms, structures and surfaces composing the sculptures. At the exhibition Cacophonous generator, the aspects of art and meaning are very much harmonious.

Petja Grafenauer

3 December – 15 December 2010

Opening: 3 December 2010 at 8 pm
Kibela / KIBLA Maribor

Kindly welcome. Admission free.

KiBela is open every day 9.00 am to 10.00 pm, Saturdays 4.00 pm to 10.00 pm, and closed Sundays.

KiBela programme is supported by
Slovenian Ministry of Culture
EACEA, Brussels
Municipality of Maribor

Boštjan Drinovec: Cacophonous Generator



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