Plamen Dejanoff “displays & specifics”
Opening: Thursday, March 10th, 2016, 6-9 pm
Duration of the exhibition: until April 9th, 2016
At the center of the exhibition “displays & specifics” is the revival of a very successful work type, “platforms”, developed in an earlier artist collective with Swetlana Heger (until 2001). Today, all of the examples produced from that time can be found in museum and private collections. In the 90's Heger/Dejanov* belonged to the few Austrian artists who reacted to the, since the 80's, increasing commercialisation and mediatization of everyday life, and within the art world questioned the status of works and their character as commodities. They addressed the art scene's economy, its mechanisms of seduction and distinction adapted for the consumer world, the production of desire and the fetishizing of the object. But the focus of their interest was primarily the definition and new interpretation of the artists' role – as producer, salesperson, mediator, curator, collector, etc..
Two surviving presentation plates in the artist's storage made of high gloss painted material were the impetus for the revival of this work type. “displays & specifics” consists of the reassembly as well as the update of these platforms, taking into account Plamen Dejanoff's current artistic position, but also the development of his collection of artworks and design objects – a mirror of the artistic development of the last ten years. Artworks (by Dejanoff and from his collection) will be presented in combination with functional design objects, prestige and decorative objects as well as handcrafted and high-tech artifacts on the colorful surfaces. Independent of their attribution, here it is always about the “specifics”, meaning the rare, precious, unusual – or also, only in the context of art, obscure, puzzling objects. They provide the software for the artistic hardware “display”, lending it aesthetic worth.
Platform has a double meaning. On the one hand it is a discussion forum for dealing with positions in an open space free of hierarchy. On the other hand it is a display for a specific form of presentation. Here both meanings apply. The platforms, that primarily define open spaces of action on which the results, rather documentations, of performative and interactive processes over a period of time were shown, also developed gradually into a sophisticated work form. Today, with this assembly of objects of highly diverse attributions and origins, the artist poses fundamental artistic, aesthetic and cultural questions: those about kitsch and art, about categories like high, everyday and trivial culture, about the boundaries and intersections of art with design, fashion, about conventions, hierarchies and trends, and – always considered – about the relationship between art and economy, between art and commercial value. Plamen Dejanoff's “Platforms” outline at a high level the entire goal of the project spaces' “Grenzdialoge” (“Marginal Dialogues”).
*After the dissolution of the artist collective with Swetlana Heger, Dejanov changes his name to Dejanoff to signal his new beginning as an artist.