Vadim Fishkin | Ljubljana 2008



October 24, 2008 – November 7, 2008

“… cognate to Vadim Fiškin’s inception, Bertold Brecht established his critical methodology at the beginning of the century when he rendered the so-called ‘dispossession effect’ as a skill at posing simple questions concerning apparently self-evident things. For instance, what is a watch that is worn on the wrist? It is a device for measuring time, of course. However, how did it come into being and for what purpose? And what does it necessarily measure? What is time anyway? A skill at questioning is a method that, as a rule, always brings us to the conclusion that we really don’t know very much about the most self-evident objects, as were not forced to think about them ….” – Eda Čufer. ‘The detonation of a gaze’,  catalogue “non-eternal art”, 1997

In his most recent work, Sorry – Out of Order, Vadim Fiškin addresses the question of the language” of art. He came up with the basic idea for the work eight years ago but decided not to release the concept until the use of advanced technologies in art had become a more common field of exploration with less of an aura-like association with electronic media.

Sorry – Out of Order is made up of randomly chosen pieces of electronic equipment, which the artist has placed in the Galerija Gregor Podnar in Ljubljana. In this way Fiškin raises questions about what is the essential aspect of a technology-based work of art. Is it the aesthetic of the technological equipment, or the way the equipment functions? Or is the work of art itself under interrogation?

Vadim Fiškin says: „In artworks that use new technologies these questions are inescapable. If you understand how the technology works, does that mean you understand the work itself? Or conversely, can you understand the artwork without understanding the technology involved? This leads to the more general question: Do we need to know the language of art  in order to read the artwork?”

Vadim Fiškin (born 1965 in Penza, USSR) lived in Moscow until 1996; he currently lives and works in Ljubljana. Fiškin’s work explores the relationships between science, personal experience, desire, and the imagination, between metaphysics and pragmatism, and between the artificial and the real. His main area of investigation is science and its study methods as he uses technological advances for essentially poetic purposes. Many of Fiškin’s installations, sculptures, photographs, and drawings– dealing with such topics as geography, time, light, aeronautics, and meteorology– are informed by his distinctive sense of humor. His work has been presented in numerous group and solo exhibitions, including at three Venice Biennials (in 1995, 2003, and 2005); the 1st Valencia Biennial; the Manifesta 1, Rotterdam; the 3rd Istanbul Biennial; Casino Luxembourg, Luxembourg; the Secession, Vienna; Galerie Nationale du Jeu de Paume, Paris; Moderna galerija, Ljubljana; Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin; ZKM, Center for Art and Media, Karlsruhe; MACRO Museum for Contemporary Art, Rome; Drawing Center, New York.

Project produced by: DUM Društvo Umetnikov; Supported by: Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia; Cultural Department of the City of Ljubljana