18 Mar

“Life in Vain – Life in Pain”

“Life in Vain – Life in Pain”

These artworks can be said to be an interpretation of relevant topics that concern me, things that should and can be done, but for some reason they do not have enough momentum to be fulfilled. This is a view at some, from my point of view, every day, ubiquitous situations where I, as an observer, try to understand the feelings that draw people to some social acceptances that are no longer needed today. I am asking the question whether progress is possible only through individuals who will change society with some kind of activism, or whether these changes will take place at the level of the masses in the future. This is my interpretation of this topic through some common scenes that are established in the area where I live. Through my paper I am trying to show that there is always alternative and that if it is not possible right now then is in the near future.

“The works of Jovan Matić at the exhibition “Life in Vain – Life in Pain” initially draw attention with their communicability. Bright colors arranged in colorful wholes almost automatically cheer up the observer. On a visual level, until the critical apparatus is activated, we think that the works are charming, irresistible and sweet. However, we are very quickly convinced that we have been deceived in some way. The works show the skinned animal skins, their heads in trophies, parts of animal bodies dismembered, processed, exposed – in a word – abused. The seductive variety of colors, compositional thoughtfulness and fine processing of the material draw our attention from the object of presentation to the way of presentation, to the game of art. In this way, the killed animals become aesthetic objects. And the awareness of that arouses conflicting feelings in us as an audience. The guilty pleasure of enjoying the “beautiful corpse” puts us in a situation to think of ourselves as individuals and society as a generator of value systems.


–  Ana Simona Zelenovic

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Xvitamin Art Gallery, Belgrade


March 18, 2021