Aleksandar Todorovic’s first solo show in Athens, talks politics and society through religious iconography.
Dio Horia is pleased to announce the first solo exhibition by Aleksandar Todorovic in Athens, after the artist’s residency and solo show in Mykonos in 2017. The exhibition opens on November 18 in the presence of the artist.
Thinking about religious iconography, in particular, Byzantine art and Eastern Orthodox Christianity tradition, as a visual language used to talk about the contemporary political and societal issues from the humanist perspectives, creates a confusing, contradictory paradox. And it’s likely just that baffling aspect, the clash of the sacred and the secular, mixed with the undeniable parallels between the political or economical structures and religious hierarchies that makes Aleksandar Todorovic’s work so captivating, intriguing, and fundamentally on point. Staying away from the naturalistic way of representation and stepping towards surrealism or even abstraction, these ancient works were originally aiming to represent the Heavenly, unearthly, something beyond our mortal existence. And looking at the disbalance of influence between common people and mega-corporations, witnessing political leaders being perceived as messiahs or martyrs, or following the cults of misformation sprouting from the black hole of information that is the Internet, prompted the Serbian artist to repurpose this proven methodology to comment on the absurd idolatry taking place in real-time. “Think of it as a funny house mirror - it gives the reflection of reality, but it’s distorted and it’s accentuating the parts which affect most of us in the wrong way,” he explains the very basics of his concept in a nutshell.
Originally revolving around the Internet and the ways it conditions and navigates our existence, especially our personal relationships and interactions, Brave New Normal World’s works got elevated by the global pandemic and the unforeseen ways that the global network influenced it. As the historically unseen scenarios started unfolding on the screens in front of our eyes, Todorovic’s portrayal of our digital landscape got more convoluted and he resorted to creating a surrealist retelling of the pandemic with an accent on the role that digital technology played in it. Featuring a cast of renowned characters and scenes widely shared by the mainstream media, the works are adorned with countless references to the great and more often, most shameful moments from our recent past. Putting special attention on the suggestive details and evocative surfaces he is creating, the works are including everything from shiny wood grains or metal surfaces, thick smoke, over soft fur, to shiny suit fabrics.
With the frequent appearance of everyday gadgets, both existing and imaginary technological achievements, and adorned with cleverly chosen and placed emojis or witty wordplays, Todorovic constructs a cultural and historic glitch of sorts, creating unprecedented real-time commentary of the most surreal scenes from our present-day reality show - life in 21st century. “Think of it as a Decameron, but via Zoom,” the artist cleverly summarizes this clash of past traditions and relentless technological and societal change portrayed through the centuries-old lens originally developed by the chroniclers of the spiritual truths.