At his exhibition Hippo Must Be Beautiful, Zdravko Joksimović displays to the audience small sculptures which he places on plates set on tables specially designed for this event and a video clip of the opening performance with the artist demonstrating the process of creating a sculpture “from scratch”. The exhibition is about a parallel, double, reversible appropriation that connects culinary art and fine arts.
“If culinary is an art,” remarks Joksimović, “why should art not be perceived as culinary? I would like as well to make the artwork accessible to everyone; to demystify the act of art; to demonstrate the creation of a small sculpture at the kitchen table, in front of the audience, Therefore, for this occasion, I shall make an artwork that can fit the plate and look like the best dish – healthy, attractive and nutritious. I shall also be mellifluous and describe everything with superlatives. However, at this point, my reflections on the role and place of contemporary art diverge from mere stimulation of culinary skill. The conceptual “plot” that I attempt to achieve is precisely about manipulation as such. To the culinary vocabulary, I introduce words from other domains, expressions which present those fields to public discourse. I am interested in some ambiguity and a “noise” that only indicates that something is not right. The performance raises the question: is there at all an autonomous field independent of control mechanisms and, if so, is this “freedom” possible only from the inside, because everything that is presented and publicly exposed is subject to general rules of manipulation. The ironic glorification of success as ‘praise for modern folly’ is the basis of these artworks.”
With the new manipulation, the artist bares and demystifies all the manipulations that are performed on us daily as consumers. Joksimović’s exhibition Hippo Must Be Beautiful unambiguously suggests that nothing is as it seems to be at first glance, nor is it what we are instructed to believe, at second glance. While noticing and eliminating the manipulations that surround us, we purify both ourselves and our view on life. One must admit – there are only a few things more exciting than this.
Zdravko Joksimović and Ivona Fregl
Zdravko Joksimović (1960, Buče, Montenegro) graduated and obtained a Master’s degree at the Faculty of Fine Arts in Belgrade, under Professor Nikola Janković. Joksimović has been a member of ULUS since 1987. Since 1992, he has been working in the sculpture department of Faculty of Fine Arts in Belgrade. In 2014, he became a full professor. He obtained his PhD at the same Faculty in 2016.
Since 1987, Joksimović has been displaying his art in solo and group exhibitions, both in-country and international. He produced a high number of public sculptures at home and abroad. His artworks are part of national and foreign museums acquisitions and other notable private collections.