cvs_centar za vizualne studije

Skupovi: Slika i anti-slika. Julije Knifer i problem reprezentacije

Nadja Gnamuš, Univerza na Primorskem, Koper

Na rubu modernizmaKniferovo slikarstvo između vizualne činjenice i životnog stava

One of the most obvious features of Julije Knifer's art is opposition (between black and white, horizontal and vertical, border and infinity, flatness and optical illusion, presence and absence) which is more than anything else inscribed in his paradoxical term anti-painting. His painting project was oriented towards creation of anti-painting, while attaining it through the use of most essential means of the painting medium. In the sense of working with the basic possibilities of the medium Knifer is a modernist whose art is in certain properties and aspects related to basic propositions of Greenberg's aesthetics. Yet with his almost compulsive »gesture« of repeating the same motif and self-imposed choice implying a conceptual decision he advocates that which in theory has often been claimed as anti-modernist line, evolving particulary from legacy of Dadaism. In conjoining immanent problems of form with conceptual orientation  and persistence in repetition, Knifer's art is inscribed in a particular historical moment of rupture in which modernist strategies and intentions would have moved away from the pictorial, retinal and metaphysical concerns towards seriality, absurdity and mental concepts. In Knifer's case painting has become »a way of behaving« and thus, to a certain degree, even metaphoric manifestation of life. His art does not give priority to form over idea but in artistic process erases their difference, destroying  the unique aura of art object and making it one more necessity and »document« of life. His claim that his painting is just a series of »facts« (without any external meaning) retains on the one hand a formalist rhetoric and literalist factuality while on the other hand expands into a more complex – personal, historical and artistic – context, implying condition beside itself.