Vesna Mažuran-Subotić
Viktor Popović – Interchangeability of the Values of Elements

Commenting on the Grand Prix won at the 8th Triennial of Croatian Sculpture for his sculpture Untitled, meticulously produced garments made of thin lead sheeting placed in a glass display case, in an interview with Slobodna Dalmacija, Viktor Popović stated: “I wanted to bring the way sculpture is understood into the context of sculpture in everyday life. Everything that surrounds us in everyday life can be put into this context. From the bread we knead and bake to the shoes we put on and walk in and that are also sculptural in form.” And it is this very context that problematizes not only the essence of sculpture as such but phenomenality itself, that in Popović’s art develops within borders that we can provisionally define as moving between an aesthetic that can be linked with Pop Art and that which is characteristic of spatial interventions and the creation of ambiental sculpture. Independently of the vocabulary of style and the visual expression that is used in a given work, Popović always examines the basic elements of sculpture and systematically tests out their relationship and interactions, as shown by the one-man show with which he introduces himself at the 9th Triennial of Croatian Sculpture as the grand prize winner of the last. In the gallery space that he was given the use of, the visual division of which is suggested by the two centrally placed pillars, Popović builds an abstract construction of horizontal composition, making use of industrially produced six-meter long standardized H-section girders, along the length of which on one side he has incorporated slender high voltage argon tubes, creating thus a module that became a structural element of the whole set-up of the installation, the orientation of which can be distinguished at each one of the two existing spatial levels, depending on the half of the room in which it is located (on the left side of the gallery the lower sequence is placed vertically on the plane of the entry space, and across it, there are slanting elements, while on the right-hand side the opposite holds). By addressing not only the voluminousness but also the linearity of each of the elements through their mutual juxtaposition in extension, a dynamic composition is produced, abetted by the lighting, the double-layeredness of which, by the placing of the two elements from the upper sequence on the floor surface, takes on an additional sense of motion. The internal spatial rhythm that is created within the sculptural whole created in this way, which draws equal strength from the very obvious presence of the segments of the volume themselves and the linear and luminous effects, is assisted by the juxtaposition of the heavy, dark steel beams and the fragile glass tubes that give off their white light, and is backed up with a colorist experience that varies from dark brown, practically black on the outside of the beams to the warm reddish-brown of the rust in the interior. The permutability of all the elements of this abstract composition and the establishment of relationships of interchangeability among all the values that compose it, the spatial changes based on relations of span and intersection give a very lively impression, and the deliberate photo graphism provides for opulent optical perception. This work shows again the speculativeness of Popović’s visual vision and his ability to give it objective shape, justifying his being placed among the most interesting representatives of new Croatian sculpture.
Untitled / 9th Triennial of Croatian Sculpture

solo exhibition

Glyptotheque of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts, Zagreb
June 12 July – 15 September 2006

Vesna Mažuran-Subotić

work exhibited:

Untitled, 2006
24 HEB beam iron profiles (each 6m), argon light tubes, electrical fittings
dimensions variable

photo credits:
Fedor Vučemilović