Artistic statement (ENG)_by DAVOR SANVINCENTI

Our existence is constituted between appearance and disappearance. Our being is the center of sensed experiences, an unique creature of unpredictable active presence. The beginning is inarticulate, the image speaks.

It is important to be present, present in the image at the time of the image, present in the act at a time of action.

From the beginning of my work I was fascinated by conditions and forms of human senses and perception. There is no way to prove that all of us can experience a blue color or a specific tone in the same way. However, according to different indicators, we get to conclusion that our perceptive apparatus are functioning in a similar way. Notices, observations and research that pervade the scientific and artistic spheres constitute the structure for my work. My activity is diverging across three media: audiovisual installations (physical or interactive type), spatial interventions (in the urban and social tissue) and "live" media (audiovisual performances and concerts). I am exploring qualitative and aesthetic possibilities of various media as a function of direct communication with the public (visitor, observer) by setting them in a position of questioning, discovering and expanding their own cognitive and emotional maps. By immersing themselves in perceptive scenarios, visitors are becoming an inevitable part of the work itself, a reflective thinking-body structure, an active presence in time and space.

My recent concentration and action is a continuous research in the direction of time-space poetics in an open dialogue with the human sphere of perception. The recognizable guiding principle that extends through my works does not exclude a tendency of "fresh" analysis and approach, as well as the choice to be manifested in any of mentioned media.

The creation is rounded, just like life itself.

Davor Sanvincenti

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Sanvincenti's fringe oscillations (ENG) _by MARINA VICULIN

Davor takes interest in the fringe fields of light. What does he find in them? Fringe frequencies? But there is no such a thing, cause frequencies always move on, metamorphosing from visible to invisible, from light to sound and, further down to the oscillations that make up the universe.

The given possibilities of our perceptions are what exists, they are the ones creating fringe fields. They are limitations that give us a chance to see. Let's say we see only what we understand, and we understand only things whose borders we can comprehend. Maybe this is what all of our limitations serve for. Maybe we do not live forever, because then we could not grasp that we are alive…

Space-time dimensions are changing and getting slightly deformed at the fringes. The echoes of neighbouring space penetrate. There is no perfect border, as it would be opposing the concept of our world characterized by penetration and blending at all the levels. Even when they are very precise, edges are not the perfect border.

The hardness of borders is a crucial worldview issue, hence the approach, the plunge that reveals borders’ consensual nature is much more than a mere poetical experience. The sounds of dawn or the pulsations of spheres tune our receptors to the receipt of data that change insights. Pleasant recognition, by which some of Sanvincenti's pieces win us over, is but a catalyst of cognitive process we are drawn into.

Through permeable membranes, which Davor Sanvincenti shapes for us, we experience some of the universe’s real nature. As if we press our ear to the wall and apparently hear something, sometimes even believing that we discern what the creatures from the other side of the wall talk of.

Listening In

Davor's pieces often contain sound. Frequencies mingle. We find it easier to enjoy the non-articulated sounds than the poorly formed images. As if the ear is more nervous.  They say the eye is the most rational sense. Frequencies mingle and shift. Oscillations vibrate additionally, and our senses are unprepared for such a space of synesthetic chaos. How to see the earth’s very deep sounds? How to hear the pulsation of stars?

The fringe areas which Sanvincenti shapes for us are the places of decreased scopes which, like exercising devices, enable us letting the omnipresent vibrant nature to reach us without frying our cognitive system that is based on the existence of clear demarcations. He strengthens some of the radiations with multiple re-taping, where each new medium acts as an amplifier for a part of frequency within a recorded spectre. He decreases some of the latter by pulling over a foggy layer of unawake light.

None of this would be spotted unless we begun counting on these things, experiencing them, thinking about them! Borders are conditioned by our anthropocentric notion system. If we cease seeing world as a place created for us, people, most of these borders – that are mere ranges and reaches – will cease existing. Partly, this is a story that Sanvincenti’s pieces are referring us to. These pieces never demand the hours-long, days-long, months-long manual work! They evade that entrepreneurial, procreative definition. Everything that can happen lies within the sphere of recognition. All of the action is moving in the opposite direction, of non-doing. We, people, consent with this only when all of the other options have been taken away from us, when we are tied to the bed, when our life is in danger, when we run out of reasons for living. I do not know whether this is a question of culture or is it inbuilt in a pre-document of the species that was moulded by the ability of problem-solving. Perhaps a positivistic outlook could claim that we would never become erect if we didn't have to reach the apple. I do not know!

Davor's pieces demand us to slow down, to quiet our pulse, requiring even the absence of thoughts and emptied consciousness. Only such a background is able to receive some of the diverse contents we are speaking about.

And what do we speak about?  Is there anything in this emptiness at all?

Before the First Light

Davor gets up an hour or two before dawn: he takes his black & white polaroid camera and arrests an unknown piece of the exterior before first sunrays hit it. He does this in various places, anywhere on the continent, anyplace in the world where he happens to be.  This is a serious investment of vital energy in order to get up early and frequently take long, distant walks to meet the dawn.  It places a big demanding question mark in front of the black and white image that is supposed to be the result of it all.

Magical small fuzzy little images line up. The traces of human presence on them are small or almost nonexistent. Magic lays within the tenderness of the moment, the gentleness of the light whose source, at the moment of shooting, was still under the horizon. There are no shadows, no contrast and everything is drowned in a common happiness of diffuse light. There is no differentiation, no good or evil, the world is just being born.

They are very beautiful, cause they are very vulnerable. They always look transient, as if they are about to change here, in front of my eyes, right now. Watching them, I am almost never entirely sure that they are the same images. They are liquid as time.

As amazing as black and white instant photos may be, experience produced by them doesn't seem to be proportional to the effort that has been invested in their creation. Not in the sense of what is represented in them. Entirely opposite to the meaning of the reason for which they are here, meaning not grasped by the gaze.

The main body of a mushroom is mycelium, its subterranean part which we forget because we don't see it, and which can exist for decades without that merry stem with a cap. What we call mushroom is an excess condition of the subterranean creature which belongs to neither plants nor animals. This is how Sanvincenti’s instant photos, taken Before the First Light,  look to me – as the gorgeous excesses of a much more comprehensive and unthinkably more complex situation which is the real Sanvincenti’s work! And instant photos are merely its enrapturing ephemeral appearances.

They are truly transient. Developed from the exposed whiteness, outlined with innocent light of Mallarmé's dawn, they’re changing in a slow-motion of light-shifts. They will gradually turn yellow and eventually, one day, they’ll disappear entirely, as pointed out by the author himself when he quoted a verse by Stéphan Mallarmé: Le vierge, le vivace et le bel aujourd'hui ...

Davor's piece Before the First Light  has its ritual segment too. When he goes hunting for the image produced by his innocent polaroid camera, he shoots but once and then, without checking, he hides it in some dark, secretive compartment, letting it to develop. Afterwards he chooses a moment to look at the photo. He chooses seclusion and buys himself some time.

Sanvincenti postpones a gaze. He postpones a meeting that already occurred, whose consequences, however, are yet unknown. He does not know what is documented, and whether everything „was in vain“. Why the postponing? Why the ritual of a single shot? The discreet charm of instant photos, same as the facts of their origination, point at a story much longer and much wider than the process of producing an instant image.

In a certain sense, Sanvincenti's instant photograph is a permeable membrane from the beginning of this narration. It contains all of the limitations that made it suitable and acceptable for recording the imprints of the fringe area. This time the fringe is posited between night and day.

In order to fully understand this Sanvincenti’s work, one should recall the true nature of each, including the instant photographic image. A photograph is a turning point, because it disputes duality through an entirely mechanic process of image's origination. In this manner the solution of dualistic understanding of the world was found, hence new civilization is new also for the fact that after the photograph appeared it lost the manoeuvring space between spirit and matter, i.e. was liberated from the dilemmas of spirit and body.[1]

The image that was not manufactured manually and bears no mark of master's spirituality as mediated by his hand's trace, clearly shows it is possible to produce a print without a touch. And this is contradictory to the very concept of imprinting!

In his early-morning instant photographs, Davor Sanvincenti arrests that missed segment of the spectrum. Sometimes it is the presence of the night in morning light, at times it consists in  too high or too low frequencies of the landscape vibrations, or of the yet unawake parts of a coming day. Therefore he shoots a single instant photograph, and therefore he does not watch immediately but later on, when the day forms entirely. The ritual of long walks in unknown landscapes, of shooting a single photo, separation from the stable reality of an ordinary morning at a place known, altogether strengthen the permeability of a membrane! The interesting thing is why does Sanvincenti’s open consciousness render an instant photography more sensitive to the frequencies outside of the ordinary visible spectrum?



[1] Dimitrije Bašičević, Consequences of the Photography, 11th Digression on Culture and Art of the 1970s, form a catalogue of exhibition Innovations in 1970s Croatian Art, GSU, Zagreb, 1982,  pg. 85.

Remembering tomorrow (ENG) _by JULIE PORTIER

Davor Sanvincenti, who is fascinated by perceptive phenomena, experiments with the possibility of retransmitting and sharing them. The multimedia environments and the immersive systems he develops with great technicity seek to “extend the viewer’s emotional and cognitive map”. In what conditions might the sensorial stimulus, with which the mass media and advertising bombard the subject, sharpen sensibility, stimulate reflection and transmit a form of knowledge?

At the core of the artist’s research we find this challenge— primordial in all visual/plastic forms—of restoring the quality of the perceptive experience, so that the image is “communicative” (the way a mood can be), and that, in addition, its reception opens up a meditative space. “It is important to be present in the image, at the moment of the image”, writes the artist. The instruction might concern the producer as much as the receiver. In fact, the involvement of the viewer’s body is each time arranged in the middle of the system in such a way that the perceptive act is the condition of existence of the thing perceived.

Here, the work makes an argument about the principles of idealist philosophy. Katarina 06 (2006-2007) gave access, through 3D glasses, to an old island military base, closed to the public for some 50 years. Illusion physically shifted the spectator into another space-time. In 2011, the two audio-visual installations Invisible Landscapes each offered the illusion of the exhaustive spectacle of the world, in a limited time and space. In Invisible Landscape/Earth, the view is blocked by thick smoke in order to stimulate “an inner vision”, while an eight hour sound composition diffuses ambiences captured on three continents, in different natural sites. Invisible Landscape/Space is a 360° projection of a starry sky accompanied by an audio system simulating a rotation of the sound. Set in an extra-ordinary visual environment, i.e. at the center of the world, the audience is caught in an “acoustic vortex” which heightens awareness of a perceptive experience beyond what is humanly conceivable, in an infinite time and space scale, witnessing, in immanence, the creation and death of all things.

At the FRAC, the multi-sensorial experience departs from sophisticated technological means by relying on old techniques: Polaroid photography, 16 mm. film, accompanied by a fragment of a romantic poem borrowed from Stéphane Mallarmé: “The virgin, the vivid, and the beautiful new day”. Access to another space-time, strange and familiar alike, to a unique and reiterated emotion, and to a special and ordinary spectacle is provided in the dialectic articulation of autonomous elements rather than immersion in a haptic environment—related to touch. The system involves the participation of the onlooker, not through the body but in an act of reading, which will produce an emotion re-directed in the body, spreading each nerve ending enclosing the memory of a past emotion thus re-awakened. At the mechanical sound of the projector, we are the volunteers in an experiment about the communicability of a personal experience between two beings endowed with awareness and feelings, and, even more so, an investigation of our aptitude for empathy.

As a dawn walker, Davor Sanvincenti records this radical change in reality (“day and night”), this dramatic reversal of situations which does not take place in a “decisive split second”, but in the period of time that stretches the moment of uncertainty, tending towards a well-lit future but plunged into half-light. The subject summons a large number of historical, psychological, and political metaphors… In Mallarmé’s poem, enthusiasm for the beautiful new day weds a melancholic musicality, echoed by the clicking noise made by the projector. The artist uses old words to talk about tomorrow, and the media of memory to show a vision of the future. The paradoxes of existence come to the surface of the image. Its material fragility (and its limited shelf life) underpin a powerful life force, and its reproductive nature transmits a one-off spectacle, which is repeated every day.

El Tiempo, en reposo entre la Tierra y el Cielo (ESP) _by AISHA CRUZ CABA

¿Cómo dar forma al Tiempo? ¿Cómo detener su paso invisible y elusivo? ¿Dónde propiciar un encuentro significativo? Para Davor Sanvincenti, artista visual nacido en Croacia, la respuesta se anticipó a las propias preguntas, y se hizo presente a través de una imagen ensoñada, es decir, ajena a la conciencia y libre en su devenir. Algunos le llaman intuición, para otros es una visión, hay quienes reconocen en ello al Arte.

Desde sus inicios, las búsquedas de Davor por darle sentido a su estar en el mundo, a la presencia, se han expresado a través de una exploración artística caracterizada por el uso de multimedia, performance, video, escultura, fotografía, luz y sonido. Con el ánimo de hallar lo esencial en su paso por el mundo, la obra de Davor indaga sobre los límites de la percepción y configuración de la experiencia y el contacto humano. Ello requiere la apertura de nuestros sentidos: estar abiertos al encuentro con el espacio, con la cosa y con el tiempo, ejes del aquí y el ahora.

La imagen ensoñada, como él la denomina, cobra forma en el desarrollo artístico de su propuesta estética: desde la interpretación del sitio hasta la puesta en marcha de la instalación por medio de todas las herramientas audiovisuales que le permitirán comunicar la singularidad de su experiencia, al mismo tiempo que comunicarse con el espectador. La obra de Davor se convierte en obra abierta que pide la participación/integración del espectador para ser completada.

Los elementos primarios de esta instalación ¾el agua, la tierra (representada por la tierra roja mixteca que, junto con la de Australia y la de África, tiene alrededor de 4600 millones de años de antigüedad en el planeta) el fuego (representado por el sol), el cielo (reflejado en el espejo del agua) y el tiempo, que se hace presente a través del sonido que poco a poco va colmando el cubo abierto en que se ha transformado el patio del museo¾ se combinan para crear una atmósfera donde nuestros sentidos se conecten entre sí y podamos asistir a la revelación de nuestra singularidad humana. La instalación que Davor ha creado en Oaxaca es una invitación, por medio de la contemplación artística, a experienciar nuestro ser. Su fin es generar un entorno donde habite en paz el respiro interior, se detengan nuestros pasos agitados y serenemos el espíritu. Como en un sueño, la obra pertenece a un tiempo ajeno a la medida humana.

Es importante destacar el carácter sagrado ¾en el sentido espiritual y no religioso¾ de la acción y creación estética que Davor nos propone. Esto se advierte no solo en los fines de conexión y recepción mencionados, sino también, por ejemplo, en el hecho de que los altavoces que generan el sonido sean alimentados por paneles solares, o que la tierra usada, una vez finalizada la instalación, será devuelta a su lugar de origen. En la obra del artista croata, también conocido como Messmatik o Gurtjo Ningmor, es insoslayable la coherencia ética y estética, y no es gratuita la combinación de lo visual, lo sonoro y lo psicológico en aras del entendimiento y conexión entre las personas.

No es difícil relacionar la obra de Davor con la poesía china que nos remite al momento presente, o con los hallazgos proustianos que resaltaron el conocimiento a través de la percepción inconsciente y sensible. Hay una cualidad poética en la visión artística de Davor que ilumina e inunda el espíritu, como aquel resplandor de la Vía Láctea que el poeta Ch’en Yu Yi contempla, sentado, en silencio, en el aire fresco del atardecer, cuando un claro de cielo se abre entre las nubes y decide brindarse un poco de paz.

Undefined Wildness (HRV) _by IVA PROSOLI

Biti prisutan, osvijestiti vlastito prisustvo, zarobiti trajanje. Pustiti da traje i pustiti da nema više.
Gledati. Pokušati djelovati. Vidjeti, čuti, osjetiti titraje svijeta. I prepoznati u njemu čvrstu točku. Prepustiti se, prepustiti.
Biti sam. Biti samo.
(Na)učiti živjeti.

Undefined wildness kao i cjelokupan rad Davora Sanvincentija postavlja svoj fokus na ljudsku percepciju. Percepciju, koja se ima temeljiti na „povjerenju u nevidljivo“, kako kaže sam autor. Povjerenju pomirujućem i bezuvjetnom.
Sve započinje s komadićima 16 mm filma iz 1950-ih godina, koje je Davor pronašao na dnu drvene kutije projektora, naručenog iz Njemačke. Slučajnost? Oko njih će, prožimanjem različitih medija, koje će posjetitelju dodirnuti osjetila jednako kao i nagnati ga na racionalno promišljanje, izgraditi priču.

Jedan nasuprot drugom dva su video rada. Već spomenuti nađeni fimski isječci, očišćeni i animirani, 57 frameova u 2 sekunde, koji se vrte u loop-u , prikazuju osobu sa štapovima u rukama i ogromnim teretom na leđima. Lijevom rukom štiti glavu, dok se desnom probija kroz snijeg. U prirodi, u borbi za sebe protiv prirode. Video odaje minimalan pokret čovjeka u borbi, gotovo trzaj. Ili mali korak. Preživljavanje.
Nasuprot njemu, snimak je planine, čija gornja polovina nestaje u oblacima. Autor se poigrava s odnosom veličina, blizine i udaljenosti. Čovjek nam je približen, s iskrivljenim horizontom iza sebe, planinu gledamo s poštovanjem, udaljenu. Video radove prati zvuk vjetra. Između njih su  rukom ispisani natpisi na zidu, izvadci iz knjige Walden,američkog književnika, pjesnika i filozofa  Henry Davida Thoreaua. Radi se o djelu iz 1854. koje opisuje autorova iskustva u razdoblju od dvije godine u kolibi koju je izgradio u blizini jezera Walden Pond. Riječ je tu o svojevrsnom društvenom eksperimentu, pokušaju jednostavnog života, pretočenom u 18 poglavlja, u kojima ispituje različite aspekte ljudskog bivanja. Mali narativi govore o gubitku, traženju, prisustvu, budnosti, iščekivanju, slobodi,.. Postavljeni u odnos prema spomenutom vizualnom i zvučnom materijalu, oni podupiru njegovo čitanje i intenziviraju želju za svjesnim postojanjem.

Slijede tri crno-bijela polaroida, pejzaža, Prvi, iz serije Prije prvog svjetla, snimljen je prije zore, drugi za dana i treći u predvečerje. Krhke, male slike, koje nose mogućnost trajanja jednako kao i mogućnost nestajanja. Vibrantne, trenutne. Poniru u unutarnji pejzaž i izviru iz njega. I one nose igru različitih udaljenosti. Početak dana pruža širinu prizora s velikim jezerom u prvom planu, dok je završetak dana, kadar zatvoren granama drveća koje se pri vrhu dodiruju, a iza je planine, (ovog puta malo) jezero. Obje s mnoštvo razaznatljivih detalja, dok su nasuprot njima na dnevnoj slici samo obrisi u bjelini. Spremnoj za upisivanje. Bjelinu se gleda najdulje prije nego što je se prigrli.

„Preduhitriti ne samo svitanje i zoru nego, ako je moguće, i samu prirodu! Nikada, doduše, nisam fizički pripomogao Suncu da svane, ali bilo je izvanredno važno samo prisustvovati svitanju.“ Jedan je to od Thoreauovih citata ispisanih na zidu galerije. Važno je prisutvovati svitanju, jer se iza njega obećanje svjetla usitinu ostvaruje. Neumitnost Sunca. Svijet je vidljiv, svijet postoji.  Projektor s okruglom maskom, projicira na zid žuti krug. Savršeni oblik, traženu sigurnu točku. Sunce. Svjetlo žarulje u projektoru, koje gledatelju omogućuje da vidi sadržaj filma korespondira sunčevoj svjetlosti, koja svijetu daje da bude vidljiv oku, naglašava Davor Sanvincenti. Film koji se vrti oko lampe ujedno  je i svemir.

I na kraju, sam pronađeni film s kojim je priča i počela.

The Resonant Void, or: Gallery as an Audio-Visual Shell (ENG) _by VINKO SRHOJ

It is not often that a regional museum, instead of presenting the traditional forms of art, exhibits, so to say, the space itself. The audio-visual installation Solfeggio for Color Harmonies by Davor Sanvincenti is conceived, as the artist says, “according to the acoustic and spatial specificities of the gallery at the Museum of Stari Grad on the island of Hvar.” Thus, its final form has been defined by its framework, the space of the gallery, and in this installation-space interaction the space itself has become an exhibit, an active constituent of the artwork. In occupying that space, the artist’s goal was to create a complete audio-visual experience that would captivate our senses, whereby the presence of the spectators would eventually become an overall physical, rather than merely sensory participation.

Enveloping artworks such as those by Sanvincenti also count on our time, our being in space, determined by the duration of a video (60 minutes), which gradually changes from black to intense light effects and then plunges back into blackness. This evolution of light is accompanied by sound, formulated as a composition that uses a numerical relation in solfeggio frequencies (the artist emphasizes that these are the nine frequencies “obtained from numerology and used centuries ago in the Gregorian and Sanskrit chants“). Writing about Sanvincenti’s use of sound, Boris Greiner has used the notions of limen and liminality, that is, “the lowest degree of sensations that our senses can register.” The same happens with light, as its gradation occurs in barely perceptible nuances and slowly changing registers, for the discernment of which one needs time and patience. The impression is enhanced by a smoke inductor, which eventually visually disperses both the space and the visitor, lowering the intensity of coloured light, and can be activated by the visitors themselves. Describing the psychological side of this artwork, Marina Viculin has indicated that “the artist has sought to achieve deceleration, slowing down the pulse and even demanding an absence of thoughts and an emptied consciousness.” And indeed, when immersing ourselves in Sanvincenti’s work, and while being in it, we must leave the external world behind and adapt ourselves to the circumstances of a “total ambience”, abandon ourselves to the slow passing of time and the visual-acoustic change, listen to the echoes of events within us, and meditate in order to catch the rhythm of the installation processes. Thus, the visitor enters the space and time of the artwork as the one who will eventually change himself, if he manages to adapt, to synchronize, and eventually to relax in order to allow the effects to overwhelm him to the point of abolishing the self. As Marina Viculin has succinctly put it, “There are no shades, no contrasts; everything is absorbed in the universal joy of diffuse light. There is no differentiation, no good or evil, the world is only about to be born.”

James Turrell, an American artist who has explored the transforming capacities of light and space, once described how he came to see Mona Lisa, but was allowed to stand in front of it for 13 seconds only, after which he had to move on. In order to avoid fast consummation, we have invented slow food. Perhaps we might also invent a slow-art movement and take an hour or however much we need to spend with an artwork, Turrell says. In the same way, Sanvincenti’s slow-art staging reminds us that the time of an artwork is not necessarily a flash of the moment, but an entry into the space of art where we can physically remain as long as we need, isolating ourselves from the world according to our needs and adapting the circumstances of the artwork to ourselves. To be sure, we can also linger as long as we want to in front of a classical work of art, a painting or a sculpture, unless it is the Mona Lisa, which has been transformed into a well guarded “holy image” monitored by the austere “priests of the museum.” But even that means only observing the artwork from the outside, whereas with artworks like Sanvincenti’s we are on the inside, residing in the structure itself and eventually becoming a part of it. Such an approach to the artwork as a structure that seizes and permeates the spectator is no novelty invented by our times. It was a principle applied by the early 20th-century artists such as Duchamp and Gabo with their artworks of movement and light, afterwards followed by a more complex research in the use of light as a medium by experimenters from Bauhaus in the 1920s, such as L. Hirschfeld Mack or Thomas Wilfred, the inventor of the “colour organ.” In the 1950s and 1960s, one could already witness a genuine flood of such experiments in exhibitions and experimental artist groups. One should also mention the very differently constituted “visceral artworks,” anthropomorphic sculptures that one could enter by way of various bodily openings, such as those by Niki de Saint Phalle or, more recently, the macrospatial projects of Anish Kapoor.

All these artworks, as varied as they were in their uses of media and materials, indicated a crucial change in art, observed by Carl Andre as early as 1968. He used the example of the Statue of Liberty in New York harbour to indicate how at first everyone was interested only in the surface of Bartholdi’s sculpture. However, with time the attention turned to Eiffel’s construction that supported the sculpture from the inside, and today people are mostly interested in the island as a specific site where the sculpture is located. In Andre’s words, we have witnessed a change of interest from the external mantle of the sculpture to its internal construction and then to its topographic situation. The notion of sculpture as an extended space can today also include artworks such as those of Sanvincenti, which expand the initial determinants of sculpture as an isolated spatial fact to a total, surrounding and even absorbing setting of its contemporary existence in a synesthetic interconnection with light, sound, and smoke. Sanvincenti’s artwork presented at the Museum of Stari Grad, where even the leather couches filled with Styrofoam no longer play a neutral role as gallery furniture, but have become a sort of meditation mats, is certainly a welcome example that even a traditional space of a local museum can be transformed into a total ambience. Space has become activated, it is no longer a passive mantle covering a work of art, but an open structure in which everything is important and everything plays its role in completing the idea. The gallery is thus no longer merely a place for installing art objects in space, but an activated void that communicates with us from within its fullness, as it is filled with various effects that transform it by means of interactivity with the spatial shell.

Optical travels and media landscape (ENG) _by BRANKA BENČIĆ

The allusive eye tells of the media and of the world, and its artists tell of the world in other ways than do the mass media. (…)  These are images of an art whose visual vocabulary has a high degree of complexity. This complexity is the core of allusion.

Peter Weibel: The Allusive Eye. Illusion, Anti-illusion, Allusion (ZMK Karlsruhe, 2004)

Optical travels of Davor Sanvincenti are informed by artist’s research of different optical devices, “vision machines”, vintage cameras or out of date and expired film stock, of found footage, archival devices and films and photographs as objet trouve. It is a body of work based on exploring the medium (and the media), with archival flare, as a meeting place of history, memory and future projections. What it represents are imaginary time-travels through the system of lenses as small interventions take place. Constituting the relationship with the past through images as part of an imaginary archive, still and moving images are playing a significant role in emotional rehabilitation articulating a subjective relationship.

* * *Expanded Horizon / In the pale blue mist of milky texture the horizon seems to evaporate and fade away, as the image has out of focus qualities. The content of the information placed in the middle of the frame is lost in a white spot. The meaning of the scene is constituted around its edges and we are trying to grasp it.  The picture shows an open sea. The site is Cabo de Roca in Portugal, the westernmost cape of Europe, a place that Luis de Camoes describes, "Here, where the land ends and the sea begins". This landscape is mediated by the image that is made possible by optical devices and the apparatus of their projection/ reproduction. The original slide is inserted into the device (single slide viewer) in natural light conditions. The light that penetrates illuminates the scene within, from the "inside" and contributes to the creation of the effect of the projected or screen image. The image is narrativized and the artist work has been concentrated on the time logic shaping the meditation of the state of flux, transience and nature.

On the other hand, the video "The River” is a cinematic voyage through a black and white photograph captured with an ancient camera. “The black and white photographic  film has previously passed through a series of processes of destruction in order to obtain light disintegrating internal structure that allows the further depth of navigation" – claims the author. Navigating the landscape of data, with aggravated perception and "reading" operation, the deconstruction of the scene is created by the collision of static and moving images. This is the focal point that constitutes the meaning, emphasizing the claim that in the video the seam between space and time is the space of the form. By "stretching the dimension of time, the temporal continuity collapses in the density of the frame - making an incrusted picture, the effect of density and stratification". (Edmond Couchot: La question du tamps techniques dans le numeriques electronique et de l'image) The density is created as a time-space predicament and pursued the monitoring over the time dimension of the screen picture.

In these works, Davor Sanvincenti’s metaphor with used technology - the use of expired films and / or outdated vintage equipment is used as a sign that indicates a possible deterioration of the physical processes, articulating the feelings of oblivion, emptiness and absence. Works created primarily through the medium of photography, film / video, function as a memento which represents an imaginary journey, contributing in the creation of a melancholy atmosphere.
The landscape scenes in the mentioned works represent the landscape not only as an aesthetic artefact or the phenomenon of nature, but as established in the codes of society and culture. The landscape is no longer just a beautiful picture, but becomes a place of questioning the relationship between space, history, memory, politics and identity. The landscape as a product of Western culture enables the mediation of relations between man and nature (outside world) like a model of human conceptualization of nature, to reflect different moods and complex relations.

An entire field of interest in artistic and existential research is opened up. It is made of imaginary travels through the paths of experience, memory, perception and optical sensations. Playing with the concept of illusion, exploring the possible boundaries of perception, construction of experiences and creating sensations are some ubiquitous interests of  Sanvincenti’s artistic practice that take shape in the variety of media -  film and video, photography, sound installations and live performances.

With his famous statement “medium is the message” Marshall McLuhan has placed the medium as a central point of our culture, making it a central subject of a discipline that is exploring culture in its relationship with structures of transmission, its materiality and mediation. A model to understand artworks by Davor Sanvincenti is represented by his interest in such media research, as a meeting place of old and new media, analog and the digital, as well as with the “archival impulse” navigating found footage and photographs and obsolete technical equipment. In this way his artworks constitute a specific relationship with the past as well as with the concept of time. It is a kind of situation where romanticized narratives and elements of nostalgia coexist in the same time as their deconstruction and reduction, concentrated on the medium itself and artistic procedure, not the story. In such way Davor Sanvincenti enters the dialogue with the history of media. Both accepting and questioning the tradition and the concept of multimedia, pointing out its specificities and peculiarities. Remembering a meditation on the medium by Rosalind Krauss in Voyage o the North See At first I thought I could simply draw a line under the word  m e d i u m, bury it like so much critical toxic waste, and walk away from it in a world of lexical freedom. “Medium” seemed too contaminated, too ideologically, too dogmatically, to discursively loaded.

Poetics of agitation (ENG)_by IVANA HANAČEK

"Let's change the world," said Marx, "Let’s change the life," said Rimbaud: for us these two tasks are identical - Andre Breton

Seven years has passed since the adoption of the World Charter on the Rights of the city, advocating sustainable models of urban society and lifestyles based on the fundamental principles of solidarity, freedom, dignity and social justice, urban development plans at the global level continue to result in environmental destruction and the privatization of public space, leading to social segregation. The privatization of public space is the most obvious problem facing cities in the post-socialist context: feudalization processes deprive citizens of the city, and with the atomization of society the collective participation in public space is disappearing. In the given circumstances it is necessary to ask the following question: what are the given possibilities of contemporary art for new considerations of the city and the reconstruction of its foundations in the context of the so-called new humanism? Or more specifically, how does Davor Sanvincenti, a young artist who works in transitional circumstances with his poetic interventions in social and space fabrics, create a new city and a new life in the city?

Although his interventions are interwoven with layered sensibilities, and do not suffer the classification of standard art-historian labels, they are very articulate in the primary intention of ennobling public space and re-activating the community. They call for the restoration of the almost disappearing needs of society: the need for direct communication and exchange of ideas, the need for cooperation and adventure, and the need for play and imagination in public space. In his works we can find Sanvincenti’s childlike desire for the transformation of the city by creating a series of intimate heterotopian points. Almost as a rule, it is a heterotopia of compensation that responds to neglected, forgotten, and flawed real spaces.

The intervention 3 and 15 on North (2007), performed by the artist at a bus station in the small Istrian town of Pazin, is illustrative of his approach. The station does not have a proper timetable, it lacks a public clock, there are not enough seats in the waiting room, and during the year only a few passengers pass through. Foggy mornings in the middle of summer, specific for the site, amplify the anxiety of the environment. Sanvincenti’s simple gesture of placing swings and a clock outside of the waiting area takes away the uncomfortable endless accumulation of time. The clock’s hands, moving counterclockwise, overlap with the actual time only at 3:15 pm (15:15), when the hands are, geographically speaking, oriented towards the north (in the direction of the Slovenian capital Ljubljana). Infinite connotations draw through the work the third principle of heterotopias: a real place is set in a parallel relationship with different spaces and locations which are mutually (not) compatible.[1]

The 3 and 15 on North intervention prompted the inert city government to make a decision about setting up a schedule for the station. It is less important whether it was an unexpected side effect, or whether Sanvincenti consciously positioned himself as an agitator, than the fact that it successfully generated micro-political change in the local community. The subtle poetics of agitation can also be read in the work Untimed (2006), which was performed during the “Seven days of creation Festival” at the Small Fountain Square in Pazin. The audio-spatial installation consisted of 3,168 white cups filled with spring water, arranged on a square around the fountain, which was not functioning for more than a decade. The number of cups evoked the population who lived in Pazin in 1868 when the fountain was built. Audio recordings of contemporary sounds of the city could be heard during the intervention on the square. The focus of the work was the fountain and the life that took place, and that could take place, around it. Sanvincenti is interested in the ventricular trips to fetch water which created a dynamic and lively meeting place over the centuries. The introduction of modern water supply systems pushed away all the aspects of social relations that evolved during the interaction of the population along the live water source. The Untimed intervention returned the residents to the Pazin’s Small Fountain Square, establishing a new dynamic random encounter originally centered around a glass with water, and then around the fountain, which was functionally restored after fourteen years.

The strategy of developing "small gesture" politics, as well as interest in marginalized areas of improvement, is also present in the work Musical Handrail (2010) installation made as part of Zagreb’s UrbanFestival. A musical instrument was placed on one of the balustrades which approaches the historical center of Zagreb, and promoted new forms of communication among the passers by who were invited to participate actively in a harmonyexchange. Under the conditions where social solidarity is almost gone, Sanvincenti created a small concert stand under the horse chestnut tree in the affected fabric of the city in which such rhizome branching creates supervision mechanisms and social control. The instrument was available daily for playing and also served as a handrail, placed at the point where, for unknown reasons, the same was missing.

Although these urban interventions are only a small part of the oeuvre of Davor Sanvincenti, and in which the public space issue is only one segment of his work, they can be viewed as the sketch for a portrait of the artist because, to paraphrase Harvey, the question of what kind of city we want and what kind of town we create is inseparable from the question of what kind of people we want to be and what kind of relationships we seek.



[1] MICHAEL FOUCAULT, Of Other Spaces, Heterotopias, Architecture/Mouvement/Continuite, Paris, 1984.

Svjetlo prolazi kroz mene (HRV)_by BORIS GREINER

Stavljam u uši čepiće što mi ih je, igrom slučaja, prije desetak dana poklonio autor izložbe. U okolini je previše zvukova koji odvlače pažnju: dječja prepirka prilikom doručka prije odlaska u školu, mješalica za beton iz susjedna dvorišta koju nastoje nadglasati pomoćni radnici raznim dosjetkama, jutarnji tv program iz donje etaže… (Lavež pasa uopće i ne spominjem, to me ne smeta.)

Potopljen u unutarnji bazen odjednom začujem prolazak zraka kroz nosne šupljine… Lupnem se nekoliko puta prstom po obrazu, slušajući iznutra, udarci odjekuju muklije. Zatvorenih ušiju prisjećam se jučerašnje izložbe, doživljaja tijekom boravka u dvije prostorije koje je Davor Sanvincenti improvizirano postavio u galeriji VN. Odmah po ulasku u prvu, bijelu, dočekao me snažan, zaslijepljujući mlaz svjetla. Smjesta skrećem pogled, nisam u stanju gledati se oči u oči sa svjetlom. Dapače, zatvaram ih, ali kapci su tanki, još uvijek je sve bijelo. Zamišljam da svjetlo prolazi kroz mene. Zapravo ipak ne prolazi, zaustavlja se negdje unutra, ne može van jer sam zatvorio oči. Sakuplja se u meni. Što se tiče zvuka, ne čujem ništa. Taloženje svjetla u svijesti nečujno je. Kad osjetim da je svjetlo ispunilo moje unutarnje bunare odlazim u drugu prostoriju. Oči su otvorene, no ona je potpuno mračna. Ali ta tama je ekran na kojem sakupljeno svjetlo pušta svoje slike. One nisu posve apstraktne, prepoznajem neke obrise, bijele sjene poskakuju u kadencama vlastita ritma, zamjenjuju ih druge, nešto tanje, sve dok ne postanu gotovo prozirne, na kraju još nekoliko točkica i gotovo. Ispraznio se akumulator, završio je film. U potpunom mraku osjetim kako mi se počinje približavati zvuk, kontinuiran, sve ga bolje čujem, podsjeća na dvije crte, jednu deblju i drugu sasvim tanku. Ta tanka je nekakav pisak, ali ne prodoran nego jedva čujan. Deblja je dolje, prolazi ispod stopala, ispod parketa. Tamo gdje taj zvuk izvire mogao bi biti prilično glasan, no između mene sada ovdje i njegova izvora duboko dolje ima mnogo naslaga. No, koliko god on bio dubok, ovaj gore je još viši, ovoga bih dolje još i mogao uhvatiti, no taj gore je potpuno nedostupan. Uopće i nije u mojoj dimenziji, ta je zvučna linija sastavljena od točkica koje su vrlo blizu, skoro se i dodiruju, to je pucketanje što se odvija po površini membrane koja označava prostor što ga registriraju moja osjetila. Tamo negdje izvan, naravno, pucketanje bi mogla biti i grmljavina. Pas, kolega živo biće, zacijelo bi se, preplašen, skutrio u nekom zakutku. A ja, čovjek, smanjenih čulnih mogućnosti ali bogatije mašte, stojeći u potpunom mraku, slušajući ono što jedva čujem, zamišljam: ovo dolje je debela kompaktna cijev, čak možda i neka zemljina žila, iznad koje hodam, a ovo gore je tanka zakrivljena žica što se proteže po rubu horizonta.

Naravno, zvuci su bili ovdje i prije moga ulaska u tu prostoriju, neprekinuti, jednako glasni, odnosno tihi, no zabljesnut vizualnom atrakcijom nisam ih čuo. Zatim je vizije nestalo, začuo sam ih i vizualizirao. Vidio sam izostanak svjetla i gledao prolazak zvuka.

Sada, dok s čepićima u ušima otvorenih očiju osluškujem treperenje moždanih valova, nastojeći ih prevesti u analizu doživljaja, zaključujem da je on ponajprije vizualan. Iako naslov izložbe (citat preuzet iz iz pjesme francuskog pisca Loysa Massona “Icare ou le voyage”) upućuje na auditivno – on nije gledao zvuk nego slušao nestanak i pojavu slike. Taj citat, kao konceptualni nazivnik izložbe ali istodobno i svojevrsna ‘uputa za upotrebu’, zapravo je personifikacija to jest utjelovljenje apstraktnog pojma ili ideje u liku čovjeka. No, osim što je ‘uputu’ nemoguće i uistinu provesti u djelo, to utjelovljenje i nije prijevod nečega izvan nego proizlazi iz konteksta samog čovjeka, stoga ga tumačim kao metaforu upućenu mentalnom prostoru s namjerom da potakne misao o doživljajnom procesu.

Davor Sanvincenti često boravi na području zvuka i rado istražuje pojam limena.  U njegovoj se intepretaciji pojmovi limen i liminalno odnose na senzorički prag, ono što jedva možemo percipirati, najniža količina senzacija koju naše osjetilo može registrirati.

Rječnik stranih riječi (B. Klaić) kaže za limen: 1. grčki – luka, zaljev, zaklon, utočište; 2. latinski – kuća, stan. Dakle ta kuća, taj zaklon, to je naša svijest, a Sanvincenti se pita što se događa kad u kuću stiže manje informacija, kad se gosti prorijede? Logično, a što se mene osobno tiče i iskustveno, svijest se snažnije aktivira. Sama dodaje, nadomješta. Svijest je pojačalo, oduzmite čovjeku ključne instrumente i ona će ih supstituirati. Ukidanjem zvuka glasnije čuješ svoje misli, nestankom slike jasnije ih vidiš. U periodima kad senzacije nema, u ireverzibilnom stanju organizma – snu, ona je apsolutni vladar, a mi – lokacija gdje ona prebiva – postajemo publika. Tada je supstitucija najprisutnija: to su filmovi u sinemaskopu, stereo dolby.

S druge strane, Sanvincenti voli elektroniku. Bez obzira boravi li u svijetu egzaktna  sustava razumski ili pak iracionalno uranjajući u apsurde brojeva, gotovo na inžinjerskoj razini manipulira deviceom. Konkretno, u prvoj prostoriji koristi 2 pojačana metalhalogena reflektora od po 1 KW koji ne proizvode toplinu, a koji bi, u idealnijim produkcijskim okvirima, cijeli prostor trebali obojati u jednolično i apsolutno bijelo. U drugoj, složenom audio aparaturom, aktivnim zvučnim monitorima, mixetama, itd. proizvodi infra visoku (20 000 Hz) i ultra nisku (20 Hz)  frekvenciju, obje točno na granicama koje može čuti ljudsko uho. Namjera je, međutim, krajnje neelektronska, odnosno nematerijalna, neizračunjiva – obraća se ljudskoj svijesti. Dovodi u vezu kontekst znanosti, na čijem je kraju (ima li ga uopće?) vjerojatno ipak neki metrički sustav, univerzalan ali nama nedostupan, s kontekstom nas samih, s onim univerzalnim u nama, s nečime od čega mi počinjemo, a to je duh.

Potvrda točke tog kontakta konceptualno je materijalizirana u trećem, gotovo nevidljivom, dijelu izložbe. Taj dio polazi od činjenice ili dimenzije dokumentiranja. U ovom je slučaju to nemoguće, autor je toga svjestan. U prvoj je prostoriji svjetlom poništio mogućnost fotografiranja (a što bi se uostalom i snimilo?), u drugoj je, istina, ponudio zvukove, ali one koje je besmisleno mikrofonom registrirati. Stoga kao jedinu mogućnost zabilježbe svog galerijskog istupa odabire elementarno analognu formu: knjigu dojmova. No, od nje čini izložbeni artefakt – knjiga je crno bijela, na bijelom je dijelu napisano ‘light’, na crnom ‘sound’ -  njena grafička oprema dizajnom slijedi formu improviziranih prostorija, kraj nje spremno čeka naliv pero. Kao diskretan detalj ta knjiga potcrtava autorovu osnovnu intenciju: elektronskim instrumentarijem djelovati na rubne, granične mogućnosti naših osjetila. Ali s metafizičkom namjerom, posvješćivanje perifernog doživljaja odnosno iskustvo samog tog doživljaja nužno mijenja prostor percepcije. Ta se promjena odvija u svijesti, ona je naša ultimativna kategorija, u njoj su i osjetila i razum i osjećaji. Tamo te dimenzije i komuniciraju, nerazlučivo su isprepletene.

Dati knjizi dojmova ikonografskim obilježjem atribut izloška znači njenu ulogu učiniti aktivnom a ne postfestumskom. S druge strane, opis dojma uključuje sva tri dijela svijesti: prvo, da bi se nešto izrazilo riječima nužno je koristiti razum. Drugo, njime se interpretira doživljaj, odnosno emocija. Treće, ona je potaknuta osjetilnom senzacijom. Graničnom, dakako, jer one uobičajene ne potiču takovu reakciju. S čepićima, dakle, u ušima, evociram jučerašnji doživljaj, a upisujući ga u knjigu utisaka prihvaćam sudjelovanje u ovoj izložbi.

Study for trans-sensory organisms (ENG)_by LEILA TOPIĆ

“I have 24 communication possibilities per second and I do not want to waste a single one of them. Same goes for the sound. The meeting of every frame with the sound is very important. This means there the visual and auditive expression have equal economy." Peter Kubelka

One of the most famous avant-garde film authors Peter Kubelka has emphasised once, in his interview by Jonas Mekas, also a giant of cinematographic experiment, how cinema is not a movement but an illusion of movement.[1] Cinema is, argued Kubelka back in 1966, a quick projection of light impulses i.e. possibility to render a temporal dimension to light. Installation "1001"[2] by Davor Sanvincenti, an artist of the younger generation, corresponds with tenets of the pioneer of structural experiment in cinematography, and yet endeavours to analyze the possibilities of interfusion of image, light, sound towards a unique whole, all  through a medium of physical video installation. As emphasised by the author himself, the whole project evolved from a study and personal fascination with photographic, film and video media as the diverse possibilities of perceptive physiology i.e. activation of human states through particular wave frequencies.

The point of interest being, though the author belongs to the  young generation his installation "1001" is a deeply deliberated project which in its own way enters a dialogue with the history of extended cinema.[3] The notion of structural film was conceived in the 1960s and encompassed those tendencies and trends in avant-garde film that explored media characteristics. In the beginning, the structural film thematized the structure of celluloid tape and/or basic elements of film such as light, time or editing. The analyses of cinema foundations were followed by experiments that questioned the concept of film projection and the process of producing particular artwork, as well as the social and economic conditions in which the certain artwork arises. Artists and filmmakers created multiplied projections, film actions and installations by which they deconstructed the traditional projection layout. They also dissected the components that made up film illusion, creating new aesthetic possibilities in the process. Sanvincenti's study "1001" is actually an entrance into a peculiar dialogue with the structural film wherein the artist, questions new aesthetic and quality possibilities of the image, light, sound and wave frequencies in "four chapters".[4]

The artist described the beginning of installation in a following manner: "Darkness. The only thing visible in the entire room is a single pixel at a middle of painting canvas.[5] There is an audible sound of 10 "beats" every 6 seconds, while a white cube fills up a white painting. The sound of old camera trigger marks the end of "the first chapter". The installation's "second chapter", employs projection flashes, gradually revealing the initially black lines, followed by contours of trees and buildings, until an observer finally  gazes at 1838 photography by Louis Daguerre, titled "Boulevard du Temple". This was the first "photo"[6] to capture a human figure. Sanvincenti stressed how he values this photo very much since it  presents not only the beginning of photographic art but also of the media that developed under the aegis of photography, such as film and video art. Besides, photography is essential to deconstruction of the illusion of photographic technique. Namely, at the time Boulevard du Temple was famous for its numerous theatres, a vibrant site of gathering and socializing, the pulsating spot of Paris. However, at Daguerre's photo entire life is "deadened", there are no signs of life, no motion... The photography displays a square in whose left foreground there is a passer-by in tuxedo and a shoe cleaner shining his shoes. Even Daguerre's contemporaries, as recorded in historical accounts, believed Daguerre hired those two men to "assume a pose" and stand still for ten minutes, a time needed to make a photo. As rightly perceived by Sanvincenti, the shutter exposition time erased the life of Boulevard, leaving the figures in illusion of site's seclusion.

Therefore "the third chapter" reconstructs possible "truthful" depiction of Boulevard; one can discern the lines in motion that grow ever clearer until the moment when it becomes obvious these are people, passers-by. The time has been turned back. Afterwards the image gradually fades, leaving passers-by whose movements lead them out of the projection frame. Flashing, coupled with the increased volume of gamma binaural beats in visitor's headphones, and an amplified bass section exerting active influence at a visitor's body. Sanvincenti recorded the image that quivers, as if breathing and coming out from its own frame. In the same time occurs a culmination of interpenetration between sound and video flashes, marking the projection's end.

In today's pluralism of art media, tendencies and genres one cannot simply discover a firm criteria for recognizing the quality art projects. Still, one wishing to discover the features defining the quality project will encounter a certainly imposing guideline: redefining of medium in which artist is active, as well as questioning the purpose of one's own discipline. It seems "1001“ by Sanvincenti is such an artwork. Besides, there are numerous theoretical references that confirm curiosity of Sanvincenti's study. For example, in his book "Light Moving in Times", frequently cited Canadian film theoretician William C. Wees argues that brain, to a large extent, processes visual information joined with other brain's parts that are in charge of perception, and that eyes really play the smallest part in our visual perception. Similar conclusions were reached by French film theoretician Michel Chion. In his book "Audio-Vision" Chion explains trans-sensory perception where entire human body partakes in processing sensorial information. Bearing in mind a visitor's "tired eye" saturated with billions of visual data Sanvincenti actually insists on engaging the whole human body in perceiving "1001" project. Therefore the project’s subtitle – physical video installation - since the intention of the whole projects is to transform a visitor into a trans-sensory organism capable of new sensorial experiences and aesthetic potentials.



[1] Petar Kubelka Interview by Jonas Mekas, «Film Culture Reader»,Cooper Squer Press, NY, 1970.

[2] Davor Sanvincenti recorded how video installation "1001" is a product of study and fascination by arranging diverse- film and scientific -  forms. Besides, he was interested in quality of number 10, starting from its "digital" quality. 1=On, 0=Off. The video is divided into four chapters (1+2+3+4, by which he defined chapters' duration in minutes, while a final sum also equals number 10). Also, from chapter to chapter the work "ascends", one dimension  at the time, both visually and auditively. "The starting implosion and final explosion, from 1 pixel to 414 720 pixels and binaural beats from theta to gamma waves.

[3] Expanded Cinema is not a special style of film making. It is a name suggesting the research spirit that can lead to numerous directions." Sheldon Renan, "An Introduction to the American Underground Film», from the catalogue of the exhibition X-Screen, MUMOK, Vienna, 2004.

[4] The artist noted characteristics of binaural beats that create particular wave frequencies:
Chapter 1: Theta waves: dream, meditation
Chapter 2: Alpha waves: tranquillity, prewaking state
Chapter 3: Beta waves: active state, concentration
Chapter 4: Gamma waves: high mental activity, awareness

[5] Davor Sanvincenti actually insisted at the projection of video onto panting canvas, in order to open the critical discourse towards domination of painting in museum institutions.

[6] Actually it is a daguerreotype. Around 1835 Louis-Jacques Mande Daguerre managed for the first time to fixate the image through a process that will be named after him.