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Art in Spiritual Exile


From the Exhibition Opening



29 May - 15 July

Gallery of Central Military Club in Belgrade
Braće Jugovića 19, Belgrade




…Cultural man is a victim who conforms to generally accept cultural standards and allows the implantation of stereotype concepts into all segments of his mind. The absence of clear and straightforward critical sense is a proof that most of such myths are untouchable.
The concept of value has been ascribed only to the works within generally accepted limits. The question is whether art should aspire towards beauty which is strictly defined.
Outsider art appears in the ambience of nearly entirely destroyed human interrelations and more intensive alienation with unforeseeable consequences. The frenzy of contemporary world, rapid destruction and invasion of technocracy, drastically threaten humane relation towards the man today. Greediness in the pursuit of political and economic career and financial prosperity results in progressive uniformity, monotony and slavery to conventions, institutional repressions and stereotypes. Gradually, the loss of human identity, depth and freedom of a personality develops as the most drastic consequence, which results in the appearance of numerous individuals who oppose the claustrophobia of the system. By alienating, they take underground positions and begin to live by their own rules on the margins of social reality. Imprisoned within narrow borderlines of rationalism, they retrieve in their own cosmos, defeated.
In Serbia and even abroad, the works of self-taught visionaries, outsider and marginal artists are usually considered alternative forms of pictorial expression, rarely with reverence which the above artists, world classics of the so-called golden era of Art Brut still genuinely deserve for their unique work, done beyond the canons of history of art. Puzzling authenticity of their works makes us learn that the world of art which we know today would never be possible without the remarkable experience of the revelation of self-taught visionaries. Their interactive and peculiar realisations worldwide are still on the margins of artistic reality in most countries, but they point to necessity of new reading of art history and deeper understanding of inevitable changes in the twentieth century culture, in terms of accepting a new era, new humanism and higher degree of human freedom.

We have borne witness to expansion and euphoria evoked by outsider art worldwide in recent years. Outsider art as art on the margins of mainstream is gradually leaving its margins. The wave of foundations of museums and galleries around the world where the works of outsiders are collected, preserved, and exhibited is certainly our reality, since outsider artists can no more stay in their isolation. Sure enough, the art of outsiders should be supported and welcomed, especially thanks to specific progress in the conceptualisation of art as a worldly phenomenon. By refining our attitude towards the curiosity and the ecclesiastic, we are closer to the cognisance what makes something distinctive and non-parallel, thus we can demystify our dilemmas and delusions and adopt novelties which, due to prejudices were mostly unknown, then understand all artistic qualities of the self-taught visionaries and finally, arrive at articulated recognition and acceptance of this phenomenon...

Nina Krstić

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