Saša Tkačenko at Eugster || Belgrade / Belgrade, Serbia

Saša Tkačenko / Ruins of Future Utopia

Curated by Natalija Paunić

23 February – 30 March 2018  

Eugster || Belgrade
Viline Vode BB
11060 Belgrade

             Photo credit: Ivan Županc, courtesy of the artist and Eugster || Belgrade

certainly frames Saša Tkačenko’s art, coming out both as a theme
and a method of creation. Having belonged to a dead nation with a
particular sense for utopia, the artist, like many of Yugoslavia born
from his generation, lives with phantom experiences that accompany
real-time events. The word nostalgia contains the word pain
in its Greek origin, therefore it is bound to have a direct
hidden power, however, operates behind this supposition, which is why
Tkačenko’s work takes us by surprise as it renders nostalgic
feelings as strangely inviting and affirmative.
either intuitive or skillful with language, the artist conceals the
main word through the agency of ruins, utopia and future in the
title. Just as ruins provide enough material to provoke memory and
yet never permit the satisfaction of the complete image, Tkačenko’s
exhibition inspires a feeling that only becomes finished in personal
recollection and imagination. The endgame is to always keep you
coming back. The key here is that this is the same system that
sustains nostalgia – the one that feeds on a realization that
searching for the original feeling gives a new kind of sublime
strange as it may be to speak of nostalgia in almost erotic terms, it
depicts Tkačenko’s new body of work as being simultaneously
seduced by and in line with its own femme fatale.
The show
opens with imagery and motifs that are on the verge between hedonism
and romanticism, guiding the audience to a collection of whatifs.
Romantic ideas are given form through associations with the Venice
Biennial, songs with elusive subtexts and soft colors. Wishful
thinking culminates with the artist’s own scaled rendition of the
Yugoslavian Museum of Revolution crowned with an actual open flame,
symbolizing eternal fire. By adding the flame to the icon of
unrealized dreams, the eternally poetic unbuilt museum, Tkačenko
magnifies his personal experience of melancholy to a point of
explicit indulgence. Can we be this passionate about our own
Ruins of
Future Utopia seem to ask that same question. Not only being
concerned with nostalgia, but carrying the secret ingredient of
nostalgia within, the show allows for a collection of completely
contradictory terms to come together and somehow function with
perfect sense. If the future utopia is already in ruins, somehow we
must be able to sense a new kind of nostalgia for the time that
hasn’t even happened (yet).