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19 ноември 2007

Post Mortem GORAN BERTOK -photon gallery ljubliana


Post Mortem

23. November – 8. December 2007 – Photon Gallery

Opening: Friday, November 23 at 8 p.m. in Photon Gallery!!!

Death, constant topic ordinary people, scientists, philosophers, artists are engaged with since thousands of years… Stench and dread of the mortuary, crematory, anatomic institutes, unknown spaces where people usually enter for postmortem identification of the relatives, last farewell, or don't enter at all. This spaces, charged with horror of cognition of ultimateness of life and disgust of civilization, caused by corpse itself are not meant for 'innocent view' – burnt away, dismembered, without living; with particular parts squeezed into the freezer or floating in the formaldehyde.

There are not many artists so consistent in investigating of that unpleasant topic as Goran Bertok.

His obsession with the death as the realistic and unavoidable end, remind the observer on Borges story 'Death at Samarkand'. »Suchlike is the story about the soldier meeting the Death on the square and conceive that it pointed at him with the threatening gesture of its hand. The soldier goes to the royal palace and makes request for the best horse to run away over the night, as far as possible, even to Samarkand. Afterwards the king summons the Death into the palace and scolds it because of the undertaking of one of his best servants. But surprised Death answers: »I didn't want to fright him. I was just astonished to see him here because I know that we need to meet only tomorrow in Samarkand.«[1] And, after the ascertainment of Baudrillard, more the one is running away from his fate, the more he is hasting into its embrace.

As Goran Bretok through the postmortem reviews analyses the actuality of death, he speaks about present position of the individual and his end. He is not an apologist of scientific achievements and unquenchable human desire after eternal life, through criopreservation of James Bedford[2]. He is waiting for the moment of his unfreezing or similar methods of synthetic preservation of life what don't – at least not publicly and widened – reflect our present time. Artist's attitude towards these questions is sceptical and maybe not particular full of imagination, but it is realistic as it doesn't encounter the replicants of Scott's Blade Runner in its surrounding.

Tatjana Orbović

[1] quoted from Serbian translation: Žan Bodrijar, O zavođenju, „Smrt u Samarkandu“, p 87, Oktoih, Podgorica, 2001

[2] Freezing of dr. Jamesa Bedforda in January 1967 was the first criopreservation (

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