Man of the Future - Flyer

Ivan Kožarić


Sculpture, 30 x 6 x 6 cm.
Materials: aluminium

Collection: Collection M HKA, Antwerp (Inv. no. S0279).

This small angel sculpture was part of an installation that Croatian artist Ivan Kožarić presented in 2002 at Documenta11 in Kassel. The room-filling installation officially consisted of 897 sculptures of various materials, 61 paintings (acrylic on canvas) and 373 graphic works in diverse techniques, 10 photographs and 5297 drawings. The artist got the idea for the installation upon being invited to mount a retrospective exhibition of his work. He decided instead to move his entire studio to the exhibition space, and to work there as well. In this way, Kožarić criticizes not only the idea of a retrospective, but also of the view that art is a static conception. The installation, thus, was more than the sum of its enumerated parts; the art work was also performance, laboratory and art criticism. The angel is then, so to speak, both an autonomous work of art and a fragment, created in 1973 and reborn in 2002. The small figure contains still more dualities: it is at once very slender and remarkably robust, the fine, elongated body and the transparent wings are in stark contrast with the industrial materials and the ‘inept’ forms. It is difficult to ascertain just what sort of angel this is here: guardian angel, avenging angel, archangel, angel of death… this helpless angel without arms and with its feet riveted together, barely able to keep erect, seems to be outside any of the aforementioned categories. In no way does it resemble the classic angel sculptures that we know from art history or from our contemporary popular culture. To the contrary, it has more of the floundering insect about it; instead of guarding or reproving us, it seems to appeal to our mother instinct. This appeal to the viewer is typical for the artist, who always attempts to abolish the distance between the object and us. Moreover, the formal ambiguity in the sculpture should not surprise us: Kožarić, from the very start of his artistic career, experimented with different influences, styles and techniques.

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