Minimal Differences

by Denise Carvalho

… With Vesna Bukovec’s video and interactive piece, Contemporary Art for Parents (2002), this idea of meaningful meaningless is turned on its feet, as art becomes as meaningful as a new ideology that needs to be learned by parents and people of earlier generations. In Bukovec’s work, she is the narrator, the interrogator, and the ruler. She creates the laws of either understanding or misunderstanding art. Bukovec applies a didactic method in which misunderstanding art is the most effective way to actually understand it. It is also interesting to consider how the communication of contemporary art is its most valuable tool to sustain language autonomy from an art market that reduces ideas into desirable objects or marketing strategies. The historical trajectory of Art has gone from being an object of mediation between beauty and function to an object of language, from object to subject matter; it has become an advocate for the dying dialect of the intellect of an elite-turned-margin of the global world. In today’s world of consumerist functionality, the subject matter of contemporary art is a dead language, but its object is mostly alive. How to explain to parents and the mainstream lay person that the art object’s concept is still what drives it into the economic circuit? This is an ongoing task. Vesna Bukovec’s work is also about the difficulties in sustaining communication on the most basic levels, here paralleled to the level of the stereotypes in central Europe. The artist tries giving a hands-on explanation to her parents about the most important issues in contemporary art, looking at market, history, institutions, browsing through texts, tasks that prove to be quite difficult. The issue of being didactic, which contemporary art avoids, ironically becomes the main tool for achieving a common ground. …

Vesna Bukovec, Lecture (Contemporary Art for Parents)
Vesna Bukovec, Lecture (Contemporary Art for Parents), video still, 2002

Featured text is the excerpt from the text published in the catalogue of the exhibition Minimal Differences, White Box, New York, 2010; published by Galeria Arsenal, Poland

Full text available here

Works mentioned in the text:

Exhibition info

Slovensko | English

Vesna Bukovec deluje na področju sodobne vizualne umetnosti.

Je članica umetniške skupine KOLEKTIVA.