Damir Očko’s collages explore the effect of the human voice on the physical world and reflect the shifting relationship with material, action and identity as a response to space.
The piece “Year Inflammable” in particular recognises that the collage structure is made of several interrelated elements that constitute a specific fragmentary narrative which works to dissolve fixed constellations.
Očko’s combinatorial use of photography and sculpture within the work indicates perhaps the power of fiction; by transposing parts of reality into an image, Očko creates an interplay between the two. He processes and reshapes references, reminding the viewer that the essence of his work is hidden beneath layers of ambiguity. This ambiguity provokes fracture and discontinuity. These fractures build and dissolve the idea of the collage and represent new possibilities for radical subjectivity.
The title of the work, “Year Inflammable”, perhaps is a reference to the current political climate of global insecurity, uncertainty, injustice and turmoil. The tension evoked through the name is carried into the piece itself in terms of colour and lighting.
“Year Inflammable” is extremely performative, due in part to the heavy lighting as well as the presence of the lighting cameras themselves on the stage, lending layers of dramaturgical process. The performative nature of the piece also works in terms of the spatial awareness of the staging, which creates a triangle between the viewer and the three structures within the work.
The interplay between theatrical artifice and performativity delicately balances realisation through two series of elements: staging and semiotics. The relationship between the two is played out in a literal manifestation upon the lighted stage within the collage itself.