Damir Očko

Untitled (Year Sundried), 2016

Photocollage and ink on archival paper

125.2 × 79.7 cm

Between € 3000 - 10,000

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Expanding beyond the boundaries of singular mediums is a key feature of Damir Očko’s artistic practice. Best known for his film and video works, Očko’s process extends beyond these media to include an extensive oeuvre of works on paper. Humanity, both corporeally and spiritually, is the core subject of these intra-media explorations. In 2016, Očko represented Croatia at the Venice Biennale with a pavilion inclusive of film works and compositions on paper. The centrepiece of this exhibition was a film work exploring the subliminal structures which underlie sight and perception. Titled The Third Degree, the work consists of a single scene depicting skin scarred by third degree burns, the shots interrupted by the mirrored presence of the film’s production crew.

The selected work was created as part of a series of collages presented in dialogue with The Third Degree. Initially exhibited collectively in a site-specific format, this series involves photographs of production sets and film stills interjected with amorphous forms, geometric shapes, and typography. Year Sundried depicts a black and white image of a production set partially obscured by an amorphous form of blue, ink-stained paper. A perfect blue circle floats towards the bottom of the image, and title of the artwork is pasted diagonally on the lower left side. Taken in context with The Third Degree, this work makes visible the aesthetic value of the production process. Constructing meaning between mediums, Očko reveals the processes of artistic production and consumption as being as central to his works as the components he manually constructs.

the artist

Damir Očko was born in Zagreb, Croatia in 1977, where he currently lives and works. He graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb in 2003 and since has had artist residencies all over the world, most recently in Norway, Ireland and Germany. Očko has been involved in a variety of projects including the remarkable The Kingdom of Glottis exhibition at the Palais de Tokyo, Paris in 2012. Another of his more notable shows has been his representation of Croatia at the 56th Venice Biennale in 2015, with a solo show entitled “Studies on Shivering: The Third Degree”, curated by Marc Mebmbekoff. Damir Očko continues this exploration of the twists and turns of language and the ways in which speech can be poetically generated by the neurophysiologic system, as well as the potential in subjects in terms of conceptual and concrete attitudes toward spatial placement. Očko investigates language as expressed in sound and voice and that resonance within visual images through the medium of music, film, poetry and two- dimensional objects. His practice involves film, collage, photography, installation and artists books, which all work in between the edges of reality and fiction, whilst maintaining a critical distance from them.  “What I try to do is to better understand the ways of listening and looking, and how this intensity emerges… a cinematic intensity, when image and sound are working as a dense harmony,” Očko has stated in regard to his practice. Inspired by the likes of John Cage and Edgar Varese, Očko’s practice drives toward a primal sound that has both poetic and political ramifications. Očko, who was born into a period of major political transitioning continuously associates his work with the turmoil of international politics and the dissolution of Yugoslavia. The influence of Orwell’s 1984 on Očko is clear. Orwell’s Newspeak B vocabulary consists of words deliberately constructed for political purposes welded together in an easily pronounceable form. Damir Očko propounds this mindset throughout his projects.

“What I try to do is to better understand the ways of listening and looking, and how this intensity emerges… a cinematic intensity, when image and sound are working as a dense harmony,” Damir Očko

Damir Očko
on Artuner

Part of the

April 5th, 2018 until
April 24th, 2018
Curated by ARTUNER