• Gallery Zlati ajngel, Gallery Swiss House
  • September 2001
  • Ambient installation

Raising questions is the characteristic of the curious ones. Raising questions is in the basis of every artistic experiment, whereas without curiosity there would be no scientific advancement, either. The new, double exhibition project of Dawor Preis, has been based right at the interweaving personal curiosity, in visual-art terms exploration and provoking values of scientific achievements, by which he united Varaždin Gallery and Maksimir excursion house.

The explicit, recorded questions kept repeating themselves on the already exhibited Preis’s works, whereas the habit to directly question the observer shall most probably remain a part of his visual handwriting. But, this time, the question whether the viewer would like the lifetime of people and animals to be prolonged by ten times the artist puts on fading photographs of his dog and himself. Connecting in that manner the personal dimension (part of installations, apart from photographs, are also everyday usage objects of the author and his pet) with the wide historical context (since the question includes various animal species, historical figures and sometimes a still living “genius”) Preis raises a seemingly banal question which induces us to an automatic, greedy, positive reply (Who doesn’t wish to postpone the moment of death as further as possible?) to an interesting moral and metaphysical level: what would the civilization, for the better of worse, be like if only some of the stated managed to succeed in the impossible undertaking of several times over prolonged living?

If the limited lifetime of the world negative persons rescues the world from larger evils, are we allowed to ask for dear persons or animals to be excluded from the regular exchange of life and death? What remains behind these who were the integral, unavoidable part of our world – only dead things and faded photographs or something more? Does something replace these who left, or is the world, as a matter of fact, an invisible collection of unmeasured number of emptied places?

The questions are not new, but they are not uninteresting to be thought through in the times when the advancement of medicine and other sciences promisingly carries away with ever more accessible significant prolongation of the life of humans and animals, when the dream about immortality or at least longevity does not seem to be so abstract. Dawor Preis sets them up in the most honest manner, exhibiting the bitch Indy and himself as lifeless objects, but also as persons to whom the artistic interpretation provides the spirit of immortality. Well, auto ironically, but with an exhibitionistic feature in the background, entirely in compliance with the best art in which all issues still didn’t become rhetoric game.

Saša Pavković