Fotograf Magazine

Vladimir Nikolic

Autoportraits

“This work presents a total discontinuity in my art production. Until now, I have one or two lines, maybe, which I follow in my works, but this one is absolutely alone and not in relation with other works, and I probably will not do anything like it in the future. That’s why I think that I took a greatest risk in my production with this work. But if I forget my art production for a moment – I’m very happy that I made it,” Nikolic states on his website.  Most of Vladmir Nikolic’s work, whether films, other projects or installations, is preoccupied with the situation and role of the contemporary artist in the neo-liberal society, also raising more general questions concerning the nature of freedom in general. Still, in 2001, the same year he created Autoportraits, Nikolic attached underneath a “No Parking” sign in the center of Belgrade another sign of his own, reading “Reserved for the Artist Vladimir Nikolic”. His slightly satirical approach to social reality and effort to subtly undermine it is in fact not that far removed from Autoportraits, only that the clownishness is replaced by methodical social intervention.  The playful differences in expression of the “features” of automobiles in varying degree of decrepitude so masterfully imitated by Nikolic quickly evolve into a work with what we would now term “viral potential”. In fact, 11 years later Nikolic was invited by the automobile manufacturer Mercedes-Benz museum to subject their museum items to the same form of mimic therapy, only this time in a much more opulent edition. 

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#27 cars

#27 cars

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