Branka Benčić, Imagining a moving image

Branka Benčić

Film as an idea of art, of a new world and a conclusion of the big dream of an epoch, preceded film as a technical means and a separate art form. / Jacques Ranciere 1

The idea of journey has for a number of years been one of the focal points of Marko Tadić’s works ranging from souvenirs, postcards, cartography – imaginary geographical maps, forgotten or imagined scenes, narratives in travelogues – in animated films, drawings, collages, installations, spaces of imagined, possible and impossible journeys through various possible and impossible places. Marko Tadić builds phantasmagorical stories with just a hint at narration, where he sketches possible, imagined, fictional worlds, while his “works reflect the author’s interest for the production of imaginary, fictional narrative worlds exploring the modalities of the alteration of the past and the future”. 2

He intervenes into the scenes of found vintage postcards with simple drawings and collaging of elements with minimal gesture, thus creating a fairytale narrative between the known and the unknown, fact and fiction, mixed into an organic whole with quotes from art history, tales, film or literature. The works are shaped at the crossroads of drawings, collages, appropriated photographs, installations, animation and they are determined by an interest for archive, daily life, decorativeness, the aesthetics of B films and silent horrors he uses to construct a peculiar mood of oblivion. He processes and mixes a variegated archive of images of various origin, stressing the possibilities of reinterpretation and the relation to the past. Marko Tadić’s works connect us to the history of collage, its origin, some sort of pre-artistic past, because the history of collage as artistic practice begins in the 20th century until when this technique was used for purposes other than art, within the frame of non-artistic tradition – popular and religious western culture like autograph books, Biedermeier and bourgeois taste memorabilia. In European art, collage was a marginal and non-artistic technique thriving on the margins of culture, until the 20th century when it becomes the dominant way of thinking and expression finding its way to the center of the art system. Collage introduces non-artistic materials in the art system, like objects from the everyday life, elements of images and texts taken from the mass media and popular culture, i.e. material of the “media reality” of bourgeois life made by pictures from newspapers, magazines, advertisements and commercials.

The story of film is borrowed from the fable told by film screens

Jacques Ranciere 3


With his new exhibition in Pula Marko Tadić presents us with an imaginary journey through the space of construction, poetics and aesthetics of the cinematograph and film image. Imagining a moving image is Marko Tadić’s new project comprising series of drawings and collages as fragments structuring the specific space of the exhibition. The exhibition develops around the way of film thinking, imagining the cinematographic device, a complex of ideology and technology, the production and reproduction of moving images. It is made around elements of camera and projection/projector, formally clear elements, squares of space, geometrical shape and framed scene.

With a series of collages and drawings Marko Tadić creates an installation functioning as a “film strip” in a spatial form– exploring the codes of cinema, the contents and tools of film, articulating the reflexive and technical processes showing the illusory character of the film medium, while at the same retaining their fascination with it. The exhibited works also indicate the huge impact of film on the whole culture, they form a specific attitude to the idea of film as a place where aspects of society and culture are reflected.

In his collages and drawings Marko Tadić builds a fragmentary narrative telling the story of film, while the spectacle of cinematography and its “construction”, i.e. the stressing of its constructed character, become a referential field of these works. The works represent an interpretation of drawing in two media: collage and animated film, bringing forth two levels of image – static and moving.

Besides the presumption of a fragmented reality, editing and collage denude the artistic procedure, describe and openly show the phases of the work’s constitution. Collage implies a procedure based on a semantic transfer of elements, existing messages, fragments of daily life and popular culture into a new creation, in order to create a work of art showing various interruptions, a complex multiple meaning, incompleteness, inconsistency of thought. By making a theme out of the interest for film and moving images in modern art, we arrive to the very beginning, to the emphasis of the power of illusion over the very origin of images from a projector, contained at the basis of the cinematograph (cinematographic apparatus), and the times when the images started moving. 4According to Dominique Paini, from the camera obscura through the “Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat” by the Lumière brothers, to the modern video installations, the illusion of reality is made possible by the suggestive power of projection of moving images, while the cinematographic device represents a view that previously could not have been imagined, in any time or place. 5