Others about Milica
Signals from “There”
What is the meaning of the hypnotically soft
yellow-orange tones used in paintings of Australian artist Carmel Byrne?
And what is the meaning of the crossroads, the T-intersection, the
No Entry? Byrnes’s message is conveyed through a
sign-like interplay of positive/negative spaces built up in several layers
in medium-sized constructed relief.
Upon entering the exhibition space you are welcomed by seven panels which are mounted on the walls
with their smaller versions scattered around at floor level.
each panel is a section of road hazard signage in the form of diagonal
black & white stripes. The overall use of space is
balanced and creates a feeling or tranquillity. So, why then the hazard warning?
transform into ready-mades with painted symbols that are representative and
stylized in form as well as elegant in appearance. Yet there is more. This
work is not only about elegance. There is a load of meaning waiting to be deciphered
as I start to walk through this exhibition. What could the warning be about?
With another glance at the exhibition title ‘FUNK’, I question
whether this is all about funky tricks. Tricks of perception, perhaps.
At this point careful
observation is called for: if you gaze at a cross it gathers the visual plane centrally, thus the
opposing directions of its sides are neutralized. Lifted on a metaphysical level the image seems to
represent a sign on a crossroad of our unconscious. I think of Jung.
When Kasimir Malevich experimented with the cross form,
didn’t it stop being a mere symbol
of Orthodoxy and became the universal entity calling for meditation? Once you think of the famous
Russian Avant-garde artist and his simple abstract compositions you are at home with these
intriguing panels. The analogy eludes until your eyes turn to the background plane, where a
primordial power in the yellow cadmium pigment takes you into the ‘dusk beyond all spheres
which follows the eruption between all worlds.’ You are ‘There’… in
the place where your finest substance feels at ease with rays of everlasting
light breathing its healing warmth over you.
In two major panels a bold black
cross and a simple rectangular slot are the forms that divide one’s colour saturated vision.
This inert sight is under a tension that is willing to flatten differences. With the background seen
as the Positive, the black becomes a swallowing structure, a force of denial, the Negative, a
keyhole. Another puzzle to solve. I am reminded of Jasper Johns’ ‘Target’
By the simple facts of perception, what is a positive becomes a negative. Then
comes emotion and the different laws of sight and meanings perplex you. In the end,
‘Here’ and ‘There’ will always be the two poles of the same distance.
‘There’ no judgement exists, all signs loose their function. Although the warnings are
set up for you, it’s hard to keep it real.
There is no key to enter the absolute,
just the ‘funky’ one in your pocket.
Art magazine, Singapore, April 2001