This is the last post on the arts scene in Belgrade and I want to use it to focus attention on the creative print-making of Leka (aka Alexsandar Mladenovic). His latest exhibition was inspired by the music of the British punk rock singer Vic Godard. The project evolved collaboratively, between Vic in England and Leka in Belgrade. The geography was bridged by the lyrics. Vic sent them to Leka: the original sheets, hand-written, and from 5, 10 or 20 years before. These words and the music to which they belonged inspired in turn a series of prints: Leka’s equivalents to Vic’s songs. This cross-cultural collaboration even extended to the catalogue, where one entry was written by me and the other by a Serb and historian of rock music. A double Anglo-Serbian, transcultural project. The exhibition was open at the Ozone Gallery in Belgrade from 10-20th July, and to rave reviews. You can read the catalogue text here: VicLeka text in pdf and you can find a very extensive account of the project here, on Vic Godard’s website in two parts: part 1 and part 2
Two sets of six prints by a master serbian print-maker and professor living and working in Belgrade. Each is a graphic hybrid of identical dimensions (1,44 x 96cm), a large silk-screened print composed from four equal parts, each containing 6 mini images. The end result is a grid of 24 where photographs, text and hand-written lyrics are presented simultaneously, as identically-sized pictorial equals with no centre or hierarchy. Colour is simple but produces contrasts that clash so the total effect is intricate and powerful. Colour and print are used to mesh together a variety of materials relating to British punk, and more precisely to Vic Godard and the Prefects. Leka is seeking a visual equivalent to music and to the sound of the songs referenced in the imagery. Thus, the regular bullet-like circles – 3, 4, 5 or 6 – reproduce the chord of a guitar superimposed upon the imagery as printed coloured sound. The consistent imposition of order upon an imagery of disorder, anarchy and rebellion is carried over in the precision of the titles (Subway Sect-Nobody’s Scared, Chord B flat or The Prefects-VD, riff E5 A7-E5 A3). These ambitious prints were the subject of a solo exhibition at the Ulus Gallery (Belgrade) in 2012 and can now be seen, along with other recent works, in the artist’s studio, by personal appointment. Leka is a Professor at the Printmaking Department, Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Belgrade, see www.amleka.com.