“For me as an immigrant, an artist and a twin there is an urgency to locate a space of multiplicity and a space where art can happen. I look for a… somewhere.
I look for a space without borders, a space with blurred edges, a space of inside out, a space that is wet and dry, a space where I can leak colour and where I can leak form. I look for a location where knowledge is shared and where both precision and confusion are permissible. The container for my form is painting.”
“It is important for me to use personal references to help open up spaces for the gesture and performance of painting. The end result is not work that literally translates those personal references but rather a body of work that is made permissible because of the personal. It allows you to claim the work, to claim your process.”
Two years after the project Beautiful (2003), where he, together with artist Vojkan Morar, dropped into the dreams of sleeping girls, Dragan Zdravković, in his manner, had the courage to perform the dropping into the Venice Biennale in 2005, this time into the territory of his own dreams.
Spazio per l’Arte (Space for Artwork), 2005
“Space for artwork must be reopened again and initiated, not anymore by heroic acts of negating the whole/overall existing tradition, as was the case with the experience of the historical avant-garde, but by the gestures of the establishing the unstable and short-lived autonomous zones, which elude the logic of the system, or pervert it. The artwork of Dragan Zdravkovic in the context of the 51st Biennial in Venice was derived as the special materialization of attitude towards this issue.
In the manner of guerilla, unannounced, Zdravkovic intruded into the thick well-mapped territory of presentation and promotion of official art practices and temporarily annexed the part of the territory of a size of the volume of his body. ‘Space for Artwork’ within this action appeared in the form of the inscription on the undershirt, which was shown by unveiling the overcoat, which makes the parody out of the act of exhibitionism and determines art not as the institutionalized product but as the object of refined passions.”
(Stevan Vukovic, translated by Milos D.Djuric, O3ONE Gallery, Belgrade, 2005)
Spazio per l’Arte II (Space for Artwork 2), 2007
“Dragan Zdravkovic creates the autonomous exhibition space at the Venetian Biennial for the second time by means of the performance of the artistic professional’s subversion. Uninvited in any group scheme of the artistic recognition, Dragan Zdravkovic (by means of the paid entrance ticket) determines the mode of surpassing in a way of an outsider. Approaching stealthily with the cardboard box entitled “Pavilion” made for his art needs, Dragan Zdravkovic has no parasitic intentions… Personified and photographed as the carrier of his own art space, unwillingly he repeats the walking figure (or, flaneur, as French would say) who passes along the modernization of European citizens’ milieu”
(Nikola Suica, translated by Milos D.Djuric, O3ONE Gallery, Belgrade, 2007)
Enclavia: You are Profesor, you were Director, you are an Artist, also BJJ fighter, do you fight to remain or quit being an artist all over again?
Vlad: “I always struggle to go as far as possible away from art, but this never comes about. As an invisible force, it drags me toward itself, over and over again. As soon as I think that this relationship is over, I am pulled even stronger into this kind of battlefield. While growing older, it becomes harder for me to separate from the arts.”