Baar / Zug, 16.09.2021

The art of Sladjan Nedeljkovic reacts to current events

The Zug-based artist Sladjan Nedeljkovic is exhibiting his works in the Billing Gallery in Baar and in the Administrative Centre in Zug.

Again and again, Sladjan Nedeljkovic explores the world of media via various channels in order to see what is happening: "I follow world events with interest, even though I’m not at the location where things take place: it’s a reason for me to form my own images and to react to them." From this position of an observer, the interplay of "image and perception" has emerged, to which he devotes himself in an artistic exploration of the media images that he has been collecting for years.

In both exhibitions, it becomes clear how the artist challenges the visitor to reflection through his skilful treatment of the questions of manipulation and truth. Through his interventions on the images, he makes the boundaries between reality and fiction, as well as information, disappear. He also specifically collects media images that ‘run over a fold’ in the original media. He separates these images, and combines them with others, thereby placing them in a new context. The double images on display are from the magazine «Repubblica», which he collected when he was in Genoa in 2013 during a studio scholarship: they are of well-known politicians, stars and other people, which he often supplements with original details.

Photo 1: Sladjan Nedelkovic's compositions are thought-provoking.
Photo 2: The artist received the Swiss Federal Prize for Art in 2004. His book "Framing the Real".
Photo 3: The artist reflects the world with his pictures.

Photos: Maria Schmid

Installation as a "picture atlas"
While it is mainly a series of double pictures that can be seen in the foyer and cafeteria of the Verwaltungszentrum (administrative centre) in Zug, the exhibition in the Gallery Billing in Baar shows further aspects of his work. On the wall-sized installation with media images – all on a silver background – the text is hidden under a sprayed effect. This allows the viewer to fully focus on the image. "But, for me, it's not about the individual image. I show the complex world here as if in a picture atlas. I'm also not a painter," says the artist. "But I think about the images that exist in the media and that mirror the world. When choosing them, I react intuitively to individual images – when they touch me, because each one tells its own story," says Nedeljkovic and emphasizes:

"I don't associate this with a message. I also don't feel like a journalist, but I do want to react as an artist."

His Landscapes series, with photos from around 20 years ago from his native Serbia, which shows how the area has changed, can be seen at the Galerie Billing for the first time. The artist uses a broad spectrum for his works, including drawings and video, as "Cinema" shows.

The artist's new book "Framing the Real", in which he looks back on the work of the last ten years, was also presented on the occasion of the exhibitions. The art historian Sibylle Omlin, who collaborated on the book together with curator Irene Müller, says in her introduction that the artist poses the question of perception and reality – without a didactic attitude:

"His pictures often become contemporary history."

Born in Serbia and raised in Zug, Sladjan Nedeljkovic has been living in Berlin since 2004, where he teaches part-time at a private media school. After training as a draughtsman, he studied at the art schools in Lucerne, Geneva and London, and received the Federal Prize for Art (in 2004), the Zug Year of Work and various studio scholarships.

The exhibitions can be seen at the Verwaltungszentrum an der Aa in Zug until 8 October (office hours) and at Galerie Billing in Baar until 24 October, Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays, 2 to 6 p.m., and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.