Behind the Look exhibition – Gallery of Art of Montenegro “Miodrag Dado Đurić”, Cetinje

Behind the Look exhibition – Gallery of Art of Montenegro “Miodrag Dado Đurić”, Cetinje

Zharko Basheski is an author whose work has been exhibited in many galleries and museums, has made several sculptures in public spaces and was representative of the Macedonian Pavilion on the 54th International Art Biennale in Venezia, 2011. The interest in his work is turned towards the human, hence the interest in hyperrealistic approach in shaping the concept of the work, which in the theoretical projection exceeds hyperrealism, talks about life and the world in which we live.

The artist does not escape from the aspects of human life and its existence in the society, but he vehemently analyses them and immediately and directly transmits his personal views and conclusions to us with his work. Zharko Basheski in the search for gnoseological and ontological answers about the human, through the cycle of sculptures not accidentally titled Behind the Gaze, introduces us to the autistic void of today’s social living, but also the possibility of self-exploration, self-discovery and self-development and the change of the vision and the truth about himself and the human existence.

The sculpture or installation Venus is a work that requires multilayered analysis in the interpretation of a work. The visual element is primary – hyperrealistic representation of a woman with dwarf anatomy (dwarfism) in larger dimensions than the actual. The care for photo-hyperrealistic conveying of the details, with a pronounced interest in emotions in portraying of the character, models the portrait for the people from the margins of the social life realism, transmitted through their bodies and faces, silence, stillness and emotions, i.e. reality that contains their whole life story. The metaphysical exchange of the gaze and the perception towards a human being with Laron syndrome, our view on them, as well to ourselves and their view on us, opens the possibility for exchange of positions captured through sculptural over-dimensioning of reality. With this we touch the secondary element in the reading and interpretation of Basheski’s work, our view of the world through this group of people, their respect for us, and essentially our view on ourselves. The tertiary view on the work Venus is the social view of one man to another, or the materialization of the psychological reality as revealed through psychological presence of sculpture, i.e. a kind of socio-plastic critique of the actual reality.

The interpretation of Basheski’s work sets a new direction in the perception of the order of provisionally primary, secondary and tertiary element, whereas all the elements become primary in the “inversion” of the role of the individual in the society.

The interest in the scenes and the characters from the Bible is also immanent in Basheski’s work and this is a paradigm for the historical themes recurring in the current social developments globally. The approach to shaping retains the line of hyperrealism in the creation of the work, with a pronounced interest in the representation of the characters’ emotions, interest in photographic conveying and precision in the shaping of the details. The three sculptures David, Ezekij and Toma are a paraphrase of the destiny of man since the beginning of his existence until today. David is a parable for the power of man not in his strength, but in the power of facing the reality, where the power of the mind overcomes the power without reason. The life of Ezekij is the fate of man in his exile, but also the persistence in the struggle to endure in what is believed, and his separation from those with a different view of the world. Toma’s unbelief who wanted to be assured of the Resurrection of Christ is the human need to touch things, and to believe in them. This speaks about doubt as a prerequisite for faith, but also for the doubt in oneself. With the touch with reality, we become aware of it, but also of our existence…

Basheski is an author open for experimenting in the search for a new plastic expression and personal signature. In the provocation for himself and for the others, in his experimental ripples he concisely insists on telling a life story in sequences and achieving a new and completed whole of it. In these circumstances the works suggest more to their reading than to their observation.

In the end, the main objective in Basheski’s work is to express the author’s freedom in the thoughtful translation of the personal experience of the world we live in and its aesthetic visual shaping as an act of self-discovery.