K9 Compassion / 2004

Print on synthetic foil,  225 x 180 cm

According to the production and marketing standards of post-industrial exploitation of already used products, K9 Compassion is an upgrade of K9, evidenced in the omission of the audio portion and the introduction of photography and an improved version of the scramble application used to encode the video recording. Both aspects of the work,

photographic and video, are founded on the action that Kopljar performed during the mentioned two months residency in New York. The photographs show him kneeling with his head bowed and his arms lowered against his body in the posture of wordless and passive adoration at the generally recognizable locations in New York, all of them the symbolic spaces of the hegemony that is defining his life as a human being, citizen and artist: Wall Street, Guggenheim Museum, UN building, Times Square and the seemingly anonymous, but symbolically charged China Town sidewalk and 8th Avenue roadway.

For that occasion Kopljar dressed his standard performing outfit: a white shirt and a black suit. Beside his intention to use this costume to dignify the very act of performance and make himself a visually more universal medium of identification, these clothes also form around him an aura of a pilgrim from the periphery. There is something menacing in this engrossed figure kneeling on a white handkerchief, utterly unconscious of and detached from the milling crowds swarming around him. The menacing potential has entirely evolved in the video. The same action of kneeling, recorded by the video camera, served as the foundation for the ten- minute loop of the video piece. The recorded material was encoded to illegibility by introducing the pattern of Kopljar‘s DNA that the Croatian police forensic team had taken from the sample of his blood. Kopljar is very personal about this: the images of hegemony are destroyed by his own blood. It sounds familiar.

The passive aspect of submissive consent and the active aspect of destruction as the consequence of refusal is a psychological horizon on which are developed the tumultuous emotions of the people from the periphery who after all are not willing to accept the present image of the world. Kopljar‘s vision of the absolution of this explosive situation derives from its title. Compassion as the supreme virtue of faith could be the beginning of understanding and exchange. The reversibility of the encoding process opens a narrow space of hope: the scramble application can also decode the video until the image is re-established.

The production of the work and the installation design are constituent parts of the symbolism of the work. The photographs are taken and produced in the mode of a marketing campaign, with strongly pronounced colors and executed in UV print on large format synthetic foil used for billboard advertisements. Hieratic growth of Kopljar‘s figure in the prints on both sides of the installation leads to its center where the encoded video recording is projected. The installation space and dimensions of the works are designed for the dynamic fluctuation of the audience who will pass by his bowed figure just like the citizens of New York, never suspecting that both salvation and ruin are close at hand. Kopljar is a pessimist who believes that the solution is possible. It takes only a conscious engagement and responsibility for one‘s own actions.