K9 Compassion + / 2005

Print on synthetic foil, 225 x 180 cm

In his most recent works (performance, video, photo installations: K9 Compassion, 2003 and K9 Compassion+, 2005) Zlatko Kopljar developed a key position of an artist intervention in the world of globalism. He is not an artist who globalizes the world by coming from an imperial culture, nor is he an artist who joins the globalizing wave, i.e. he is not an alternative media, web or leftist parainstitutional artist-terrorist. He presents himself as a non-expressive index and, therefore, an indicator of the totalizing wave of globalism, who transforms the planet (large world metropolises) into a testing ground for biopolitical indexation of the representatives of power.

He uses “erased traces of Christianity” (in the title of the work K9 Compassion he refers to the Christian vocabulary: compassion, prayer, homage, also the position of his figure points to ideas of “dignified passivity”, “power of the powerless”, etc.). For example, in the work K9 he worked with punctuating points in New York. Kopljar paradoxically used an undefined potentiality of reading and coding the bodily ritual (rhetorical positioning of the body) in New York. He kneeled in front of important buildings/institutions, i.e. centers of power. His kneeling body functioned as an indicator in relation to New York as a center of political, economic, and even artistic power. He was perhaps pointing to New York as a global model of the world, or as an object of terrorism (change in perception of New York after September 11), or as a city of cities, or as… Kopljar uses his rhetorical body in a subtle and intelligent manner (a man wearing black suit, in a kneeling position, not expressing emotions) as a provocation in relation to a relevant there and a determining then. These there and then are the centers of located power of the new Empire (USA). In K9 Compassion Kopljar further elaborates the concept and enters into the system of presenting the global movement of an artist on a moving map of structuring and presenting the representatives of power. By employing a seemingly neutral but rhetorically indicative body he tests his audience’s complex symbolic-political reactions toward realistic, current, fictional historic, geopolitical or potential social powers. He performed bodily positionings against the Capitol Building in Washington, the United Kingdom Parliament in London, the European Parliament in Brussels, the Duma in Moscow, and the Chinese Parliament in Beijing. Kopljar works with a certain kind of two-fold “cognitive mapping”: (a) to map your body toward referential geopolitical (institutional, architectural) points and (b) to map the body or even an “aura” of institutions of geopolitical centers of power. Here the technique of cognitive mapping stands for the performance of the representation of individuality and subjectivity in relation to realistic and imaginary projections of “that” which is being tested, experienced and realized as human reality. In this sense, Kopljar’s work explicitly implies the position of an artist of the new-existentialism.