Questioning the Borders – with a Skateboard
Contemporary consumer culture, politics and public urban space subtly regulate the life of a (non)conscious individual on a daily basis. Skateboarding subculture, as a counter-phenomena, boldly challenges imposed restrictions. Originally conceived as a free, creative and artistic expression, skateboarding challenges and breaks the boundaries, both of the internal, personal abilities, as well as the external ones.
Photo: Tanja Kanazir / Drugo more (Flickr gallery)
“Shift” is the first solo exhibition by the multimedia artist Michel Mesarić, in which he uses audio-visual works and multimedia installations to convey the experiences of skaters as protagonists in a kind of process of internal and external borders questioning.
The exhibition will open on Thursday, 30th August at 20:00. You can visit the exhibition at Filodrammatica Gallery (Rijeka, Korzo 28, first floor) until 14th September, on working days between 17:00 and 21:00. Admission is free.
Man is driven by the desire to tempt and manifest himself. As a creative self-perception, skateboarding is focused on performing impressive but risky tricks, and as a creative view on its environment, it is focused on an innovative way of experiencing and using urban spaces. By interpreting such a worldview, in his audio-video works Michel Mesarić focuses on details – on skater’s experience, perspective, concentration and breathing while riding and performing tricks. He descends to the level of the skate itself, zooming in the ride, the dynamics of the movement. He also focuses on the various materials of urban space surfaces – flat grounds – that in interaction with the skateboard offer different riding experiences, and therefore produce different sounds. Furthermore, the falls and broken skateboards point to the breaking of one’s own boundaries. They come as a sign of the effort invested in overcoming one’s possibilities, of practicing the perfect trick, of bringing the simple ride almost to the level of an artistic performance, and ultimately to a satisfactory way of manifesting oneself.
On the other hand, together with falls and broken boards, “No Skateboarding” sign and the symbolic visitor’s “obstruction” of the video installations point out the clash of skateboarding subculture with dominant culture and politics. Skateboarding subculture is characterized by the use of DIY (Do it yourself!) methods, with an aim to create the necessary, but often prohibited, infrastructure, such as the required skateboard park elements, or even the entire skatepark. Therefore, although skateboarding subculture is often seen as a form of vandalism, which is why it is often misunderstood and suppressed, skateboarding philosophy aims at breaking the boundaries, while the skateboarding tricks and DIY methods can be seen as the means of achieving those goals.
(text: Mia Krneta)