“Your wandering eye. How it dances across the page, eating up line by line. How it indulges the glories of syntax. Read on. It stitches like a seamstress. But where is the sense? SCUM.”
The work SCUM!!! consists of a rant or tirade that attacks the stupidity of the audience or the readership and condemns the present epoch for being insipid. What their stupidity consists in, in its specificity, remains unclear. In other words, it remains uncertain why they are under attack. In the text, the reader is directly addressed (“SCUM!!!”) while the rhetoric remains general or abstract and is filled with equal amounts of self-loathing. That he or she is being insulted is clear, but are the allegations made against them or is the writer jokily pointing at himself? The reader finds himself thrown off of his feet, in an unstable and ambiguous position, while not only the ground, but the paper in front of him is shaking. The work tests the boundaries between the reader, text and of the act of writing, thereby violently creating a space for reflection, making your wandering eye aware of its existence.
Image: Alexi Kukuljevic, Untitled, 2011
By working across different media and drawing on diverse points of reference – literary, philosophical and artistic – Alexi Kukuljevic’s practice defies easy categorization and slips between disciplines. “Generally I am concerned with the problem of reflexivity (a subject that is itself an object) and processes of reification or objectification. The different materials and media that I work with compose a complex web of references that hint at, without defining, a distinct sensibility, an attitude, or set of tastes, giving form to a vacant or lifeless substance, a subject that is there, but somehow absent.”
Alexi Kukuljevic (South Africa, 1978) lives and works in Maastricht. He is currently a researcher at the Jan van Eyck Academie in Maastricht. He holds a PhD in Philosophy at the Villanova University, Villanova PA, USA. Exhibitions include The I Lesson Part I, Marginal Utility, ICA, Philadelphia, USA (2012); First Among Equals (with the Machete Group) ICA Philadelphia (2012); A Corps Perdu, FRAC Bourgogne, Chateuneuf-en-Auxois, France (2011); What a Drawing, Wild West Active Space, Maastricht, the Netherlands (2011); The Island Beautiful/ Mortal Mirror, Bodega and Extra Extra, Philadelphia, USA (2011); Yes, Yes I am Happy aber Glücklich bin ich nicht, Vox Populi Gallery, Philadelphia, USA (2010); Splav Meduze, Zavod Celeia Celje/Center for Contemporary Art Celje in Likovni salon Gallery, Celje, Slovenia (2009); and Death 2+3+, VOX V, Vox Populi Gallery, Philadelphia, USA (2009).