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At CAC:  
Conny Blom - Billboards/4'33 Minutes of Stolen Silence
May 25 - June 6, 2010
Sound installation
An obvious reference to John Cage’s classic “4:33”. The piece consists entirely of pauses within recorded and copyrighted compositions of rock, jazz and classical music. A silence that when enhanced proves to be far from silent. When the surrounding sounds have been edited out, it is possible to raise the volume and hear things hidden behind the background hiss: unintentional noises, lingering notes or perhaps even voices.

In Postojna:      
Try Not to Die Like a Dog
What sounds like a harsh statement is at the same time actually also an encouragement. In the movie "O Lucky Man!" (by Lindsay Anderson, 1973) an experienced travelling salesman tells the rookie salesman played by Malcolm McDowell these exact words before he hits the road. It proves to be a hard task trying to follow the advice, but McDowell's Candide-like character never allows himself to be discouraged by his hardships. The apparent harshness in the statement is contrasted with the jolliness of the billboard presentation, emphasizing the double nature of the phrase; is it an attack or an embrace?

All Artists Hate Common People
The statement is bold and maybe not 100 percent truthful, but by striking out in two directions it pinpoints a problematic issue. "Common people" (whomever this refers to) are the target for hatred and artists as a group are full of contempt, it claims. It is an aggression in both directions. It is common among artists to think that they are more open-minded and tolerant than other people and that they thereby are licensed to “save” others. It is the artists’ task to point out and try to eliminate discrimination and injustice. But at the same time there is a lot of disapproval for common taste and preferences amongst artists. It is common to smirk at people who follow trends, people who are not aware of trends, people who don’t understand art, people who claim to understand art, people who try to be interested in art, people who don’t try to be interested in art, people who like shopping malls, people who like sports, people who are listening to the wrong music, people who are politically aware (but misguided), people who are not politically aware, people who are not interested in trying foreign food, people who are too passionate about something, people who are not enough passionate, people who are not aware of that something much more important is happening somewhere else right now, etc. Many artists think (or secretly whish) that the uninitiated should restrain from trying to comment upon art and give opinion on what is good art and not. At the same time we see artists acting amateur sociologists, architects, city planners, etc. Many a social art project unintentionally oozes of contempt, as young middle class artists do works in immigrant suburbs, and economically challenged areas. Art that rarely communicate in any real sense with the people it is addressing. The only real result and function of these projects is often to make the artists eligible for grants and biennales. It is maybe difficult not to be elitist as an artist. Perhaps because it is part of the artistic quest to challenge borders and look for uncharted grounds, as well as finding the ultimate expressions for doing so. With the gaze aimed far away it is easy to step on somebody’s toes.

Most Art is Not Good
Seemingly self evident, this statement is ambiguous given that it has been uttered by an artist, and not a spectator. As much as it states an actual fact, the billboard itself becomes paradoxical; if it itself is bad art, it should not be taken seriously…
The sentence is addressing a common opinion among people with little interest in contemporary art. By complying with their thoughts it is in a sense forming a bond with a hostile audience.

Blom is currently resident artist at the Conceptual Art Centre, Bukovje. More info about the artist at: http://www.connyblom.com/





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