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Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Slobodan Tomić "Rakurs", "White Noise" & "Dead Poets Society" (plus Isamu Noguchi)













I went to see the new Isamu Noguchi exhibition at the nearby Yorkshire Sculpture Park. Nothing to do with animation though his work is an atmospheric experience and I was sorely tempted, and still might be, to purchase a rocking stool made faithfully to his 1950s design. Working with much larger and often colossal metal or granite structures the mood he managed to create in his sculptures is remarkable. This leads me naturally I think to the Croatian animator, Slobodan Tomić , whose work also creates an oasis of reflection, occasionally unsettling, in an abstract way. His Rakurs piece is a case in point. To the sound of people assembled in an art galley (or similar) using the mouse one can transport the figure around the squares and gaze at the subtle changes in design and colour in this flash exhibition of shifting projections. Slobodan entered this year's Nontzeflash. His White Noise is an intriguing blend of tempo changes and flickering grey shapes, including a pressed face, to a background soundtrack of, yes, white noise and from somewhere deeper within a voice which may or not be making a speech. It is intended to explore the saturation of sound. Slobodan's web package Dead Poets Society has rotating faces that keep appearing, symbols on an arcade slot machine as he explores the nature of reality. Do explore the piece for it has interactivity built in. The tiny faces can be enlarged in a quite disconcerting way as they peer out changing all the while. You had better be warned that they are in fact death masks. They are not all poets. His cast is the most impressive of any animation I have seen ranging from Napoleon to Queen Elizabeth. Slobodan graduated from the Art Academy in Sarajevo in 1984. As well as making his distinctive animations, Slobodan lectures at the Art School and Art Academy in Split. I shall, by the way, be taking a look at the award winners in Nontzeflash 2008 later in the week.

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