Imprinted in Time
Contemporary Serbian Printmaking
A Selection of Works from the Faculty of Fine Arts in Belgrade
29 October - 09 November 2019
Opening Reception: Tuesday, 29 October, 6.30 pm.
AAIPS Gallery is delighted to host Imprinted in Time, an exhibition organized by the Embassy of the Republic of Serbia in Seoul to celebrate 30 years of diplomatic relations between the Republic of Serbia and the Republic of Korea. Presenting 44 prints created by members of the Faculty of Fine Arts in Belgrade, the exhibition will premiere Serbian graphic art in Korea.
Imprinted in Time
Aletheia (ἀλήθεια) was a concept used by ancient Greek philosophers to define truth. For them, it was a meaningful process to recollect and reveal those moments which had disappeared or been concealed by lethe (λήθη), or oblivion. Oblivion is inevitable for being thrown into the flow of time. Indeed, Greek mythology reminds us that Lethe, the river of oblivion, runs across the last stage of our journey of fleeting moments destined to death, the unknown end; telling us that traces of life are likely lost in oblivion. This human condition is resisted by memory, and memory is well-described by the metaphor of prints. An artist grasps a moment fading away, and then stores it by engraving its image onto a polished stone, a wood block or a metal plate. Ink is then poured on the surface of the printing plate to multiply the image by pressing hard on a sheet of paper covering the plate. All these steps of the printmaking process appear to materialize our memory, which attempts to touch a time imprinted in our mind, but no longer present.
In relation to memory, however, what is the role of prints today, in an era in which photography and digital technology can capture every instant faithfully and reproduce it to infinity? Since the photographic image of a moment records the past with a physical proximity, we often have the illusion that photography is the storage of authentic memory, yet it is quite different from the way our memory actually works. Drifting impressions in our memory tell a personal, ambiguous and reorganizing narrative, rather than form a clear architecture like a photographic image. This truth of memory, in other words, a rippling image emerging from multiply-overlaid traces of an individual’s lived-through life, can be revealed well by print techniques. In this exhibition of contemporary Serbian printmaking, the artists unfold time around the Balkans, imprinted in their memory. Through these works, we hope to experience a moment of aletheia, which discloses the shadowed side of our lives that we have forgotten.
Dr. Eunmin Lim, Research Curator of the AAIPS Gallery