Pin in the Inflated Bubble of Expectations

by John Byrum

The meanings of Andrej Tisma's works reside and resound in the contrast between the perfection of the advertising image and the reality in which we actually live. Mr. Tisma would like us to be aware that these images exist to convince us to alter our behaviour, i.e., to purchase something which we might not have previously considered purchasing. Or, perhaps, more subtly, to act as yet another in a virtually endless string of such images that, taken in total over our lives, goes a long way toward influencing our thought, and circumscribing the possibilities of our thinking.

The advertiser must create a mythology of sorts, a visual mythology of perfection attainable through the product.  Mr. Tisma undercuts that message by simply contrasting this false fable of fashion with the physical reality of the everyday, thus inserting a much-needed pin in the inflated bubble of our expectations.  The point of his pin seems to be the contrast between the projection of an ideal, timeless, perfect product for consumption, with the everyday reality of decay and imperfection in which we actually live.  Mr. Tisma’s collages thus lead us to discover interesting parallels between Platonic idealism and consumer advertising.

Mr. Tisma reminds us that decay and decomposition is inevitable. Timeless perfection is a chimera, all we can know is transformation.

And, didn't we know this already anyway? Mr. Tisma's works are here to remind us.


London show

These works were shown in the London's Shoreditch Gallery, 5 Hoxton Market - August 16th-31st 2006 - SEE PHOTOS

Belgrade show

These works are on view in the Belgrade's New Moment Ideas Gallery till December 20 - PHOTOS


A Paradox of Values

by Milos Arsic

Andrej Tisma’s exhibition of digital prints called “Transition: Impossible - First Aid – Do-It-Yourself: Commercials Advertising the Fight for Mental Survival confirms his preference of an artist’s active relationship towards the “real reality”. His concept of art only seemingly implies direct, narrative statements which, owing to his ability (and gift) to create ambiguous meanings of the “recognized”, turn into metaphors.

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(Click on images on the left to get bigger ones in this frame. In original these prints are 90 cm high)

See the show opening in Novi Sad at the Podrum Gallery, March 15, 2006

Watch the video Advertising Mental Survival

Andrej Tisma (Novi Sad, Yugoslavia, 1952) graduated from Academy of Fine Arts in Prague, Czechoslovakia in 1976. From the early '70s Tisma was concerned with concrete poetry, mail-art, photography, xerox, and since '80s with performance art and video. He has had solo exhibitions beginning in 1972 in Novi Sad, Belgrade, New York, Milan, Seoul, Munich, Naples, San Francisco and London. Since 1996 Tisma has been working in the field of digital graphics and web-art. He has been publishing art criticism and essays since 1976. Tisma lives in Novi Sad, Serbia and Montenegro working as an artist, art critic, and curator. Web site.


John Byrum is a visual poet and publisher of Generator Press, now primarily online.

Milos Arsic is an art critic and curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Novi Sad, Serbia and Montenegro