Vladimir Lukash is a Macedonian artist with a rich scope of talents. He is much more famous or recognizable as a painter, and less as a jazz musician, animator or illustrator. The following text will be an attempt to illustrate his incredibility in connecting the opposites through his artistic work.
When you stop before some of the works of V. Lukash, you cannot just go away and forget about it. That’s not even possible. As you observe Lukash through his works of art, you start to gain a feeling of things being twisted, which is being channelized from the wish of changing the world, and, if that is not a possibility, at least there is the influence on our sensory habits and our consciousness in experiencing the world.
Vladimir Lukash has graduated at the Department of Instrumental Jazz at the Faculty of Music Arts at the University of “Goce Delcev” in Shtip.
He is author of and has participated in numerous independent and group exhibitions, performances, creative workshops for children (part of which were held in Autonomous Cultural and Social Center – AKSC [АКСЦ] in Skopje).
Further on, Lukash is also author of several animations, music videos and works in the field of video-art.
Just recently, his animated short movie “The Falling Girl” („Девојката што паѓа“) was projected during the AnimaksSkopje Fest. The original script for the short movie was written by the young writer Ivan Shopov, who had been inspired by Dino Bucati’s short story of the same name.
“We follow a tragic story here about a girl being ‘stuck’ in the limbo between two realities which she inhabits at the same time… From a stylistic aspect, it’s about a dark, black-and-white fantasy in a traditional cut-out animation. It’s one of the oldest animation techniques, which, for the purpose of animation itself, puts the flatbeds of characters and background in motion. The best examples of such animated shorts are the ones of Yuriy Norshtey, Hedgehog in the Fog and Tale of Tales ,” says Lukash (Interview: Nova Makedonija, No. 23293, 2014)
Lukash is also part of Svirchinja, a band of performers who have so far participated in several multi-media projects, including also BOSH – a multimedia art festival in Gevgelija.
Svircinja is comprised of multimedia artists who attempt to criticize the societal and political non-sense that has inhabited the country for more than two decades, and they do that in a grotesque manner. “The sonorous and visual worlds are inseparable companions: imagine walking down the street, or at the park, or on a mountain, and not being able to hear a single sound? How scary would that be? – remarks V.Lukash [Interview: Nova Makedonija No. 23293, 2014]
The influences of surrealism are very evident in the works of Lukash, as well as the playfulness – the one of Dada in general. Very often, Lukash refers to literary themes and/or Literature as a/his creative force.
To quote the Croatian literary theorist, Miroslav Beker, chapter “Literature and the Other Arts” from his book Introduction to Comparative Literature: “The destiny of the relations between literature and the other arts is similar to the destiny of Comparative Literature itself”
Pavao Pavlicic in his study “Intertextuality and Intermediality” uses a basic binary opposition of the conventional and the unconventional intertextuality, wherein the origins of the first type of intertextuality are to be found in the “aesthetics of the sameness”, and for the second, in the characteristic of the so called “aesthetics of the diversity”. On this basis, Pavlicic aims to make the distinction between modern and postmodern intertextuality.
The intermedial relations, as a phenomenon inseparable from intertextuality, according to Pavlicic, represent “a method, a behavior through which the structures and the materials typical for one medium are being transferred into another – one of those media is usually an artistic one.” If we are to analyze intermedial relations between literature and the fine arts, we arrive at several basic models; nevertheless, in our case, taking into account the whole artistic work of Vladimir Lukash, we are able to conclude the following:
- In the literary work, assets typical for the fine arts (the line) are being connected with assets typical for literature (the word), and this results in a new work of art that contains the characteristics recognizable for both media and their recognizable forms. The most illustrative example for this sort of intertextuality could be the poems of Apollinaire.
It is exactly Apollinaire who connects us to Lukash – mostly through the usage of the collage. The origins of the collage technique can be located in the avant garde movements from the beginning of the 20th century. “Papiers collés” or paper cuts – wallpapers, newspapers – which are adhered to parts of pictures painted in another technique; These are still not collages, because the different pieces are still in accordance with the environment in which they are being adhered. It is in Dada’s time when the collage gets closer to its essence. All the paper cuts, newspapers, photographs, books, pictures (which you can also observe in the works of Vladimir Lukash) – all are supposed to implicate the chaos of the world. Despite the various elements are physically close, they do not make any connection, just like they make no sense in the world from which they are collected from.
Regardless of how paradoxical it may sound, this moment, or this Chance is important – for Lukash, as much as for the surrealists, the notion that there is a thread of connection between the realities drawn together is important. That moment or Chance is no longer a proof of the chaotic and absurd world, but contrary to that: it signifies its omnipresent connectedness; it signifies the existence of a net of causalities and consequences, which is much more complicated, but also fundamental than the one which can be proved with the help of the exact approach.
“Which is the noblest discovery of the collage?” asks Marx Ernst.
And he gives the answer: “It’s the irrational”.
The cut and adhered part of the reality, transferred to another reality with the help of the imagination is evident once you observe the paintings of Lukash. The observation will dismantle the feeling of our experienced reality, and it transfers us to another reality. In this other world, everything is possible, and our senses start to reject the control of the ratio. Further on, elements of the uncanny, as well as the element of surprise, are evident. Last but not least, it is also the humor that is a dominant characteristic of his paintings.
All the puzzling meetings we are sure are impossible are, actually, made possible; all those peculiar creatures that appear from the depths of a dream; all those personalities situated in an ordinary, everyday atmosphere, which has suddenly gotten a threatening meaning – this is all followed by humor that makes us laugh, but which is also defamiliarizing as well. As if the author (V. Lukash) wants to construct us a feeling that will enable us to exit from the pathways of what’s ordinary, as well eject ourselves from the rigidness of the habits. Taken by surprise, the spectator suddenly realizes that their experiencing of the world is not the only possible one; and that the bars of reality we think are keeping us in infinite captivity – are merely an illusion.
There are many prisms, or multiple number of aspects through which the overall artistic work of Vladimir Lukash can be observed. One of the several prisms would be to view it as engaged art. Vladimir Lukash, to my big pleasure, continues to oppose the crude and mundane reality through his various creative expressions. In his works we can notice that aside the humour, the surprise, the uncanny, the defamiliarization, there is also the mockery of the authorities – one of the many characteristics.
Through all the artistic works that are being crafted by the artist, there is an attempt of the artist to give answers to fundamental questions. Lukash comes as a libertarian when he is to address those answers –mocking almost all the authorities. Consequently, within the frames of his craftsmanship, we arrive to a deep thoughtful ‘rest’ where imagination itself has been liberated.
“To be unconscious of what’s happenings around us, or even worse, to remain silent – is typical for the donkeys, but not for the artists. The artists need to speak out loud on behalf of the oppressed. The artists need to criticize the oppressors. We can dismantle all framings in the 21st century, particularly in the arts – we don’t need that anymore. However, one way or another, the engagement and the awareness must be manifested,” adds Vladimir Lukash [Interviews: Nova Makedonija no.23293, 2014]
Vladimir Lukash is born in a small dog-house in the midst of Vardar. As a little boy he grows beans and earns for life by foretelling the future of 100-years old Japanese women. At age of 13, he was kidnapped by gorillas, and in the next 20 years he lives on a top of a tree in Tanzania. By accident, he awakes in a manhole in the Skopje’s municipality of Drachevo, and ever since, he actively tests experimental drugs produced by a local company which has been shut down for not paying the debts. He lives and works in Skopje. Every now and then he appears naked in the middle of the city square with a stupid grimace and with a cocktails pipe in his nose.
Translated by: Stefan ALIJEVIK
Edited by: Igor POPOVSK
This post is also available in: Macedonian