Nenad Veličković, writer
The two artworks
On one of the two works of Asim Đelilović, we can see a couple of chocolate/kinder-eggs in a bird’s nest. The second poster shows a “cork” being taken out of a watermelon that looks like the red star. Both works are examples of simplicity in expression of his ideas and attitudes. The expression that takes more than just a hard work and talent.
Clarity and modesty aren’t really recommendable virtues in the country like Bosnia and Herzegovina, where it is very difficult to live outside of the two prevailing concepts of thinking: national and market. And yet, these are the ideals that Asim not only strives towards but also achieves in the above-mentioned examples.
Clarity of expression cannot happen without clarity of thought, and a blackmailed or bribed mind is not the one that can think clearly. An artist driven by its sponsor’s expectations (either by its party’s or its vendor’s) cannot clearly and comprehensively review and understand reality in which he lives in and creates. One cannot create great and meaningful art without clear consciousness.
The two works that capture our attention with their clarity (in expression) and modesty (in terms of financial resources) are products of his intellectual maturity and moral respect. In times when a poor country spends hundreds of thousands on snobbish and useless festivals and projects that are of national meaning, buying a watermelon an d cutting a cork inside of it, is something that one can hardly perceive as a piece of art. It is generally known that the red “heart” lies underneath the green core of a watermelon, but giving it a shape of the red star gives a new and not at all naive message of a well-known truth: that nothing has truly changed, that even though we wave with different flags and threaten and give promises with different phrases, we continue to live in a one-party system and our destinies are in hands of demagogues, phrase-mongers and sycophants. And the nest is funny and somewhat cynical criticism of newly-formed values, knitted with a barbed wire and presented as a home, with sharp and insurmountable boundaries, to chocolate eggs that will never give birth to living birds that sing and fly.
The works of Asim Đelilović are funny, inventive and engaged, far from being cheaply conceptual, they are direct, unequivocal and classic in the best sense of the word.