People Say 40
Poetry
10. 01. 2022
Radovan Gajic

Numbers

Number: Accurate
Every conduct conveys certain consequence.
Openminded are a challenge to the conservative.
Conservatives are threat to even a vaguely openminded.
It is easier to win over the enemy in the field than the enemy within
oneself, always.
Open mindedness is close to licentiousness, often.

Number: Taut
Who do you look like when your son looks like this?
Couldn’t you look like your wife, just a bit.

Number: Tiny
Be a given.
Just a given to each other.
A given.
In each your act recognize one another.
Proceed in such a conduct, precisely.

Nuber: of the Srb
Mother, you will never hear me crying.
I will die in a pain and sorrow but – to a bully just because he is a
bully – I’ll never confess his false justice.

Kosovotears

Tears do survive.
Tears stream from the eyes.
But there are kosovotears.
Kosovotears are shed from the soul.
You are tearing for Kosovo?
You are tearing over Kosovo?
It’s good; it’s still ours.
One who renounces Kosovo in his soul
Is the one who assassinates his own soul.

Poetry
10. 01. 2022
Milutin Mićović

Key

You have the heaviest weapon
Zero
You kill without a bullet
Hello

Vicked zero

Zero

At the beginning of
You ate your brain
And hungry into the world she set out

You are girded by a snake
You eat with thoughts and thoughts
You eat with your shadow

You’re going dead hungry
From town to town
From head to head

Rejoicing in vain

Brain drink
It is your last pleasure

From the greatest darkness you dream of the sun
Turn it off with your hug

Translated by Radomir Baturan

Poetry
10. 01. 2022
Ivan M. Petrović

Lapot

My firstborn, my hope,
And my terrible judgment …
I can’t these legs hurt,
From trampling clay, chaff and mud,
Walk faster to own destiny.
They have walked for you,
that the bread mixing bowl be stuffed with flour,
from which strength tightens your muscles.

Тhese trembling hands can’t
Carry the weight of the last bite,
Because they were torn out
When the brethren persuaded me,
To let the oxen run over you in plowing.
To make one hungry mouth less …

The halter of Sivonja does not cracks,
But my heart almost breaks,
Because of that sinful thought.

And take me a little further from this rockс,
Because that’s where I, my father, made the last cake.

And I’m not afraid of anything but one:
I’m afraid he won’t hit hard enough …
… like I used to be…

Translated by Radomir Baturan

_______________
1) Violent death of the elderly

Poetry
10. 01. 2022
Željka Avrić

Dedicated

We are that kind
which they removed from the cross

have stab with a knife and a cake
swore by the Son and the Father

We are that tribe
which they poisoned our seeds

sprinkled with our own blood
hhunged peeled off melted
We are from that herd
which the army of had

baptized with fire and sword
fined with moans and cries

We are of that sort
which are wolf cohorts

halved slaughtered beheaded

We are from the lagoon of escape
migration column of queues

from a fresco from a shrine
banished by ghosts

We are from the land of the black
from the soot of ossuary

with forgiveness hatred overgrown
to rise from the ashes

Translated by Radomir Baturan

Prose
10. 01. 2022
Milan Ružić

Midnight fires

The snow was already covering the roads and decorating the pine trees
up in the mountain, while I was getting ready to go to the train station.
It was ripe time to return somewhere out of nowhere, before the winter
settles in on the peaks, and buries all chances for people to get around,
leaving them for months to be guessing where their gate is, where the
chicken coop is, and where the path out of the front yard is, being cov-
ered by two meters of snow. As soon as I went out the door, the snow
intensified.
I’ve always loved the big snowflakes in the moonlight on the high
mountains, the days when the door freezes on the outside, so it couldn’t
be open until the stove stuffed with coals warms the room where
people slept. However, that evening, neither a jacket, nor the shoes and
three pairs of socks were enough; nor was there the willpower, nor the
feet that were prepared to take a pretty serious journey, like the one
awaiting, which must be negotiated on foot to the nearest train station.
Ten kilometers through snowdrifts, over snow-covered wooden fences,
over barbed wires and stone boundaries… Anyone who has ever been
on the highest peaks knows that snowflakes fall twice as fast there,
and that are far more beautiful there than anywhere else. It was an
early winter; the sharp midnight winter air was creeping in wherever
there was even the smallest hole in the clothes or the skin. As soon as
I went out, I remembered the old scars that decided to become frozen
that night.
With my long legs I was plowing through a metеr deep snow that
fell in just three hours, while I watched the centuries-old pine trees,
adorned by snow, that proudly gazed towards the moon. All around
only some old oak rustled while shaking off the weight of the snow,
shivering and hoping that Christmas Eve would come soon so that it
could warm oneself on the fire. In the distance a crack of some tree
was heard, not being able to withstand the frost. The birds stopped all
flights and got inside the cracks of the nearby rocks, while the wolves
howled somewhere in the distance in order to gather and form a pack
in case they, that evening, get through the enclosure where the sheep
are, and drink fresh, warm blood. I was warmed by the thought of
the wolf’s bloody jaws that are grinning at the next lamb whose liquid
of existence will keep them warm and cause fireworks of pleasure in
wolf’s own blood. The frost was so strong that I am sure every wound-
ed lamb rejoiced in the warmth of its own blood that ran between the
curls of the wool, and then dripped on the floor and froze after a few
moments. At the thought of that massacre and that heat, I shuddered
a few more times. Bear is lucky: He sleeps somewhere in a cave where
he pilled up branches and dry leaves; bear is not in a hurry to catch the
train and he does not give a damn about winter.
Some fires could be seen in the valley below the large grove. The
sheer sight of the light in the far, below me and the peaks, made me feel
warmer. O God, how huge pillars of fire held the sky above the valley
that night! Vague voices came through the sharp night air of those
gathered around the fire. Surely some kind of pagan feast, or maybe
the villagers from one of the hamlets brought all the wood they had in
order to worm up together on a snowy meadow. The mountain, long-
ing for that warmth, watched them.
Going through a large grove my face was lashed several times by
a dry blackberry and ice-hardened branches of old oaks. Each time
when one of those branches whipped me, it made a scar, but there was
no blood. I guess the blood stayed somewhere deeper inside in order to
remain warm somehow.
I came out of the grove unto the clearing, and the murmur of the
people around the fire, not far from the dense forest and deserted
meadow border, subsided. They heard me, and as everyone stood up, I
believe they have seen me as well. Who knows what was going through
the heads of superstitious old men standing in groups? In their eyes I
must have jumped out of the woods like an apparition, a screecher, a
vampire, a devil, a robber, a wizard, an usud (fate) and a ghost. How-
ever, I was only a frozen man tormented by snowdrifts, by sounds, and
by winter of the peaks of a one mountain, intoxicated by the nightly
beauty of pine trees and the whiteness of horizons in front of me; by
fear fed by the howling of the wolves and that deviant part of myself
warmed by the blood of young lambs; I was a midnight winter pedes-
trian striving to get to the train station and a heated compartment of
the train going in the direction in which the Earth was tilted for me.
I would have been done for even before I approached if I did not
greet them in the name of God from afar, through the blades of the
wind. It is strange how superstitious people react to the Lord. They
truly believe, but their faith in everything is just superstition that
they inherited from their ancestors and earned from the mountain
on which at night you cannot distinguish the sounds of this and the
other world. These are people who do not shake table cloth with bread
crumps in front of the house at night, who do not sit on a log, who are
scarred to stand under the eaves droughts in the dead of night, but who
also go to church, who knows why and for what a heck.
They accepted God, whom I, by words, sent as my predecessor, and
they cheerfully put me by the fire like a pot. I watched their peasant
faces which were made as filigree by the shadows of melancholy, as
well as their goodness trapped behind the bars of cruelty. Out of that
goodness, pointy and crooked noses were protruding forward and
thick mustaches over the lips, intoxicated by brandy, but eager to talk.
They convinced me to stay with them to wait until dawn, and then
they would escort me to the train station. Sometimes before the dawn,

Prose
10. 01. 2022
Mirko Palfi

Love in Venice

Venice is the city of canals and bridges; nicknamed as “Queen of the
Adriatic” and “Bride of the Sea”. Venice was declared the most beauti-
ful city in the world. A bit of a stretch to even think of such a thing in
the first place, let alone proclaim it as such. The city is unique, but to
give that epithet to any city in the world is nonsensical. You can find
beauty in every city if you open your eyes to notice it. The beauty of any
city is woven in the eyes of an observer.
The hidden magic of Venice can be found in narrow and short
streets; on a red bench under the canopy of a lemon tree; in a small
boat with nets and other fishing equipment that is tied to a wooden
pillar in a narrow canal passage in front of a small blue house; in a cup
of the most inviting smell of espresso under the shade of a palm tree.
But it appeared to me that everyone is just noticing only one thing –
the gondola. It’s the most popular attraction in Venice and tourists are
ready to pay a high price to take a ride on the “Grand Canal” in order
to capture that perfect photo moment.
St. Mark’s Basilica is an architectural landmark that also attracts
many visitors in Venice. Young couple found a spot in the middle of
St. Mark’s square for a photo opportunity of their child in the stroller.
Prior to taking a picture, parents have tried different ways to entertain
a child and bring a smile to the child’s face. They also wanted to place
a red rose in a child’s tiny hand. Numerous attempts and numerous
pictures were made but the child was not cooperating. What parents
seem to forget quite easily is that a little child can see magic in every
little thing. In children’s subconsciousness there is only a desire to play;
they don’t care how they will look in a photo. It is completely irrelevant
to them whether the background is the Eiffel Tower, the Berlin Wall,
Grand Canal or St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice.
We slept in that morning. The night before, after a busy tourist day,
we sat for a long time on the edge of the canal, i.e. on the granite stairs
that can be taken into the canal. At the bottom stairs were green algae
that grew long time ago due to constant splashing of the canal’s water.
Our hotel was near the canal. Right across the canal was a small park
that was shaded because of numerous tall trees. As it turned out later,
that park was our saving green oasis from the overwhelming heat that
was prevailing over Venice those days. In the middle of the park there
was a small circular playground. It had three swings, a blue slide and
netting steps that were connected to the slide by a small blue bridge.
There was also a plastic blue tunnel for the kids to crawl through.
As soon as my little girl Ella woke up, she wished to go to the park
to play. Ella’s mom was planning to spend time shopping. My intention
for the morning was to get an espresso and sit in the shade of the floral
garden of the nearby café and observe the flow of the canal’s traffic. It
turned out that Ella’s wish was still stronger than mine, i.e. me. I’ve
decided to take her to the park. It meant Ella’s mom was granted free
time for shopping. She tried but couldn’t hide the joyful expression on
her face. Ella was already impatiently waiting for me by the door.
We crossed one of many bridges; while walking alongside the canal,
Ella and I treated ourselves to gelato – popular frozen dessert of Italian
origin. We reached the park after about ten minutes of walking slowly.
It was so hot outside that gelato was melting much faster than Ella and
I could eat it. We sat on one of the five wooden benches that were sym-
metrically arranged around the circular playground. While we were
indulging in our delicious frozen treat, Ella was observing what was
happening on the playground. On the soft rubbery floor of the play-
ground there was only one little boy; he was climbing the netting steps.
My attention was directed to few of the people that were sitting on the
benches.
Soon after, the little boy’s attention was focused towards Ella and
me. He was speaking some words to us but we could not understand
any of it. Little boy was determined to find someone to play with, so he
approached us. His name is Louis. He asked Ella in his native Portu-
guese to join him and play together. Ella never saw or met that boy, nor
does she speak or understand Portuguese language, and despite being
a little shy, Ella accepted his invitation to play. That is the beauty and
magic of the children’s world. I looked over at the bench where Louis’
parents were sitting; both mother and father were preoccupied with
their phones. Later I found that little Louis is from Brazil and that he is
travelling through Italy with his parents.
On another bench, next to ours, was a mid-age mother with her
young daughter. Mother was explaining something to her daughter
in their native Italian language. They live near the park. Little Italian
girl’s name is Isabella, she was six years old. Ella is Canadian tourist,
and was eight years old; Brazilian tourist Louis was seven years old.
Ella and Louis became instant international friends. They spoke two
different languages, but they understood each other in universal chil-
dren’s language. First, they were going down the slide, then climbing
the netting steps and then they switched to swings.
Little Italian girl Isabella seemed to be bored. She was going cir-
cles around the bench. Mother was closely watching her every step
the whole time. At one moment Isabella wanted to join Ella and Louis
on the swings. She tore herself from mother’s embrace and went to
the free swing trying to sit on it all by herself. Swings seats were made
out of wood, positioned low enough that Isabella could have easily get
on it by herself. Regardless, her mother quickly ran after her, pulled
her aside, afraid that Ella or Louis might knock her down with their
swings. Becoming aware of the situation, Ella and Louis slowed down
their swings while the little Italian girl was trying to get back to swing.
Isabella’s intention and desire was to be part of that small, free-spirited
children’s group that Ella and Louis seamlessly created. Isabella was

Essay and criticism
10. 01. 2022
Sanja Gligorić

Popular Culture in Twentieth-Century Anglophone Literature Hockey as Canada’s Uniting Force in Jeff Lemire’s

The Collected Essex County (Volumes I & II)

I Introduction
Jeff Lemire is an eminent Canadian cartoonist who achieved great ac-
claim after publishing his trilogy of graphic novels that came out in
a collected edition in 2009 titled The Collected Essex County. In this
trilogy, Lemire attempts to depict the Canadian mindset and discern
the role hockey has in the country as a uniting force between people,
at the local, as well as at the national level. Lemire’s work is essential
for understanding these existing bonds, and as far as its structure is
concerned, Will Eisner and Lan Dong, respectively, outline pivotal ob-
servations that explain the graphic (novel) form as such,
The fundamental function of comic (strip and book) art to com-
municate ideas and/ or stories by means of words and pictures in-
volves the movement of certain images (such as people and things)
through space (Eisner, 1985: 38).
Commonly known as book-length comics, graphic narratives in-
clude both fiction and nonfiction. The past three decades have seen
an increase in the readership of graphic narratives as well as in
scholarly interests in this subject (Dong, 2012: 5).

Dong goes on to point out “the legitimacy and value of graphic narra-
tives” which can, and have been, used when it comes to representing
important issues and questions, and can also be employed as an aid to
better “understand social, political, and cultural issues” (Dong, 2012: 5).
Not only is the graphic novel deserving of study and can help illustrate
important cultural and social points, but so can hockey, too, which
is precisely what Jean Dion, in his foreword for Hockey and Philoso-
phy (2015) titled “Thinker on the Rink“, playfully asserts by sharing his
viewpoint on the importance of hokey in the mindset of Canadians,
One could chuckle that hockey has attained the status of a religion
in this country. Hockey Night in Canada as Saturday night mass.
Montreal, the Mecca of hockey. The Montreal Forum, the Temple
on Saint Catherine Street. The Canadiens are known in French as
la Sainte-Flanelle, the “Holy Flannel.” And if we had Stanley Cup
parades a bit more often, we could certainly talk of religious pro-
cessions. Therefore, like all religious expression, and like all human
endeavour (rational or otherwise) to explain one’s mortality, to ex-
press one’s allegiances, or to find one’s place in a seemingly absurd
universe, hockey is deserving of philosophical study. You could
even say it has a duty to be held up to the light and taken serious-
ly, to transcend its frivolous and playful identity (Baillargeon and
Boissinot, 2015: xi).

Many academic writers who are enthusiastic about studying sports in
an attempt to better grasp its importance in modern life do point out
that sports in general (and hockey by extension) can be marked as a
marginal part of cultural reality if we were to compare it to economy,
education or politics (Giulianotti, 2015). However, Đorđević presents
the following arguments as a means to disclose his viewpoint regard-
ing the essential place sports have in contemporary lives,
The marginality can be comprehended conditionally if we were
to take into consideration that sports in our contemporary global
culture presents one of the most important phenomena, and that
it involves a large number of people, whether that be directly or
indirectly. In this meaning, the lesser importance of sports in the
context of general societal power loses on its relevance if this phe-
nomenon is observed solely from the angle of researching popu-
lar culture, as it is usually done, regardless of its huge influence
on creating and reproducing identity in the contemporary world
(Đorđević, 2009: 1-2).

Adding a further affirmative remark, “sport is said to inculcate values
and virtues” (Baillargeon and Boissinot, 2015: xvi), which is precisely
the role hockey attains in Jeff Lemire’s graphic novel trilogy where, in
its three parts differing in volume and content, Lemire explores and
depicts the importance hockey has in Canada both in terms of local
communities and at the national level. Lemire shows that for certain
members of the Essex county in Ontario, Canada (which is where the
graphic novel takes place) hockey players attain the status of super-
heroes, as well as that they can be viewed as national superheroes at the
level of the entire nation.
This is one of the ways in which the love for what might be the big-
gest of Canadian sports instills feelings of togetherness into Canadian
life and helps create a group identity among its citizens. On the other
hand, Lemire also explores the role hockey can have in representing
the divide between the francophone and the anglophone parts of
Canada, as well as the role it takes on in bringing closer members of the
same family who have grown apart due to misfortunate circumstances
– a father and a son, as well as two brothers who were magnanimous
hockey players when they were young.
The main body of the paper will be divided into two sections, cor-
responding to each of the two covered graphic novel’s volumes (I and
II), and will present an analysis of how hockey plays the part of uniting
the local community at a micro level, and show its role in building the
nation’s sense of community at a macro level.

I Volume One: Tales from the Farm 2.1. Superheroes and
Hockey Players
The first volume in Lemire’s trilogy opens with an iconic image of the
ten-year-old protagonist Lester Papineau claded as a superhero, as
he is starting to fly – a dreamy sequence that is abruptly interrupted
by his uncle Kenny’s voice who brings him back to reality by repri-
manding him for not having fed the chicken on the farm before play-
ing, and orders him to “take that damn outfit off” (Lemire, 2009a: 12).
The flightless chickens can be seen as an analogy to Lester, who is also
grounded despite his immense desire to fly. This is also represented
in two panels that align Lester and one chicken (he is depicted in the
panel above the chicken) both looking equally lost and desperate to
escape (Lemire, 2009a: 53). Throughout the entire volume, the uncle
and nephew will fail to find proper ways to communicate, which is
what Lester manages to do with another character – Jimmy LeBeuf,
the two sharing mutual appreciation for the game of hockey, as well as
an understanding of the world of comics and superheroes.
This installment is segmented into four parts – Summer, Fall,
Winter and Spring, and it depicts the protagonist Lester’s life at the
farm with his uncle. It is soon disclosed that Lester’s mother Claire
died from cancer, and as the volume progresses, it becomes clear that
his relationship with his uncle is not as good as it should be – the two
need time to learn how to get along. One day in the fall, Lester goes to
the creek, where he sees Jimmy LeBeuf, a former hockey player, spear-
fishing (Lemire, 2009a: 32). The two befriend each other in this volume
and share musings on both hockey and superheroes. Both characters
spend a lot of time alone and share the feelings of being misunderstood
by people surrounding them, and the friendship they develop helps
Lester become more sociable while sharing his private world of comics
with LeBeuf, to whom he shows a comic of his own creation on a win-
ter’s day while Kenny is out selling chicken from the farm.
The tie that binds the nephew and uncle is precisely their immense
appreciation for hockey, a game that first appears in a panel that rep-
resents Kenny watching a game on TV (Lemire, 2009a: 14). The rift
between him and his nephew is presented through the disrupted ritual
of watching the game, because Lester refuses Kenny’s call to join him,
but goes into his room and turns on the TV to watch it by himself
(Lemire, 2009a: 15). Thus, both of them watch the same hockey game –
but the game fails ever so abysmally to bring them together, i.e. it does
not bridge the gap between the two men. It is with LeBeuf with whom
Lester shares both his love of superheroes and his love for hockey
(Lemire, 2009a: 18, 33, 56, 67 ).
It comes as no surprise that Lemire has the character of Lester feel
so strongly towards both superheroes and hockey players, for it is the
latter who can be interpreted as national heroes who are off to save the
world, and they symbolize hope due to the beauty of the game they
are partaking in. Upon proposing that sports (in particular hockey)
be regarded as worthy of academic observation and philosophical en-
quiry, the two editors of the volume Hockey and Philosophy, Normand

Story about the Artist
10. 01. 2022
Ozrenko Ozzie Mrkic

My artwork is a story stemming from my own life

As an artist, I act a messenger who releases what is submerged and
overlooked onto the canvas. My work is personal; each piece repre-
sents an individual thought and experience I have drawn from my
own sense of spirituality and culture. It is a subconscious journey
between my body, my soul and surrounding energy. For dreams is the
most difficult -they always to stay awake.
My artwork is a story stemming from my own life, hailing from
the way I think, coming from my daily existence. I observe, analyze
and transfer my vision onto canvas. Without restraint, I paint this
social “theatre” which we are a part of, where numerous heroes strut
about their unmovable lonesomeness. My art is one of many testi-
monies to the pathetic chaos we call life.
I do not create with any mysterious talent but by my-self alone;
meaning, I paint with my own sensibility and intelligence, my heart
and reasoning, with all my spiritual development, with excitement
of my soul that is constantly changing and surprising…intuitively…
childlike. I glorify human goodness, beauty, love, trust, morality,
naivety, and I deride human foolishness, malice, bitterness (caused
by ignorance), fickleness and hypocrisy.
My art is filled with the elements of solitude and self-sufficiency,
it finds its fulfillment and ultimate purpose in itself.
I reveal myself to my inner self in every new painting I create.

Ozrenko Ozzie Mrkic
B.A. of Fine Arts 1980-1985 Academy of Fine Arts, University of Sara-
jevo.
Until now, he organized more than 20 “one-man” art shows and
participated in numerous group art shows. His artwork can be seen
in Museum of Modern Art Dubrovnik, Museum of ZOI’84 Sarajevo
and numerous private collections throughout Europe, United States,
Australia and Canada.

Selected solo exhibitions
2019 “Sometimes I Feel Sorry for Reality” – SHA Gallery, Toronto,
Ontario
2018 “Short Tales in Color” – SHA Gallery, Toronto, Ontario
2017 “Together Alone” – SHA Gallery, Toronto, Ontario
2016 Toronto Art Project, Better Living Centre – Exhibition Place,
Toronto, Ontario
2015 Nelson Park Creative Centre, Toronto, Ontario
2012 Praxis Gallery, Toronto, Ontario
2006 IZBA Gallery, Novi Sad, Serbia
2004 COOP on Scolard Gallery, Toronto, Ontario
1998 Propeller – Center for the Visual Arts, Toronto, Ontario
1997 Propeller – Center for the Visual Arts, Toronto, Ontario (print-
ed catalogue)
1996 Eyes – Post Group Gallery, Toronto, Ontario
1996 Canadian Film Center, Toronto, Ontario
1992 Museum of the 14th Winter Olympic Games, Sarajevo, Yugo-
slavia (printed catalogue)
1991 Gallery Art in a Tea Room, London, England
1989 Gallery Uno, Trieste, Italy (printed catalogue)

Selected group exhibitions
2018 Fall Art Salon, 1313 Gallery, Toronto, Ontario (printed Cata-
logue)
2017 “150 Anniverssary of Canada”, Cultural Center of Novi Sad,
Serbia (printed Catalogue)
2016 Fall Art Salon, 1313 Gallery, Toronto, Ontario (printed Cata-
logue)
2015 Spring Art Salon, Toronto, Ontario (printed Catalogue)
2014 Art Salon, SHA Gallery, Toronto, Ontario (printed Catalogue)
2008 Toronto Alternative Fashion Week, Toronto, Ontario (printed
Catalogue)
2006 Propeller – Center for the Visual Arts, Propeller Turns 10, To-
ronto, Ontario,
2005 Praxis Gallery, Toronto, Ontario
2004 Praxis Gallery, Toronto, Ontario Anno Domini
2002 Yugoslav Embassy, Ottawa, Ontario New Canadians, curated
by Bissa Scekic
2001 Praxis Gallery, Toronto, Ontario
2000 Gallery Michelangelo, Toronto, Ontario,
2000 Propeller – Center for the Visual Arts, Toronto, Ontario
1999 Canadian Opera Company, Toronto, Ontario, Art Salon `98,
curated show, (catalogue)
1998 Red Head Gallery, Toronto, Ontario, Mighty Canadian Art
1997 Propeller – Center for the Visual Arts, DIVINE, Toronto, On-
tario, (catalogue)
1996 Propeller – Center for the Visual Arts, Toronto, Ontario
1995 Del Bello Gallery, Toronto, Ontario, Art Salon `95, curated
show, (printed catalogue)
1994 Del Bello Gallery, Toronto, Ontario, Singidunum and Friends,
curated show,(catalogue)
1991 “WHY?”, Gallery of Modern Art, Dubrovnik, Yugoslavia (print-
ed poster)

Grants
2012 – Exhibition Assistance Grant, Art Gallery of Hamilton, Canada
1998 – Exhibition Assistance Grant, Art Gallery of Hamilton, Canada

Story about the Artist
10. 01. 2022
Radovan Gajic

Coloures and variations of solitudes of Ozrenko Mrkic

It is not so often that one, at entering the gallery, gets blowen away
while faced by the experiences of a certain painter to the point that
one does not know which painting, he should look at first and which
one should look at longer.
Such an experience offered to the devotees of his art – as well as to
the wide audience – the artist Ozrenko Mrkic, recently in the Gallery
Praxis in Toronto.
This exhibit, as much as visually so much as an act of expression
of fine arts, represented delightful challenge to the eyes of the viewers.
Briefly it was obvious that here was not a man who paints.
Here is not someone who productively gained knowledge of this
or that painting techniques and now applies it.
Here is someone who uses his fine arts tools and experiences to
fight his own demons.
And he is not afraid of such a battle, of which he places the events
right in front of us so we too can feel the heat of our own spiritual
fights –and it is what art is about.
To the eye aiming to be little more educated in visual arts move-
ments of the 20 th century it will appear that – from those paintings
– tones of Picasso, Kandinsky, Miro as well as Dali, and others echo
attractively.
The artist neither runs away from it nor he hides it.
He openly – where someone would renounce as discovery of the
Chagall’s influence – names the one of his paintings in subtitle “In
Honor of Marc Chagall”.
But all his work is not what it reminds of.
It is all only Ozrenko Mrkic.
Whoever is more introduced to the visual art-flows and visual
research of the artists on the territory of ex -Yugoslavia will clearly
understand what am I saying when I say that Ozrenko Mrkic went to
the farthest corners of painting experiences which was re/searched
by early gone but not forgotten Vasilije Bukcev, Mica Stojiljkovic, or,
thank god, still alive and active – a persistent one – Cile Marinkovic.
Of all the paintings I will only pay a little more attention to the
one named Saint George Kills the Dragon – painting not an icon.
The artist faces us with the worn out, exhausted, old warrior not
a noble knight in a shining armour.
Even more it is an ex-warrior.
And so is the dragon, the beast appears more like tired creature
then the real deterrent monster.
Color wise everything creates atmosphere of happening on the
outskirts of certain periphery where the event repeats itself endlessly.
Whoever comes up here with the taught of caricature will make
a mistake.
Caricature distorts already existing indicative detail accenting it
with intention to provoke laughter through laughing at it.
Here is an irony which – as irony – always establishes the spirit of
reason and bravery. Picture is the cause for the picture / the painting,
as it is commanded by the entire process of the historicity of painting
works. Here we have conversation of the iconographic forms, allowed
only to the rare, exceptional originators whose visions see through
the immense force which through the forms moves totality of our
perceptive mechanism so that it awakens in us the feeling of end-
lessness. Endlessness which nothing, not even any religious concept,
should misuse.
Feeling through which, we recognize the immensity of spiral
change through which we move and exist in between the forms. And
forms are nothing less than stronger or less shaded, acts of colours.
All such and similar visual-forensic searches through the works
of Ozrenko Mrkic would intend to show the wisdom of one who does
them, so it is with me for which I apologize. The essence of this col-
ouristically rich scenes is that, in the eye of the viewer, they truly
awaken love for tragedy of human existence. As they are they recall
in us the immense force which keeps everything and all in the excep-
tional harmony and thus get that human being through all its stum-
bling’s in different vanity fares: national, religious, cultural, folklore
ones… that after all human being is recognized in all this colorite of
darkness only as human. And more important than the light of day is
to be able to enlighten darkness of our hearts, bring the light to dark
hallways of human souls, relive one of the weights of himself.
The immensity of painter’s work presented at this exhibition
comes out of a powerful individual solitude. At the top of such a pick
teams can not stand. The space at such a spot is too narrow. Ozrenko
firmly stands at the threshold of the great painters work which means
facing even greater personal suffering considering that such minds
among us never got the merit they deserve, at their time.
Meaning they are not popular, meaning they had to provide their
daily plate through the challenging work. Such persistence can only
fit under the words of Holly Scripture: “Man shall not live by bread
alone…” Only these words can give the hope to the personality of the
painter who expresses such immense format.
To poses on the wall Ozrenko’s painting presents unquestionable
mark of attendance to the highest fine arts conversation of choruses
of cultural forms. It presents hearing the visual voices of various spir-
its who, through the tragedy of their own artistic action, researched
their own personal dramas. They did it for us, for our spirit so it does
not collapse into the darkness of hopelessness, so that humans do not
lose their humanity.

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ДОНАЦИЈЕ

Претплатите се и дарујте независни часописи Људи говоре, да бисмо трајали заједно

даље

Људи говоре је српски загранични часопис за књижевност и културу који излази у Торонту од 2008.године. Поред књижевности и уметности, бави се свим областима које чине културу српског народа.

У часопису је петнаестак рубрика и свака почиње са по једном репродукцијом слика уметника о коме се пише у том броју. Излази 4 пута годишње на 150 страна, а некада и као двоброј на 300 страна.

Циљ му је да повеже српске писце и читаоце ма где они живели. Његова основна уређивачка начела су: естетско, етичко и духовно јединство.

Уредништво

Мило Ломпар
главни и одговорни уредник
(Београд, Србија)

Радомир Батуран
уредник српске секције и дијаспоре
(Торонто, Канада)

Владимир Димитријевић
оперативни уредник за матичне земље
(Чачак, Србија)

Никол Марковић
уредник енглеске секције и секретар Уредништва
(Торонто, Канада)

Уредници рубрика

Александар Петровић
Београд, Србија

Небојша Радић
Кембриџ, Енглеска

Жељко Продановић
Окланд, Нови Зеланд

Џонатан Лок Харт
Торонто, Канада

Жељко Родић
Оквил, Канада

Милорад Преловић
Торонто, Канада

Никола Глигоревић
Торонто, Канада

Лектори

Душица Ивановић
Торонто

Сања Крстоношић
Торонто

Александра Крстовић
Торонто

Графички дизајн

Антоније Батуран
Лондон

Технички уредник

Радмило Вишњевац
Торонто

Издавач

Часопис "Људи говоре"
The Journal "People Say"

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Toronto ON,
M4C 1X4 Canada

Маркетинг

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Торонто, Канада maya.prelic@hotmail.com

Контакт

Никол Марковић, секретар
т: 416 823 8121


Радомир Батуран, oперативни уредник
т: 416 558 0587


477 Milverton Blvd. Toronto,
On. M4C 1X4, Canada

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