` The medium is, indeed, already a message. It has been half a century since Marshall McLuhan asserted that the medium, not the content, should be the focus of our attention. Thus, the question arises for an audience, and an art audience in particular- are we mature enough to finally move the borders of our perception of an artwork, and enjoyment in it, to the understanding of that which resides deeper, beneath the appearance?
This is precisely the level at which we start comprehending the work of Boris Lukić as a multi-layered oeuvre that reveals the complexity of the theme that can be interpreted from the nude figures with the headings. The meanings of the headings are so general and we have been made aware of them on so many occasions that any reading of them outside of this context would render them pointless and deprived of any power. Moreover, we have been unsettled by these very words for decades because of their dangerous potential to be misused. In fact, they have been misused numerous times throughout the twentieth century and it would upset us to see them on banners or walls, in the newspapers, political campaigns, or news…or in the artworks that depict the words in these contexts. But what happens with all these notions when they are slogans on the nude female bodies, shrieks that each model chooses for herself?
Let us go back to the medium as a means, a message carrier. In the case of Boris Lukić the medium is, on the first level, an oil on canvas painting. What does it suggest? It definitely represents the continuation of Western European tradition of painting, and in particular the continuation of figuration and representation of the nude figure. Has not Lukić been learning from great masters in the hope that, first as a beholder and later on as a painter himself, he would be able to move the boundaries that we have mentioned above as the boundaries that have to be moved by an audience as well? Has the perception of the nude evolved and are we ready for the new interpretation of it?
Beneath the appearance, beneath the “oil on canvas”, we encounter the medium that is also visually a message carrier. The female body becomes what the canvas initially was, and the painter’s job, the brushwork, on a deeper level becomes a heading. Not a random, accidental heading unrelated to the model. These headings are the messages on behalf of the models, and not on behalf of the painter. Did the woman from the painting finally speak out and did she become the carrier of the message?
Lukić’s paintings are not a mere continuation of Western European tradition, but rather they emerged as the consequence of the careful reading of that tradition with the intention of prolonging it in an innovative way. In the spirit of the contemporary age, the woman in the role of a model ceases to be a silent object for the male gaze.
Vladimir Dimovski, PhD