Mladen Stilinović





Nothing gained with dice. (P. Celan)

Dear Irwin, Malevich and Stilinović,

I have heard that you are saving money and that you have already collected more then thirty-five thousand. Why? Why collect money? Why not share what you have with those who have not even got a pair of trousers? After all, what is money? I have been examining this question. I have photographs of the most famous banknotes: for one, three, four and even five rubles. I have heard there are even banknotes worth 30 rubles each. Well, why collect them? Me, I am not collector. I have always despised people who collect post stamps, buttons, clocks, etc. They are stupid, dumb and superstitious. (D. Harms)

We have seen, we have realized – the more zeroes the less value. One zero, we know, is infinity; but two – two infinities?

A more and more evident transformation of all things into money. (P. Valery)

Zero as nothing, the beginning and the end, a state of immobility, in essence a non-language, incomprehensible, a monochrome. Money, the most accessible and the most comprehensible means of communication in languages. As many stories there are in money, that much is every story superfluous in zero. Zeroes are sad, absent – money is cheerful and present.

If art has realized harmony, rhythm and beauty, then art has realized zero. (K. Malevich)

Art is zero, art is money and vice versa and vice versa.

nothing begets nothing

nothing rears nothing

nothing waits for nothing

nothing threatens

nothing accuses

nothing grants pardon (T. Rozewicz)

But zero this is me, certainly I am not money yet.

Mladen Stilinović, 1994

Under the title “on Money and Zeros” a group of 90 small format works were arranged close to the ceiling of a room – collages, paintings, photos, objects, mobiles, textiles, drawings and texts by the Croatian artist Mladen Stilinović. Including work from more than 30 years, almost all the pieces shown reflect thematically on questions of money and often work directly with money as a material – a recurring theme in Stilinović’s work. This publication was produced on the occasion of an exhibition at the Grazer Kunstverein in 2006. It contains an essay by Mari Laanemets and an interview with Stilinovic (both in German and English). Contributors: Mladen Stilinovic, Mari Laanemets, Soren Grammel, Grazer Kunstverein, Branka Stipancic.

Mladen Stilinović (April 10, 1947 – July 18, 2016) was one of the leading figures of the so-called “New Art Practice” in Croatia and a founding member of the informal neo-avantgarde, Group of Six Artists (1975-1979), together with Vladimir Martek, Boris Demur, Željko Jerman, Sven Stilinović and Fedomir Vučemilović. He lived and worked in Zagreb, Croatia.

Mladen Stilinović - On Money and Zeros
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