>>I think that it is very important that every art is named and has been self-established. The project is called Graphic Conspiracy, then it is not only a question of playing out of fine arts and strategy of seducing, but it is also playing out chronotopic, archeological entries and meaning production.<<

Author project GRAPHIC CONSPIRACY has been in realization at REX since 2000 and it has had three conceptual editions:

  • "GRAPHIC CONSPIRACY" (40 pages, authors - Rastko Ciric, Bob Živkovic, Boban Savic, Milan Pavlovic, Dušan Pavlic, Vladimir Stankovski, Zvonko Jacimovski),
  • "ODYSSEY: SERBIA 2001" (100 pages, exhibition in the hall of KBC, 25 works from all over FRY, the only cartoon edition whose theme is experiences from the previous decade in FRY) and
  • "CATHARSIS" (36 pages, cartoon-map as a part of the project TRUTH, RESPONSABILITY, RECONCILIATION, cartoons and graphic works which basically talk about the role of the every individual person in the crimes which were committed on the territory of ex-Yugoslavia in the previous decade).

"GRAPHIC CONSPIRACY 4 (with theory of graphic conspiracy)" appeared in May 2001 and presents a very important edition of ninth art here (25 authors, 80 page/full colour, theoretical essay where the field of cartoon definition is determined; exhibition in REX from 26th April to 2nd May as an accompanying exhibition of the 41st Belgrade Golden Pen).

"GRAPHIC CONSPIRACY 5.0" was realized at the beginning of 2002 with the help of Ministry of Culture (26 authors, 96 pages, half in full color; essay about the cartoon art order). As "Graphic Conspiracy" aims to be self-reference indicator of happenings in the ninth art in Serbia and as it is needed to point out mature, complete poetry, during summer 2002 two author editions were published - "LES JOURS ETRANGERS" by Milan Pavlovic (32 pages, GC 6.) and "POPOŠAK I CVECE" by Danilo Milošev-Wostok, Grabowski and Saša Mihajlovic (144 pages, hard back, collective edition GC 7. and seventh issue of Cacak magazine "LAVIRINT").

"Not much is needed to articulate great potential of Serbian modem cartoon into the right direction, which is shown by Graphic Conspiracy 4." ("Vreme", 10th May. 2001); "The time has shown that Graphic Conspiracy has been undoubtedly the most significant and the richest, both in printing and exhibition places, project dedicated to Serbian cartoon in the last two years." ("NIN", 30th August, 2001)

In theoretical sense, "Graphic Conspiracy" wants to point out that a work which belongs to the ninth art can only be read as a set of symbols, a work is a set of artificial signs which is composed like musical notation; there is rhythm of reading recorded in it that helps to perceive the work as artistic, and to understand that no coincidences are possible. Cartoon reading turns a cartoon into a diagram; a cartoon is a symbol network. The request, of reading and watching by the rules, which are imanent to the work, itself, shows that the attention is directed towards the grammar of the work itself (in this way we suggest that the poetic of the work should be regarded as the grammar of realized elements).

Comics lives between the tension of narration that unites and holds sequences together and artistic order, which is its boundary, medium of cartoon existence. Artistic order of the cartoon is applied strategy of one way of watching, that is a technique, which does not demand for comparison with other physical objects, but asks for analytical crossings with existing modes of vision. The things which present artistic space - syntax of colors, voices of the light, systems of equivalences, drawing as the sediment of the world, composition of square, horizon of the sequence, clashes of the surfaces, text graphism, relief of characters, volumen configuration, tempo of the picture.... get narrower into the objective of style, which becomes streamed, coherent deformation of the environment. Apart from that, it is also important to mention that artistic order creates certain components of narration; it is at the same time protocol of cartoon reading and narrative prothesis.

"Graphic Conspiracy" with 400 pages of text and 50 authors points out numerous thematic, artistic and discursive values of modern Serbian comics. The essential poetic line of Serbian cartoon of the 21st century is to be looked for in the spectar of very individual grotesque irony, which chooses bravely to enjoy in the aesthetic preferences of its own style more than to be directed by cold cinism of the market. Expressive, bitterly funny or surrealistically cold, the world on these boards always comes as a fall of an intimate psychonautics and aesthetic judging of the epoch.

That is why, as any other conspiracy, the graphic conspiracy must also end, because only end gives a shape...


Zoran Penevski,
October 2002