fORm oVeR subSTancE Vol. 2​

(The foreword is written for physical and digital artworks)

“Mirror, mirror on the wall…”, the artworks from Josip Mijić’s new art series “Form over substance Vol. 2” seem like magic mirrors. However, they don’t simply give the viewer answers but confront them with further fundamental questions.

The reflection on these artworks as magic mirrors is all the more exciting: Does it reflect the truth? Whose truth? Does it matter? Because nowadays it is more common than ever, that a lie told a thousand times can become the truth. The mirror draws the viewer in and compels them to reconsider their actions. Are they right or not, are the spoken words true or not, are we lying to ourselves? What distinguishes me from the other, my appearance or my inner self? What kind of world do I reflect? How do I know, if the world falling into the mirror is real?

Josip Mijić raises these questions with his work. At a time when nearly every belief and connection is in danger, either from the pandemic or political uncertainty, he questions the ultimate certainties, ourselves and our surroundings. With the “surface” of his works, of all things, the artist attacks our superficialities of self-optimisation and life-lies.

Each artwork is covered with semi-transparent plastic and overlaid with a reflective coating. Old barrel hoops enclose the content and thus impose a round form above the content and its structure. In doing so, he abandons the trapped thoughts to decay.

The artist says: The artworks are, as a mirror of truth, also pages of an artist’s diary. A diary in which all thoughts are written, sincerely and without shyness; each fragment of memory is revised and extracted – unrestrained. Whether or not these works expose the artist, he creates them, because they allow a form of communication without denial. A form of prayer that helps the artist find meaning in life. (Josip Mijić)

Is there anything that we can be sure of? No, not really: in each artwork we find a blood-red square – in the truest sense of the word. Josip Mijić takes his own blood, “a very special juice”, as a painting medium: primitive, archaic and truthful, because all relevant information about an individual can be found in the blood: the state of his health, his hormone balance, and finally the individual DNA-profile, based on which the artist could be proven as the author. It is a small, almost inconspicuous red square, which forms an anchor in the entire sphere of uncertainty and diffusion of the artwork, the author’s helping hand.

And so, Josip Mijić overlays the reality, transferred into the spirituality of the round mirror surface with the minimalist, sparse, rectangular structure and lines around the red square as the artist’s material.

If one sees each individual artwork from “Form over substance Vol. 2” as a unity of the spiritual and material reality, given individual and unique “self-reflections” of each viewer question their claim to truthfulness – “Who are you fooling?”, the works seem to whisper subliminally, while they see themselves distorted and diffused within the work. The literal reflection, as an interaction between art and viewer, elevates his work to a new communicative level, enriched with Mijić’s immanent darkness and structure, which, in addition to the content, also formally builds a bridge to his existing oeuvre.

Meanwhile, Josip Mijić has created NFTs, Non-fungible Tokens, digital, unique and indivisible blockchain technology from his works. It breaks the flat works of the “Form over substance Vol. 2” series and creates sublimity in space on the basis of physical works. The artist creates “worlds”. The global structures rotate in spheres like planetoids. Seemingly devoid of like, mineral structures, interrupted by slagy, metallic shining elements.

Neither as a magic mirror nor as a planetoid, do Josip Mijić’s artworks tell the viewer the truth. Because there are as many truths, as there are viewers dealing with his works of art. It is not even guaranteed that you will ever get a final truth, it may be better, to develop one. Or maybe you will: reality and certainty are rare and possibly time-limited treasures. You can try to search for them, but you are not entitled to find them.


Edition: 1/1
Type: Video loop
Duration: 14 s
Resolution: 1500 px X 1500 px
Frame rate: 25 fps