NEW SYMBOLISM - New Visual Protest Against Corporative Capitalism

Nikola Kitanovic - NEW SYMBOLISM - Why do i like the gaint spermatozoids? - Text about some visual experiments from last century us a protest against corporative capitalism. On this way Kitanovic creating new symbolism protesting against new world order.

I have received a lot of letters, calls and comments of people asking me why my visual artworks almost always contain images of big, stylized spermatozoids. Of course, I'm an artist and I do not have to answer questions like that and I do not have to give importance to the interpretation of what I do. However, among those people there are those who have become my close friends, whom I sincerely love and respect. Yet, I will not give an answer in the common sense of the word - I'm not going to explain my works, because in that way I would hurt myself and my beliefs about art ... And therefore, this text will go back in time. In the mid 60s of the last century in some Western European countries there was a group of artists who used to depict huge spermatozoids in their visual works (mostly drawings and pastels). They were also sticking their works to the shop windows and public institutions. This provoked great anger of politicians, police, and through persistent media campaign, it also created the rage of the citizens towards those artists. As the police search for them became more intense, the artists were behaving more and more freely, so that they began to paint the huge spermatozoids on the murals and the walls of public buildings ... Of course, the Secret Services got involved, as they viewed the case as a threat to the state... When one critic wrote that it was just art, the real chaos emerged. The authorities started bribing the most prominent critics of the most renowned printed media to write against it. The literary critic of the time really embarrassed itself by joining that hunt for artists. Already at the beginning of the seventies the whole movement, suppressedhuge by excessive police presence and persecution, began to fall apart... One of the last artists that stayed true to the movement agreed to give an interview to a well known newspaper on the condition that he remained anonymous. Here I will paraphrase a part his statement. He first noted that a spermatozoid was so small that you needed to use the most expensive microscopes in order to see it (it was during the sixties – far form today's technology). We notice spermatozoids only when they are millions, in the form of sperm, or in other words – only as a mass. Then he went on to say that there was no any difference between a spermatozoid and the modern man. The man had become invisible as a unique individual, because he found himself in the claws of politicians, big business and war profiteers... They have therefore decided to depict sperm so huge as a sign of rebellion against war, discrimination, intolerance, famine, increasing poverty and the like ... After the interview, two critics publicly apologized and admitted their mistakes. However, some more influential critics, partly for being paid, and partly for their own egoism, started again to negate the movement (which had been virtually shut down), saying that the movement was a rebellion without idea - arguing that the rebels knew what they were against, but had not put forward any programme, what they were actually advocating for. I remember that the media in the former Yugoslavia conveyed such idiotic criticisms with approval. I was a very young poet and critic at the time, and I felt the need to respond. I wrote and published a text in which I primarily attacked the media in the former Yugoslavia. Namely, I found it almost funny that someone expected an artist to be an ideologue. Then, if someone had been so clearly against war, discrimination, intolerance, hunger, marginalisation of people (the mainstream would use the term "mass" for people) it was clear that those artists were advocating something that was completely opposite. Hence it was: peace, tolerance, love for the human being ... etc.. Of course I had problems because of such attitudes, but it is not so important for this article. Now, ask yourself whether anything has changed since the mid sixties to the present (except for the technology). People are still - the masses. Insurgency that has arisen against such a world and life in US in the recent years, called "99%", is also disqualified as being "without idea". Great worker strikes and protests across Europe are called - pointless and unprincipled. The media are increasingly making people dull and television is full of some foolish and embarrassing "reality show" programmes. Any ideas that can not be commercialised and put in the function of profit, are being marginalised quite consciously and intentionally. It is essential that people remain the "mass", as dumb consumers. Moreover, today's society is much more conservative and sociologically more rushing into the Middle Ages. And now - another issue. I am fortunate enough to have travelled through almost every continent, and met a lot of people of different races, religions, nations ... Now as an old man, I honestly think that the human being is the most beautiful thing in the world. Someone enjoys the sea, someone the mountains, or some other landscapes. I enjoy most when I come to a big city, sit on a bench and watch the people. I thank God (or Gods) that I have had the opportunity to see so much beauty. When you connect these two stories it is much easier to see my work clearly. I sincerely and wholeheartedly rebel against the world order as it is, and that is why the stylized sperm on my pictures is so big - because every "ordinary" person is really great in their own way. On the other hand, through the figures of human beings (men or women, no matter) I want to draw attention to the fact that BEAUTY is around us and within us. Some will continue to see only "pornography" in my visual works, some will see something else. That is just fine, everyone is entitled to his or her views, but no one has the right to impose their views as the only valid and to judge or marginalise the artist because of his or her own views. Nowadays, marginalisation is a widespread process. As someone who suffered from the torture of communism (was mentally and physically ill-treated) I will say something that will perhaps sound idiotic. In fact, communism was better - when I was tortured, beaten and banned, at least I knew I was worth. I knew that they appreciated me and that was why they wanted to silence me, to stop the publication of my works and my opinion ... Today, in capitalism, the dissent is being systematically marginalised, and the artist is completely isolated... That is why you will often find me depicting explicit straight, gay and lesbian expressions in my works, as a form of rebellion against the bourgeois spirit. Firstly, because of extreme homophobia in today's society, I feel the need to take the side of the lesbian and gay population. Secondly, I just love to annoy those who are making conspiracy between big business, politics, media and criminal organisations. Finally, and perhaps above all, I love BEAUTY, and for me BEAUTY is the same as PEOPLE.