Text: Ivana Meštrov
Translation: Karla Šuler

Dogma 95 stands for symbolic motion film and creative movement initiated in 1995 by Danish filmmakers Lars von Trier and Thomas Vinterberg, supported by a couple of other film directors. Effective till 2005 that collective manifesto was launched as a reaction to a prevailing U.S.A motion picture “establishment” infrequently characterized by a multitude of artificial special effects and saturated imagery.
Dogma has proposed a liberation of redundant postproduction processing advocating the return to a sheer simplicity of film rendering. It was “conducted” through a set of ten instructions or oaths of simplicity as redundancy of props, artificial light/optical effects, real time soundtrack background, and hand shot motion camera. Nevertheless (or just because of) the occasional distance of manifesto set rules either by it’s creators or followers, the film critique considers Dogma a true creative impulse and refreshment in contemporary motion picture artistry.

When a group of authors under the name of Projekt6 approached me with an idea to artistically react to a subject of dogma, I have had a dogmatic moment of silence, agonizing myself with thinking that dogma necessarily had to be associated with some piles of hidden ecclesial manuscripts eventually embracing the thought that these ideas are no longer implemented…they belong to a part of the history.
Solemn conductors of dogma are we, ourselves..
Until a discussion with authors proved something diametrically opposite.
Isn’t dogma still present among us within a constant repression of powerful versus the weak? Don’t we live within a feeble world where the global economy, mass media and politics represent general implements of power inducing our notion of impotence and fear?
Dogma exists, prevails in numerous pretences we like to tag in different labels; terrorism, racism…or global networks, exclusive clubs, blanked secret societies, fashion weeks, Olympics…
Therefore, in a sequence of our group of authors, I suggest that a formal term of dogma should be read through contemporary deflection, within (in spite of..) it’s relativity, fragility, and semantic exhaustion, maintaining the analytical spirit and critical distance towards today’s social current.

As far as you are tantalized by a certain aspect of the general state of dogma, if you embrace the streets in Benjamin style and take a stroll down Osijek in time of duration of exhibition, you will not miss the omnipresent textual stickers.
To depict one, in short…”Dogma (…) well known, generally established, and clearly formulated opinion that needs not to be sustained therefore establishing it’s foundation on the authority. Theological interpretation is probably the most distinctive (…) and that is the definition of truth which has to be taken in belief.”
Post-Kant period the term has been quoted as non-critical and non-motivated certainty.
The author Maja Rožman follows rhizome-like line within the analogy of an informatical thought developing mental maps, analysing images, terms, and landmarks of today in lingual postulates only to additionally disseminate them within a simple and clear visual expression inside the gallery space or within street public domain. The emphasis of this work is on a spatial and strategic circulation of random thoughts and linguistic impulses which would eventually lead to a disillusion of the viewer.

Practice of exploring dogma as the means of predetermined communication values, as the sign of identification, a retreat of knowledge and realization or ideologies is somewhat close to work of Karla Šuler. Karla deals with the thought of how a perception of language as a mediator of a sole universal consciousness of one’s society, even in the wider aspect of mankind, expands and echoes in current social condition. What stands in the way of propagating and understanding a specific content within certain contextual and identifying parameters. How far can that comprehension of particular script transform and understanding stretch. Alongside the Communist manifesto, fairy-tale or Bible in the form of an open installation in a gallery space stamped in an abstract script of paradoxically universal form of Braille letter the main disillusion eventually comes down to the same- inability to recognize or identify a thought.
How sadly can that be?
Equally, although symbolically faced with the beliefs for which one once killed for or blindly followed them, that code eventually fades to an absurd we never really understood in the first place.

Signs as such, together with the constructions they are subject to, are main preoccupation in the work of Tea Hatadi. In fact, a sign is frequently a by-product of an agreement that functions within a narrow or wider context…but accordingly, there exists an array of universally transmitted elements in means of certain constructs of generalized identities. Therefore a work by Tea Hatadi presents specific objects modern women are assigned to…all those “10 Commandments” … perfume, make up kits, mirrors, tampons, jewellery or underwear without which every woman symbolically of functionally wouldn’t do. The exhibition of these objects in a row of ten, fetish light boxes an ironical distance intensifies the aura of dogmatic edification of modern female identity.

Subsidized to the historically established flattened imagery, Igor Juran and Zdravko Horvat embellish the term of dogma in narrative evoking.

Igor Juran deals with the dogma of law of gravitation depicting material and non material history of the famous Newton’s law in the term of our own denial and attempts of breaking it.
At one point in history Isaac Newton proclaimed that “an apple if detached from it’s branch, attracted by the gravity, shall fall to a ground whether it is or it is not God’s will”..” and by creating a scientific one, he drastically weakened, if not diminished, the existing catholic dogma leading mankind to a new chapter that lasts from the Classicism to this day, quotes Igor.
That continued later on in air flight industry in a sense of defying the Newton himself.
As a form of commentary Igor develops digital triptych which only slightly points to an idea that in that very moment of jump we can defy a gravity through a photo and symbolic drawing with an eraser which refers to a deleted portrait of Zdravko Horvat and invisible lines of motion, leaving us in doubt to think that everything is really clearly revealed, connected to a third triptych image of an apple as an element of doubt and disruption.

In his diptychs Zdravko Horvat refers to the omnipresence of sport in our social imagery. Sport is a healthy habit, but as a professional, you are likely subdued to numerous painful experiences and doping challenges, unable to outplay your personal dogma of own physical capabilities. Merely few endure.
And that winner takes it all, is a dogma which has been virtually proclaimed in sports since Antics, and science since Darwin.
Through the play of visible/invisible white on white text forms and drawings of sportsmanship in clear definitive lines Zdravko expresses that ambivalent position, questions that dark, never mentioned, side of sport. Zdravko asks who actually remembers it. Truly, it is important to participate and try to break free from those chains of hierarchy.

Martina Miholić utilizes photography to point to an idea that image strategically hides and possesses it’s powers. Through the deconstruction of image through the various photo depicted situations of herself, Martina invites the viewer to participate and define the images and the depicted person itself. Infrequently involving herself in her work, she subdues to a tactics of denuding, scaling herself through the temperature of a specific image strength and her seemingly only perspective.
Through the viewer involvement she invokes plurality of an image, in which not only that gazes “shoots”, but the one who is looked upon, with the subject measuring the pulse of that image manipulation.
Possible continuation after the commentaries might be Martina’s new “shot”, the one that embodies the answers of all participants that have been submerged into that unusual game.

And back to he game and dogmas authors play, the place where it all begins. The truth is an image, but again…there is no image that speaks the truth.
There are only those that believe in everything presented. Those who doubt although they have seen, and those who somewhere in the middle of it all build their simulacrums of reality, analysing the society in which media dictate aesthetic norms…are the artists.
Interesting thought is that every one of them takes the plunge in his/her own dogma of artistry, in spite of theme determinants there is a highlight on a personal perspective, construction, shooting, tagging, upgrading, questioning, circulating, referring and refreshing the view of our and your day.