The Misadventures of Plank Communication Center
Parallel to his exhibition at LambdaLambdaLambda2 we present another project by Vedran Kopljar at LambdaLambdaLambda. This project entitled The Misadventures of Plank Communication Center was originally conceived for boeks.gent, exhibition space of the arts library of KASK Gent. It takes the shape of comic-book series, starring Spiffy Move and Center, who set off on real and imagined adventures.
Spiffy Move is approached by a fly. Spiffy Move in a Zoom call with Kopljar. Spiffy Move is touched. Spiffy Move travels through time and space. Center in transport. Center as a metaphor… Spiffy Move (1967) and Center (1989) are two “plank works” by the American artist John McCracken (1934-2011). The collection of planks and, by extension, the artistic Plank Communication Center that Kopljar created for them have been the object of study since 2019. The center metaphorically explores the (mis)communication between artwork and audience, artist and plank, plank and audience. Spiffy Move is Kopljar’s favorite, but they have yet to meet in person.
Kopljar encountered Center in May 2019 at S.M.A.K.’s storage depot in Ghent. Later that year, he was given access to McCracken’s archive at David Zwirner Gallery in New York and began corresponding with the plank works. Ever since, Kopljar has been building a long-term and long-distance relationship with the planks, giving them different shapes, providing them with an inner life, developing their personalities. Just as McCracken leaned the 264-centimeter high, monochrome works with their distinctive glossy surface against the wall, Kopljar places the narrow planks, scaled to book size, against the walls of the convent corridor. They take in the world around them, telling stories about it from their perspective and aura.
In this iteration the plank works take on the form and language of “the comic book”. They studiously mimic the system of signification and codes specific to the medium without forgetting their original role. The plank addresses us with the help of speech balloons and two-color printing, the lyric line/fly coming into view, the Rec Zoom window wriggling itself into the Riso raster. They find themselves multiplied in a series of handmade, unique editions, which subsequently turn into a publication: compiled, stacked, black and white.