Printmaking in clay

Increasing its size, and giving it a different structure and material alter the concept of a postage stamp as a weightless non-object, printed on ultra thin paper. In this manner, the form that had a role in postal transport with its national, ideological an political story is transformed into an iconic image that through multiplication has associations to pop art. The text “History as a retro scenario” from the book Simulacra and Simulation by the French philosopher Jean Baudrillard can be taken as a theoretical foundation for this work.

These prints are produced using an innovative technique in clay. Printmaking in clay represents the joining of visual disciplines of drawing, sculpture, printmaking, and ceramics. I arrived at this technique independently during my studies in 2001.

The stamps present personas that can be perceived as markers of certain eras. Their interpretation is not necessarily tied to the persons rendered, rather, what they represent to us today portraying an image that went through a series of transformations through time and media in which they appeared. So the image of Clara Schumann appeared on the 100 Deutschmark bill and was for a long time a status symbol in Serbia in the nineties. The Aborigines represent the initial population of Australia, and during colonization they endured various forms of torture. Today they are a people almost extinct or gentrified into new cultural templates. The president of Australia publically apologized for this, and an image of an Aborigine is now found on a postage stamp of this country.

The replicas of these stamps derive from my personal philately album. I collected stamps as a child, and as I was born in 1980, this was a time of isolation and wars in former Yugoslavia. The country was at the time isolated and philately was a way in which I gathered information about my surroundings and distant nations at that time. So these stamps are containers of frozen time, historical distances, awakenings of nationalism, genocide and an economy gone wild.

Veljko Zejak

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