"It is characteristic of the Symmetries Series (2007/9) that, within various objects, I found forms to which I symmetrically added the same forms, i.e. the reason for this symmetry was within the starting-point object. For example, I casted the inner shape of a cup in concrete and put it next to the cup in a symmetrical relation. I did not take into account the body of a cup, nor the obvious difference in material, only its emptiness.
The similar procedure of equalizing the different can be found in the installation Sjene (34), Expanded Shadow, Two Bases from 1986. In the title, I refer to the floor and table, on which I spread the elements of the work, as bases; suggesting that they belong to the same class; the bearers of the work. In Interspaces (2002) I put a mirror next to the door. Despite their different functions, there is a similarity between them, because both open up the space, but can also function as a physical barrier. Only now do I recognize that those works were signposts to new Symmetries. The same way a photograph hung on the gallery wall is on display, an electrical switch is also on display by its mere existence in the gallery. From that point of view there is no difference between them - the photograph and the switch are on display and thus can be in a symmetrical relation. To show how I placed them that way I put an axis between them, drew a straight line with a pencil. With such logic it is possible to put all items on display into a common set within which I could put a potentially infinite number of pairs into symmetrical relations. Although I presented them in a limited number, the concept in itself offers this possibility.
I became conscious about the logic of new Symmetries thanks to Ignacio Matte Blanco who dealt with the problem of understanding the unconscious and concluded that it functions by the principles of generalization and symmetry. According to the former, the unconscious deals with the members within a class, not taking individuality into account, while the latter relies on the idea that the unconscious treats even converse relations as identical, symmetrical. In that discovery I found the support for my own approach, so I started to see a structure in the situations I encountered spontaneously in my work. As soon as I shifted the point of view the things changed, which gave me the incentive for new works. This shift contributed to the change within the development of Symmetries.
Not dealing with the question of development, but with space as an integral part of the work, having in mind both abstract and specific gallery space, I am intending to exhibit again; not only Symmetries, but Stylizations and Halves as well. Because in previous concepts I found new meanings by introducing changes into them. For that I have the support of tradition, radical separation of form and space, as Marcel Duchamp defined by ready-made, which did not only separate it, but made it superior to the form, made space substantial. The gesture of installing in the gallery space was his authorial work, whereas form remained in the background.
I could have reduced my own engagement in quantities (for example halves) to the connection between more and less. I can see Negatives, installations in which I used light to turn a dark form into a light one, as the opposition of opposites. Works with symmetries fall into the categories of reciprocity. But besides the fact that Symmetries fall into the category of reciprocity, I can also understand them through the connection between more and less, because to an existing form I add an identical one, and that is precisely the quantity by which I increase the existing form. I can describe Stylization as the connection between more and less, but I can also translate it into the category of reciprocity. The word stylization tells us that it builds upon something that existed before it and that there is a mutual relation between that and the method of stylization.
Despite the specific quality of each of the given cases, I use them primarily to regulate the quantities which I use to assemble the work.
How did all this manifest in the works? I started with drawings in which, one by one, I stylized one form, then added a symmetrical identical form, then again, stylized it altogether once more. I performed each procedure side by side; each new form was touching the previous one. At one moment all these sequences reminded me of the use of circle, square and triangle in former arts. Subsequently, in a similar spirit, I developed those drawings into installations."
Goran Petercol, November, 2012
Goran Petercol was born in Pula/Croatia in 1949. He lives and works in Zagreb. Selected exhibitions: Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of Rijeka, Croatia (2013), 4th Istanbul Biennial 2004, Croatian Pavilion at 46th Venice Biennial (1995), 22nd Sao Paulo Biennial (1994).