During the last couple of years, Dino Bićanić has become prominent among the young generation of Croatian artists due to his distinguished works marked by humour and irony. Through various media, from sculpture, installation, video to performance, Bićanić selects seemingly common everyday moments and makes them interesting by using simple and skilful twists. With such methods, he depicts the absurdities of contemporary society: from criticism of social network communication (Facebook, 2014), influence of mass media on everyday life to the cognition of linguistic constructs (Walls Have Ears, 2010) and humour that is hidden in mundane objects (Mosquitos, 2010).
With this exhibition entitled Good Days, Bad Days Dino Bićanić enters the field of autobiographical art. It is important to mention that his art mainly stems from the intuitive domain, so it is difficult to talk about artistic strategies. Nevertheless, his considerations, selection of medium and subject matter reveal a typical postmodernist approach, to the autobiographical work in this case, and open up numerous relevant subjects of contemporary art. To talk about the autobiographical in the case of Dino Bićanić does not mean including the classical biographical elements, but observing the methods this artist uses while researching his own mythologies through ludic distance. The title work is executed as a table drawn with a marker on a canvas, where the artist notes down good and bad days. Although this is the work created in real time, through the process of introspection and evaluation of his own condition, Bićanić never accentuates that. The fact that he could have lied to us (and created the work in five minutes) only emphasizes the true meaning of the work which is revealed at the time of the exhibition, i.e. the time when it is recognized and related to by the observer. Such procedure is typical of semiotic art created in combination of poststructuralist methods and the understanding that artwork is not closed, defined system. Series of portraits of Bićanić is created in the same manner. They were drawn by kids, as requested by the author. Bićanić has intentionally discarded the classical form of self-portrait due to its inevitable false objectivity and insistence on authenticity. Instead of controlled self-representation, he surrendered to the truthful critical children's eyes, replacing the role of an author with the one of the observer. Such method clearly depicts Bićanić's uncompromisingly honest and critical attitude. His approach to video is also very interesting. The author is not really focused on the laws and specific qualities of video as a medium, but rather uses it as a documentary form for recording his private performances or sections of everyday life that have the characteristics of a home video. Their true meaning is revealed only at the exhibition, as another documentation of a good or a bad day.
The work entitled This is Not My World is a direct quote of a work by Željko Jerman created in 1976. Jerman's statement is by far his best known work that has been reproduced, quoted and interpreted numerous times over the years. Jerman has created his work by using chemicals on a role of photographic paper, thus nullifying the essence of photography as a medium. Bićanić creates his inscription using adhesive tape on a wall, in a bitmap font typically used in early computer systems. New possibilities of interpretation emerge – which world is nullified – virtual, real or art world? The decision lies again in the hands of the observer. Openness to the observer is the quality that is inherent in all of Bićanić's works, regardless of the medium or subject matter. Perhaps the artist's secret lays in the fact that communication is always easier when it holds a certain amount of humour, self irony and seeming ease, but they appear to be only traps for further possibilities of examination and interpretation.
Dino Bićanić (1980. Bihać, BiH) graduated from the School of Fine Arts in Split, and in 2007 from the Sculpture Department of the Arts Academy in Split, class of prof. Kažimir Hraste. He has been exhibiting at solo and group exhibitions from 2006. He is the recipient of one of three equal awards of last year's 39th Split Salon. He lives and works in Hvar.