Željko Badurina / Lajk end Šer
‘Beauty is beautiful to everyone – because of this it is ugly‘
‘I say again: idyll for all, because every human from the past until now yearns for idyll; for the garden in which nightingales sing; for the earth in which the world is not turned against men and men against other men, on the contrary, where the world and humans are made from a single material, and the fire burning on the sky is the same one that burns in human souls.’
Željko Badurina exhibition ‘Lajk end Šer’ comprises 100-odd works made during the last five years. These are digital prints (PC screenshots) on A3 Kapa Fix boards, works relocated from virtual space of social network Facebook (for which they were made) to physical, gallery space. For the exhibition, the author selected 7 % of his several thousand Facebook posts from 2012 to present. Prints are most suitable for screenshots as they represent the original most faithfully, and the exhibition display features the artist’s favourite and most liked or shared posts. Viewed in the context of consumer society and mass media culture, Badurina’s works are focused towards strategies of digital reproduction and ready-mades. They point toward disappearance of boundaries between true and false, real and imaginary, positive and negative meaning. They are sort of a model of intertwined simulacra, developing and pointing to, among other things, subtle relations and interactions of good and bad taste in the society of spectacle. They criticise anomalies and dogmas found in the society that projects images striving to function as alphas and omegas of all individual viewpoints, beliefs, notions and emotions. Ironically, individual perspective is frequently called upon, but no one in the post-transitional position of low economic effectiveness and significance cares for them. Badurina refers to the reality where grotesque is a dress code attracting attention and followers in situation in which it seems that leaders of all domains compete for the popularity award and goals justify the means. Željko Badurina registers these deviations and comments them via digital photo collage, making use of contemporary technologies in the good spirit of Dadaism. His comments are smart, clear and revealing. I would dare to add, therapeutic, because laughter caused by satire is very much sought for by the Facebook audience in this society of strong words and weak promises.
Laughter is the final safe place and ultimate bastion of freedom. It is important to stress that Badurina and his works never slipped into pathetic moralising or directing to the ‘right path’. He does not take sides within all-encompassing entropy he is a witness of. Although no one is spared of criticism and there are no sanctities in his oeuvre, Badurina follows personal principle in elementary appreciation of differences and basic humanity and tries to make sure that his works are gender, religiously or nationally inoffensive. No one will activate a hell machine or cause a lethal explosion on account of these works, but perhaps we should let them cause implosion within us that will cause us to become better people. People laughing and enjoying life. In spite of unheroic time.
 Laozi, The Book of the Way and its Virtue, Mladost, Zagreb, 1981
 Milan Kundera, Book of Laughter and Forgetting, Veselin Masleša, Sarajevo, 1985
ŽELJKO BADURINA was born in 1966 in Zagreb. In 1996 he graduated from the Printmaking Department of the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb, class of professor Miroslav Šutej. So far, he has exhibited his work in around 20 solo and numerous group exhibitions.
He won the City Culture Department Award at the 3rd Croatian Printmaking Triennial in 2003 and the Croatian Association of Artists award for the best exhibition in 2013. Since 2012 he has been publishing his work on social network Facebook.
He is a member of Croatian Association of Artists and Croatian Freelance Artists Association. He lives and works in Zagreb.