nikola bozovic transforms car parts into phantasms at belgrade design week

designboom oct 17, 2014


the exhibition ‘phantasm on wheels’ by nikola kolja božović presents the results of the serbian artist’s own research into various aspects of the car as both a physical vessel, and a carrier of cultural and social significance. on the occasion of belgrade design week 2014, božović has displayed a series of manipulated machinery sourced from automobile segments, acting as a metaphor for fetish, fantasy, obsession and status.

in addition to sculptural objects created through the transformation of disused vehicular parts, božović’s spatial installation for the gallery space of the BDW dizajnpark exhibitions within the old staklopan factory suspends the viewer in a fictional world of personal phantasm, seemingly with phallic undertones. designboom spoke with the artist about the metaphorical context latent within automobiles, in what ways he sources these unconventionally artistic, yet ubiquitous materials, and his own notions regarding the bridge between art and design.

designboom interviews serbian artist nikola kolja božović at belgrade design week 2014

for božović, a car is not just a machine — it represents capitalism, consumerism, creativity and cultural obsession. the gallery space becomes a field for reinterpreted shapes, reconstructed from the built creations that make up our environment. with these irregular-formed geometries and ‘exploded’ segments of cars, the artist consciously changes the established direction and connotations of the physical world around us.

the artist begins his work with the disassembly and reconstruction of distinguished vehicle parts from various manufacturers, which than are physically transformed by replacing their social role with an aesthetic one. božović’s intention is to personify the parts, giving them human features: headlights look like eyes, a cooler resembles a mouth, a carburetor could be internal organs, fuel is blood and the body is like a skeleton. the emerging transfiguration of objects symbolize the present situation and rituals derived from societal relationships; in turn, he implies that fetishes, fashion trends and collections of art — for example — can of often become a replacement for the physical and emotional relationships sustained between people.

nikola-bozovic-car-phantasms-phalluses-belgrade-design-week-designboom-01sculptural forms are suspended from the gallery, while free standing objects are placed within the context of the space. image © designboom

božović’s distinct union of pop art and automotive fetish is reflected in the materials used: the surface of the sculptures is made of sheet metal, putty and plastics, is painted using colored car lacquer, and finally mirror-polished. after the physical transformation of structure and shape, each object becomes a composition in itself. the artist uses fiats and other various four-wheelers as the starting point for generating a surreal interpretation of an object used in everyday life. the installation was curated by mišela blanuša.

nikola-bozovic-car-phantasms-phalluses-belgrade-design-week-designboom-12a glistening blue, wheel-shaped sculpture can be seen as a sort of phallic reinterpretation of the original car part. image © designboom

nikola-bozovic-car-phantasms-phalluses-belgrade-design-week-designboom-11hanging sculptures are fit within a built container, recontextualizing the car light in a new configuration. image © designboom

nikola-bozovic-car-phantasms-phalluses-belgrade-design-week-designboom-10light parts otherwise overlooked on cars are highlighted for their intricate attention to detail. image © designboom

nikola-bozovic-car-phantasms-phalluses-belgrade-design-week-designboom-09božović’s distinct union of pop art and automotive fetish is reflected in the materials used. image © designboom

nikola-bozovic-car-phantasms-phalluses-belgrade-design-week-designboom-08objects are physically transformed by replacing their social role with an aesthetic one. image © designboom

nikola-bozovic-car-phantasms-phalluses-belgrade-design-week-designboom-07the gallery space becomes a field for reinterpreted shapes. image © designboom

nikola-bozovic-car-phantasms-phalluses-belgrade-design-week-designboom-06after a physical intervention to the original part, each object becomes a composition in itself. image © designboom

nikola-bozovic-car-phantasms-phalluses-belgrade-design-week-designboom-05installation view within the old staklopan factory exhibition space. image © designboom

nikola-bozovic-car-phantasms-phalluses-belgrade-design-week-designboom-03a hood of a car is reinterpreted into a sculptural form. image © designboom

nikola kolja božović talks to designboom about his sculptural works made from car parts

nikola-bozovic-car-phantasms-phalluses-belgrade-design-week-designboom-02božović speaks about his work during a belgrade design week conference. image © designboom

nikola-bozovic-car-phantasms-phalluses-belgrade-design-week-designboom-14portrait of nikola božović. image © designboom



about belgrade design week:
2014 marks the ninth edition of belgrade design week, an annual, internationally-renowned festival for creative industries and modern business in serbia and throughout the south east european area. since 2005, founder jovan jelovac has successfully forged multicultural connections between artists, designers and entrepreneurs from the region with the greater global design scene. the initiative serves as a platform for creatives to engage in the exchange of ideas across a range of disciplines — advertising, architecture, arts management, communications, design, fashion, marketing, new media and publishing — delivering approximately 30 international speakers who share their perspectives and personal developments in their respective fields.

this year’s conference program ‘brand new world’ sets opens up discussion regarding the creation of new values in today’s fast changing world. on the occasion of this edition, president of the republic of serbia, tomislav nikolic opened the initiative, stressing the importance of the creative industries for the continued development of the country’s economy. local designers stand side by side with some the world’s greatest talents in a rare opportunity to bring the world to belgrade and to present belgrade to the world. find out more about the program, selection of keynote speakers and exhibition sites on designboom, here.

nina azzarello

read the original on designboom

It was an amazing experience attending the BDW earlier this year. Thank you Jovan and all BDW team for making it not only possible but also memorable.