Oliver Kossack: Visceral Kooks


Oliver Kossack: Visceral Kooks

05.12.2019 - 29.12.2019 / MSU Galerija

Opening of the exhibition is on December 5th 2019 at 7.30 pm.

VISCERAL KOOKS moves in different directions at once. Specifically conceived for MSU Zagreb, this exhibition of recent work by Oliver Kossack plays on the preoccupation with supposedly internal truths, inner states and gut reactions. 

The mechanics of the limbic system, the gastrointestinal tract and the visceral brain parallel the "digestion" of the world through painting. These processes, responses and influences serve to trigger intuitive, emotional and intellectual activity in (human) animals. Processing the myriad of images and visual data to which the human eye and mind are exposed on a daily basis, the works in VISCERAL KOOKS seem precariously suspended between the real and the virtual. Communicating equally from an arcade of personal and collective experience and from the channels of the Internet, VISCERAL KOOKS critically imagines various conditions and states pertaining to the often cited, ideologically tinged dictum of "eat or be eaten". Indeed, at least to a certain degree, it is in the moment of tension between attack and escape, in fight-or-flight mode, when the potential creation and destruction of additional images is simultaneously possible. Subject matter is emptied and gives way to new critical material.

In terms of process, painting involves turning both towards and away from the lures of speculation and supposedly virtual worlds. Confiding in its own physicality as a medium, the corporeality of painting also generates a form of self-reflexive humour and irony, for instance revealing critical representations of stereotypical masculinity and gender politics. Unresolvable questions concerning the artistic self produce grating puns on the visual and the visceral. For Oliver Kossack, an artist with an international background, painting functions as a transformative, transcultural medium. Even in the (post-)digital age, painting is seen an archaic and anarchic practice: Apa namanja? (ind. What's the name? What is it called?). With oblique reference to the backstage area and concealed machinations of the art world, a somewhat kinky erotism in the guise of transgressive commentary occasionally engenders (visual) obscenities – intentionally echoing the etymology of the term coming from the Greek ob skene, as the space behind/against the stage.


Some works are based on mousepad and touchscreen finger drawings, as minimal digital (lat. digitus, finger) gestures processed as digital traces. Something strange happens as these primeval impulses are boosted in order to run almost completely empty in arbitrariness and excess. In keeping with the programmatic obliqueness and eccentricity of the works in the exhibition, the title VISCERAL KOOKS can be anagrammatically rearranged to spell OLIVER KOSSACK