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James Din
26th of June until 16th of August 2009
This summer we have given the space in Tøyen subway station to the artist James Din. And what looks like a perfect coincidence in these days of financial crisis, one of the themes for the exhibition is money. The artist has invented a new currency - Love.
"One Love" is the title of the main work in the show.
A painting of a money bill decorated with visual signs that can be read and interpreted as referring to shady business with dubious intentions. The exhibition comments and reflects on the economical circumstances and phenomena of our time, and may raise questions about the increased focus on market and money. Has money become our biggest love? Can you really buy and sell everything ?A series of different paintings reflects on the relation east/west, Art as a merchandise, massproduced chinese plastic toys and items mixes with the US flag, and Andy Warhols banana seems to have been eaten a long time ago.
Aleksandar Jestrovic or Jamesdin was born on the 27th April 1972 in Zagreb , Croatia, ex-Yugoslavia. He obtained his master degree at the Academy of Fine Arts in Belgrade in 2000 in the class of Čedomir Vasic .
James Din is one of the multitalented artists that have graduated from the Academy in Belgrade the past 10 years, His works often deals with political themes and with a critical view on society but does so with a great sense of humour, distance and playfulness. Beside politics it can just as well be about fashion, or sport put in a critical dialogue with art. The artworks often refer to popular culture and always contain at least one double meaning or juxtaposition. The artist gets his inspiration from stories told, anecdotes from people he meets, or his own experiences, and he mixes, and transforms his ideas in several different media, from painting , computer graphics , sculpture to video and performance. This may sometimes result in an exhibition with paintings of seaside motifs combined with a indoor beach performance with men in bathing suites, or a fashion show in an art gallery, that starts off to the sound of reading of philosophy texts and ends with people throwing stones at empty bottles. Or a game of basket ball where the opposite teams consists of artcritics versus artists.


Coming to Norway I heard that the young people here don't care much about theory, so they can skip this text and start to watch the works immediately . I also heard that the older generation is suspicious and that they still can't get enough of the sixties , so that is why I will try to write something about my works.

Recently, I watched a videowork in which a "canon man" tries to be shot from a canon across the Mexican - American border. A crowd of crazy people from a Mexican mental hospital are supporting him: they are putting on animal masks and holding transparents with the parole: "Stop mental racism".

The second example of a good LOVE-ECONOMICAL system is taken from a text by Baudrillard .
In the text he describes how the UN were sending video recorders to an African country, together with tapes about agriculture to teach the local people how to grow food. But somehow they found out how to record porno movies on the tapes, and started selling them to each other on the growing black market for pornography.

The third story I heard from a girl from Ghana. She told me that large groups of Chinese people came to live in Ghana and started to open stores and running business. The local people didn`t like them much because they have already found out for themselves,that it's not possible to run whatever business in there.

Lots of Chinese people are living also in Serbia; they came there as a part of an economical deal during the Milosevic regime.
Now we already have a generation of youngsters born in Serbia and originating from China, but I have never seen one Chinese kid studying in school,
even when I was working as a teacher for a few years.
I guess they don't learn much about business in school. I think that secretly the other kids feel the same: they don't like to go to school either.
But they all like football, lots of grown up people like it too. They LOVE football, sometimes more than women (cos often they find women boring) so I would like to end this text about LOVE and ECONOMY with the words of a great european visionary, Silvio Berlusconi:

"It is not acceptable that Barcelona is paying 150 millions of Euro for a man like Khaka. He is not the one who invented football. This amount of money is a proof of craziness, it is out of mind and without any decency. "

James Din (Aleksandar Jestrović ) born 1972 in Zagreb , Kroatia ex-Jugoslavia
He did his master at the Art Academy in Beograd 2000

More about the artist :

The exhibition is supported by Arts Council Norway

Made in China