The retrospective exhibition You Are what You See features more than one hundred works of visual communications made by Serbian-Slovenian art director, graphic and UI (User Interface) designer Vladan Srdić during the last twenty years, will be opened on October 5th at the Museum of Applied Art. In 1997, as a graduate of The Faculty of Applied Arts in Belgrade, he received the most important award for design in Yugoslavia – Gryphon, for the poster for a stage play written by Dušan Kovačević Lari Tompson. A Tragedy of One Youth performed at Zvezdara Theater. The sense of humor, the need for social engagement and the wish for clarity of direct visual communication that characterize Vladan Srdić originate from the works he created during period of Serbian transition, the 1990’s. His engaged posters for Torpedo combine the brutality of the times with the avant-garde poetics of this cross-over project that also featured music band Vrooom. During his engagement with Belgrade branch of Saatchi, he collaborated with designer Slavimir Stojanović and met Lazar Džamić, writer and digital strategist, with whom he would also collaborate on several projects. In such setting, he developed the poetics of graphic anecdote, which became his answer to the collapse of the social system after the wars in the former Yugoslavia.
The basic foundation of the poetics of design created by Vladan Srdić is a psychological game, which allows concise representations of avant-garde theater, the renowned festival of communications, the book about the impact of a comic book, or various other author projects. The wish for constant dialogue with viewer is reflected also in the title of the exhibition You Are what You See in Museum of Applied Art, which, when the sequence of words „Are“ and „See“ changes, becomes You See what You Are. Thus, we come to the humor that is recognizable across the world, as can be discerned from numerous awards Vladan won for his works. The engagement at Saatchi in Serbia during the 1990s allowed him to think „outside of the box“ of the conventions of industrial marketing. Srdić applied the possibility to play with various surrealist situations into which he places his objects and characters, in his author projects later on, as well as in his works for clients who wish to raise the awareness of society of certain difficult subjects. His black humor, just like caricaturists’, denounces certain social phenomena almost to the absurd of a theater farce. The ambiguity of his works instills an unease in the viewers. Nevertheless, there is a cheerfulness with which Vladan Srdić starts communication. This is why his whole opus shown in the exhibition You Are what You See represents an invitation to the viewer to come and see „what he/she is“.
Representaative catalogue of the exhibition, designed by Vladan Srdić, includes essays by Davor Bruketa, Lazar Džamić, Slavimir Stojanović, Anja Suša, Borut Vild, and an introductory essay by the curator of the exhibition Slobodan Jovanović.