Boris Injac - artist

Is the zebra black or white?

Is the zebra black or white?
03/08/2019 Injac

Is the zebra black or white?

Boris Injac: Prepare, Window, Now!


Boris Injac’s drawings are a borderline between figurative and calligraphic, but they are essentially neither. Just when we are made to see composition with anatomical elements, we realize that it moves into abstraction. By stepping back, we see some dominant strokes that divide the drawing field into several entities, we think it’s a letter or a symbol, but it turns out to be neither. Figures are observed, concretized, grouped, flowing in an unknown direction, diverging. Since the representation is in static form, it is impossible for us to determine whether they meet or disperse, or whether their multitude is reminiscences of the Dantean representation from Paradise or Hell. The strokes alternate with figures, growing into inscriptions on bodies that can be as gentle as calligraphic prints in Peter Greenaway’s The Pillow Book or drastic popout traces of flogging and stamping. In some places, they become illuminations of illegible dark manuscripts. Swarms of bodies, souls, in whirlwinds pass before our eyes, and we see only a fraction of that universe, and neither can we comprehend and perceive it. We wonder who sees the whole picture and what meaning it has.

Compositions that focus not on multitude but on duality only seemingly regain control. Formally, the situation is clearer in them: the figures appear in symmetry, we can see them clearly in all their details. Just when we think of life being so clearly black and white, the question arises: are these two figures or one and its reflection in the mirror? And that question immediately triggers an avalanche of others: is the reflection in the mirror a duplicate or a negative? Who is whose Doppelganger? Who is whose alter-ego? Who is good and who is the evil twin? It’s the same with fantastic portraits – are they black with white marks or vice versa? Are they bright or dark? Do they spread or ingest light around them? The answer to either of these ambivalent features of Boris Injc’s drawings is neither, that is, they are both. They portray both lightness and darkness, duality and divinity, and the curse and blessing of a multitude. But more than that, they show that none of these polarities can exist without one another. The zebra is black on white stripes, but what makes it a zebra is that it is both black and white and in almost equal proportion. Such is the situation with all that Boris Injac problematizes in his works.


Sonja Jankov
29 July 2019