was an artistic hoax
created by 0100101110101101.ORG
According to the hoaxers, Maver was born in Krupanj
, in 1962
. Maver's supposed body of work
was pvc sculptures
of aborted fetuses
and other assorted acts of violence, which he then photographed
and presented in various galleries
. In fact, these morbid simulacra
were photographs of the real thing, mostly taken from newswire services, then passed off to the unsuspecting art world
His work "began" with challenging images of violence from Yugoslavia
's civil war, backdated to make it appear that he had created the images in the late 1980s
. It is unswervingly challenging and grotesque, but with the images assumed to be authored
instead of merely culled from the internet, Maver began to make a name for "himself" in Eastern European galleries.
His mid-period work is presented as poetry
, and this is where it becomes clear in hindsight
that Maver was a hoax
. His hackneyed
takes on being "condemned to live
" are such rank
and trite nihilistic
expressions that it's hard to believe people continued to take him seriously.
Maver's final work came as Tanzen Der Spinne
, or "Dance of the Spider
." For this, Maver once again pretended that the images were of pvc
dummies, made up to look like assorted gore
, and arranged with a speculative narrative "web
" that was referenced in the title.
This work was actually more photos taken from the then-raging conflict in Yugoslavia, but was aesthetically connected to the lurid photos of Weegee
(who started the public's fascination with crime scene photography
) and Joel-Peter Witkin
's grotesque use of human corpses. There is also an implicit relationship between this work and what Susan Sontag
would call the "aesthetics
" with relation to the numbing affect of aesthetics when faced with horrors.
The work was an unqualified success, with Tanzen Der Spinne being featured in galleries from Ljubljana
However, it's in this context of growing success that the hoaxters
pulled off their masterstroke. Darko Maver's work began to "disappear," the originals were claimed to be destroyed, and the ellusive "artist" went into hiding to avoid the authorities, who viewed his work as subversive
his work and placing the blame on state officials, who (of course) denied any knowledge of Maver, Maver became an underground celebrity
It was claimed that Maver was arrested and held by the authorities, and soon afterwards two photographs
were released of him, one showing him imprisoned and the other showing him dead. Kosovar
authorities were blamed, and the myth of Darko began in earnest, with several artists paying tribute to him and his "groundbreaking work." The exposure culminated with a "retrospective" at the Venice Biannual exhibition for new works, a respected stop on the international gallery circuit. Like the cliche
goes, Maver had to "die" to be respected.
Of course, the troubling thing is that Maver never really existed. He was a made-up man, putting out made-up work. What does this say about authenticity in art?
Soon after Darko's appearance at the Biannual, 0100101110101101.ORG (which had been Darko's primary press organ) admitted that he had been a hoax, used to show the "permeability of the art world."
For further information, see Luther Blissett
.net or 0100101110101101.ORG