Danilo Stankovic never paints in front of an audience. The painting When Birds Fall Silent largely came into being in the middle of the night in the monumental workshop KKV in Malmö. Everyone else was sleeping…but not the painting. When the lights are turned out and the darkness of night takes over, its colors come to life. Small glimmers appear. The fungi in the trees glisten and the ravine shimmers a dangerous temptation. Silhouettes on the horizon move in a pilgrimage toward an unclear destination. The landscape condenses and the psychedelic trolls using the forest as a hideout are embraced by
The current Campus Luleå was once an outlying area covered in birch shoots. The decision to build a university on the outskirts, far from downtown, fully expresses the spirit of 1970s Sweden. University architecture constructed along the main street of campus was characterized by function. The A-building on campus has been rebuilt to meet current standards of educational environments; in connection with its reconstruction, Stankovic was asked to create an artistic creation that lay outside the function of the building itself. As if in a conversation with the area’s former woodlands, Stankovic chose to paint on birch plywood. The wood grain speaks quietly through the paint. The motif meets the utopian idea of an untouched landscape.
In folk belief, dusk, when the sound of twittering birds fades, is when the unknown awakens. In the new A-building, there is a desire for students to have the opportunity to think outside the box, to open their minds to something beyond exams and study regimes. In dialogue with traditional knowledge and the occult world, and with an aesthetic that hails from the nightclub environment, Stankovic’s painting creates a passage to other dimensions in the middle of the students’ everyday life. When Birds Fall Silent thereby lends a luminous magic to the winter darkness of Norrbotten.