21.01.2011. - 21.01.2011.

From the culture of design to designing culture

It seems that the traditional division between pure and applied art still bears some meaning. This flexible, but lasting line is still being drawn today, when most methods used in that distinction are no longer valid. For example, the principles of modelling are no longer sufficient to determine the artistic status of an object or product. The same can be claimed for the nature of social activism organized on the basis of a well-designed aesthetic object or event, since the political battle is more intensively being fought in the field of artistic culture. It is also more difficult to determine the artistic qualification of an object or phenomenon on the basis of intertextual connections, since the institution of art is becoming more complex and is progressively encompassing more and more cultural practices...

Thanks to the changes in production, the distinction between utilitarian and non-utilitarian objects is not as simple as it was at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century, when parallel to the counting of the first results of the first industrial revolution, the artists’ organized fight for the participation in social decision-making started. Moreover, today not only is the division between design and art more difficult to determine, but it seems – as Hal Foster suggests in his book “Design and Crime” – that after the most recent, so-called post-industrial revolution, everything adopted the logics of design. Foster claims that the omnipresence of design in contemporary society is a symbol of triumph of the industrial culture which turned the emancipatory projects of Modernism to profit.

Following the two leaders of Viennese artistic Modernism, Adolf Loos and Karl Kraus, Foster emphasizes the necessity of differentiating utilitarian and artistic objects. Paraphrasing Kraus, he says that designers turn art (an urn) into a utilitarian object (a chamber pot), while functionalist Modernists turn the utilitarian object (the chamber pot) into art (an urn). Both are cases of totalizing practices which leave no room for critical opinion, and although autonomous art is a modernistic illusion, Foster concludes that we nonetheless need a space of freedom somewhere between the two extremes.

Following these thoughts and based on your proposals, the curators of the Gallery (Klaudio Štefančić, Sanja Horvatinčić and Nina Pisk) have determined the 2011 program. It consists of four international group exhibitions and a group exhibition dedicated to the Radoslav Putar Award. The exhibition schedule is as follows:

Mirabilia, February 25 – April 3, 2011
Yoko Fukushima, Silvio Vujičić, Tanja Vukelić

Street Art, April 22 – May 29, 2011
Oko Okato, Sank, Lonac, Artu Ditu, Lunar, Peha Plus, Pajcek, Filjio, Puma 34, Petar Popijač, Gaz and others.

Radoslav Putar Award - Final 2011, June 10 – July 17, 2011

UFS (User Friendly Society), September 23 – October 30, 2011
Paolo Cirio, Sally Larson Gritzell, Kristian Kožul, Societe Realiste

Plexus, November 11 – December 18, 2011
Kata Mijatović, Magdalena Mauri, Nika Radić, Davor Sanvincenti