pop culture

  • 23.10.2015. - 21.11.2015.

    Home, Centre, House, Platform

    There is nothing unusual about the fact that the attempts to historicize institutions in charge of producing and distributing culture are accompanied by a certain ambiguity or even by a terminological and categorical confusion. The very notion of culture is in itself ambiguous, even inherently contradictory, so we cannot expect from the experts who deal in cultural practices to provide us with a clear and firm definition. For example, we have the culture of art, but we also have the culture of swearing – not to mention the custom of spitting on the street, even though spitting could also be considered as a part of the process of rural culture infiltrating urban culture – which is in conflict with the culture of good manners, so if you are not a linguist, writer or an anthropologist, you are more likely to notice the lack of culture in these practices. Be that as it may, there is one thing that everybody agrees on: culture consists of everything that people do on a daily basis. Therefore, the emphasis is on people and not on objects (books, paintings, movies, plays, etc.), on the experience and the process and not on the question of ownership or social status.

    We approached the conceptualization of this exhibition from the position of a participant in cultural processes, that is, by taking the bottom-up approach of the users of cultural programmes thus rejecting to adopt the position of an institutional power. And why wouldn’t we take the perspective of our own experiences? Instead of focusing on historic foundation charters, political decisions, official documents, plans and programmes, it just might be the right time to recall how we made culture happen: by visiting libraries, watching movies, learning how to dance, knit, paint or by simply chatting and having fun – with a glass of wine in our hands – at an opening of an exhibition or a play.

    Seen from this perspective, there are four different ways of participating in the production and consumption of institutional culture. Each of these ways is actually a particular cultural model. And these models are: home, centre, house and platform.

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  • 29.04.2011. - 29.05.2011.

    Eye Nerve Bombing

    art ditu, filjio, gaz, lonac, lunar, oko okato, pajcek, petar popijač, peha plus, puma 34, sank, sretan bor, svenki and others

    During the last few years, in the public discourse on artistic interventions in the city’s streets, the term street art is becoming more common. The works in Branimirova Street used to be called graffiti, while their new version is commonly labeled by the media as street art. Without entering the domain of formal and aesthetic distinctions of the new generation of artists and artworks, it is clear that the significant terminological shift from something that was up until recently linked with specific subcultures and vandalism, in itself points to an interesting artistic and social phenomenon. Who are the protagonists of this new wave of street art, how do they perceive their role of claiming public space, are they any different from their predecessors, how are their activities perceived by art history on the one hand and the law on the other, these are just some of the questions this exhibition deals with.

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  • 17.04.2007. - 06.05.2007.

    Zlatan Vehabović, " North "


    I intended these images to be saturated with variety of our memories. Should they succeed being visually effective it is precisely because they do not show any one specific place, or landscape. Looking at them evokes a film-like movement of images, which is a movement from memory, and might best be associated to Jorge Luis Borges's idea that all art strives towards the state of music. They are simultaneously representational, narrative, and abstract, recalling familiar elements from art history and from reality. (Zlatan Vehabović)

    In the book “Poetics” Borges says that the epic sensibility has disappeared. Although he refers primarily to literature, I think we are not mistaken if we recognize that statement as a general assessment of contemporariness that, in Lyotard's words, has left great stories in the past. Still, Borges leaves door opened by claiming that even if any of the epic sensibility from the past has remained it cannot be found in literature or art anymore but in film.

    Zlatan Vehabović's references to the art of film, Borges and music are not random. Until the dawn of the Internet, as a multimedia text that combines image, sound and movement, film satisfied our need for “reading” both art and the world around us in a multi-sensory way. The film, being the art of time, took the aspect of narration and turned it into one of its basic principles.

    His painting is not a film, it is not happening in time, does not contain sound and instead of story it presents a vague atmosphere only outlining potential story. However, he aspires to something like music. Where does this trace of music in the painting come from and what is its relation to film?

    It seems to be a Proust-like situation, mentioned by the author himself when talking about “evocation of images”. To start evocation he, besides large-scale formats that re-topicalize the body in the process of perception, selects and presents childhood motifs that contain a certain amount of universal meaning. By this, I mean personal, social, political, economic and other aspects of childhood, the phenomenon that always meets with different reactions. It is of no importance whether we discuss the groups of abandoned children in the African and South American suburbs or the meaning of adventure literature for children and their upbringing based on the stories about Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer or we have doubts about their upbringing in the context of entertainment industry of television and the Internet. It is always about activating different, often forgotten attitudes and evoking memories.

    As laid down by contemporary ethnographical research it needs to be said that childhood is a cultural product made by the adults for children. This unveils not only ways of “taming” the youngest members of society but also the imagery that the adults possess by creating the images of childhood. The imagery of such a slightly perverse situation, in which adults decide what it is like to be a child, changes together with the overall culture. Therefore, it is hard to believe today that the image of a boy running away from his parents to catch a fish is a model of a well-behaved child (as far as fishing is concerned).

    When it comes to escape things are different. Namely, the image of childhood as a careless world of idleness separated from the world of adults was created in the late 19th century when the western civil society of high capitalism was on the rise. According to that image, men worked separately from home and family, women took care of household and children played, shortly interrupted by school obligations. This culture of childhood existed only in the upper classes. Nowadays, adults' perception of childhood as a period devoid of worry is not only normal but also necessary for our own sake. That image, despite the changes that global society is undergoing, is still determined by the aspect of escape. Illusion about escaping the grey everyday life, in which we cannot find the meaning, about going to unknown and distant places (modern tourism is a surrogate for this), is probably one of the longest living cultural phenomena of modern age. In the field of art, the martyrs of adventurism, escape or departure lived already in late 19th century and the most famous were Rimbaud, Conrad and Gauguin.

    There is more in that than narrative canons of the adventure literature. What more, there is something of epic sensibility found in film mentioned by Borges or something of the music effect suggested by Vehabović. It may even be a transgression of the everyday that can be committed against different bases: political, psychosocial, imaginary etc. Vehabović's representation of the transgression is not political except on the margins where we face social representation of childhood. It is poetical and, in the best manner of pop music, escapist. The childhood myth crossed with the alternative space of communication such as My Space. Music, a mystic signifier referring to itself, arouses feelings, evokes memories and the virtual space of the eternal adolescence where adults are unwelcome.

    His paintings evoke experiences swarming above spaces of childhood characterized by play, curiosity, idleness and illusion that, no matter what happened after and what is today, we lived without the mediation of culture and language. (Klaudio Štefančić)


    Zlatan Vehabović is born in Banjaluka (Bosnia and Herzegovina) in 1982. He graduated at The Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb. Among various awards he received Erste Bank Award For Young Artists in 2006 and Essl Award in 2007. He lives and works in Zagreb.


    Links:

    http://voting.essl-award.org/auswertung/participant.php?pid=44
    http://www.leutmagnetik.net/
    http://www.sczg.hr/default.php?id=prog&date=2006-5



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  • 14.03.2007. - 08.04.2007.

    Marko Tadić, "Storyboards"




    When it comes to Tadić's work, the most prominent element is the act of borrowing signs from the contemporary culture fields such as comic, film, advertising, art history...Collecting them meticulously, he recycles the abundant amount of rejected and consumed visual signs, thus giving them new meanings in the context of the art work and art exhibition.

    The following extracts from the texts written by the art critics Ana Dević and Ivana Mance provide more information about his work:

    “Marko Tadić's works are hybrid forms that challenge the status of art and everyday objects, their use, decorative and symbolical functions. They result from the overlapping of the painting, graffiti, collage, photography, objects and ambient installations, and are determined by the element of privacy, collecting passion, interest in everyday, tendency towards decorative, kitsch and transformation.

    He often paints and combines the rejected or cheap objects such as plastic plates, wooden kitchen boards, pads, found objects...His paintings/ objects develop a specific iconography that brings together the attractive colouristic graphics and fragments of words and sentences, numbers, graffiti, idioms, pop quotes ending up in the absurd slogans and surprising image-verbal combinations. His colourful collages made of disparate fragments reflect the urban context of everyday life, elements of film and comic aesthetics, iconography of contemporary design, fashion, music, lifestyles...”( from “Circus, Carnival, Spectacle, Execution Site…” by Ana Dević ).

    “The poetic rule, if there is any, that brings all these elements together, Ana Dević described as graffitism. The concept of graffiti is primarily about anti-aesthetic intervention in the urban space that through the brutal overtaking of public areas tends to symbolically destroy their neutral identity and introduce a dimension of social differentiation. For this reason, graffitism defines his work as a voluntary intervention without the tendency towards aesthetic or narrative unity. Moreover, he turns the components against their formal, functional and semantic integrity. Without aggression or ethically dubious force, his gesture is light, and the transformation from one reality into other is invisible: the plate he could put in the sink where it “belongs” he easily puts on the wall, lightly transferring images, words and things from one context/ space/ object to another, from public life into private and back.” ( Ivana Mance )


    Marko Tadić, born in 1979, won the winning award at the 2001 Young Artists Salon in Sisak as well as the 2006 Young Artists Salon’s award in Zagreb.
    In 2006, he graduated from the Fine Arts Academy in Florence. He has had two solo exhibitions in Zagreb and dozens of the exhibitions in Croatia and abroad (Florence, Sisak, Ljubljana, Beograd). He is preparing for the group exhibition in Manchester, organized by the Museum of the Modern Art from Zagreb.


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  • 25.01.2006. - 19.02.2006.

    Ivan Fijolić


    Ivan Fijolić (1976) is one of the most prominent Croatian modern artists. He belongs to the generation of artists who have at the turn of the century turned towards everyday consumerism and intensively started importing elements of popular culture (“trash” aesthetics, kitsch, etc.) into the shielded fieldof high art culture. It is hard to pinpoint Fijolić’s dominant interest, but currently his works are in between paintings and objects/sculptures, or better yet in an area in which different cultural signs are intertwined, mostly from the field of popular movies and comic books. He is on of the most represented authors in the growing collection of modern art of Filip Trade and he is probably bestknown for his statue of Bruce Lee in Mostar.

    He graduated from Zagreb Academy of Fine Arts. He has been exhibiting in Croatia and abroad since1999. Ivan won the Zagreb Academy of Fine Arts Award for his graduation work and he is the authorof several public works in Vrsar (Park skulptura), Zlin (Czech Republic) and Mostar (Bosnia andHerzegovina).

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  • 26.03.2003. - 12.04.2003.

    Daniel Kovač


    Referring to the film “Logan’s Vehicles”, Kovač attributed meaning to his sculptures which transcends the narrow modernistic problems of the medium of sculpture and enters the field of popular culture. From this perspective, his sculptures, i.e. ungainly vehicles for escape – as the author calls the exhibited sculptures in the preface of the catalog – can be viewed as a kind of ironic comment on the social transition which Croatia is experiencing, in which the knowledge of different and more successful societies generated a specific form of real or mental immigrant workers. The exhibited sculptures, despite their raw, temporary treatment, also point to Kovač’s favored field of automobile design, which he calls the sculpture of the highest order.

    Daniel Kovač was born in 1966 in Subotica. He works as an assistant at the department of sculpture at the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb. He has exhibited his works since 1991. He won the award at the 5th triennial of Croatian sculpture in 1994 and the Croatian Association of Artists’ Award in 1997.

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  • 28.05.2003. - 14.06.2003.

    Željko Stojanović


    The exhibition is a retrospective of the photographic work of Željko Stojanović. During the 70s and 80s, he
    collaborated with different magazines (Fokus, Studentski list, Start, Danas, and other), forming in Croatian
    newspaper and photography a particular and at that time relatively new genre of photo-reporting. In that sense, Stojanović is one of the pioneers of photo-reporting in Croatia and a photographer whose work greatly influenced Polet’s school of photography. He is currently working as the editor of photography in the newspaper “Feral Tribune”.

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  • 19.10.2001. - 31.10.2001.

    Danko Friščić i Denis Krašković

    Danko Friščić i Denis Krašković

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  • 16.02.1984. - 09.03.1984.

    Jadranka Fatur

    Jadranka Fatur

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  • 17.12.2003. - 10.01.2004.

    Ana Katičić


    Ana Katičić Barbić studied painting at the Zagreb Academy of Fine Arts under Igor Rončević. This is her second solo exhibition. Her work displays similarities with that of her younger colleagues who started changing the artistic and painting paradigm in the late nineties and at the beginning of the century. It is a change of the neo-expressionist paradigm and geometrical painting, until then dominant in Croatian art and the application of certain painting methods which include turning to the everyday world, in the sense in which we can almost talk about it as an everyday, practically ritual cultural practice (summer holidays, night out, culture of photography, etc). The contents of Ana Katičić Barbić's paintings have accordingly been taken from personal photo albums, scenes such as cafés or disco clubs or mass media.

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