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ARCHIVE · 2005

Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art Rijeka
Curated by Antun Maračić
From November 11 until November 30, 2005

The artists at work in Dubrovnik and around it are in a very particular position. The City, as it is emphatically known, and the landscape have a beauty and a history that exert a degree of compulsion, exacting a specific relationship, and stipulating motifs. The people who deal with art in this area are uncommonly numerous, and yet, alas, they tend to fall victim to the vigour of the milieu, failing to see that the fact of dwelling and being in it, exploitation of an uncritical admiration for its inheritance and givens, the shield, as it were, of its pedigree, cannot in and of themselves be any warranty for the value of a work of art produced. The opulence of the history and visual spectacle in combination with devotion to stereotypes about the lushness of the south, with ruthless appropriation of self-satisfied clichés about “expressionist vehemence" and colourism, as givens or imperatives of the clime, and similar over-simplifications, often lead to loss of scale, feebleness of structure, poverty of expression.
Hence those more determined and ambitious of the creative workers here have been compelled to work at one and the same time in harmony with and yet also against the ambience in which they happen to be located. In collusion with its original idea of harmony and measure, and against the inveterate custom of exploiting the natural and historical humus. Certainly, for such an activity, as well as talent, what you need is special application and composure, critical thinking, the ability to resist the threat of emasculatory hedonism. All this is exacerbated because of the additional handicap of the geographical marginalisation of the place. (...)
In such endeavours, an especially important role is played by the Lazareti Art Workshop (which included the Otok [Island] Gallery), the leader of which is also the most prominent contemporary Dubrovnik artist, Slaven Tolj. 
This exhibition is presenting 15 contemporary artists, all from Dubrovnik, those who live and work in the City, and those who live somewhere else, but through theme and experience in some essential way belong to this setting. 
Slaven Tolj is a creator who is in fact bound by destiny, Antaeus-like, to Dubrovnik. In his appearances elsewhere, he also takes with him the sea, the land, dust, the light, the element itself of his homescape in ready-made objects, as well as material for his works. But his approach is very far from being reducible to the practice of sentimental fetishism. On the contrary, Slaven is an artist who, in his passionate role, however melancholy it might be, denounces the entropy of both the human and the material substance of the City, managing in an impressive way to universalize a local topic. In this he makes use of entirely minimal gestures and resources: a bowls jack, a lamp, or a vast frugally photographically documented perception of some fortuitous encounter of things; images that are capable of representing the whole complex of his idea or vision.
His parsimonious language has been internalised by some of the younger artists, managing with him by moderation of gesture to be a match for the garrulousness of the problematic idioms of local colourism in some commercial, stylistically-obsolescent variations.
This certainly includes Pasko Burđelez, one of those who represented Croatia at the 51st Venice Biennial. A gardener in his day-job, Pasko puts on minimalist performances and video works and installations. At this exhibition he has exhibited a pile of flour without packaging in a shopping basket on the floor of the gallery. When one thinks of the inability of the contents to be carried, the impossibility of consuming this elementary and existentially-symbolic material there is a kind of pain created, generating a complex architecture of associations, a wide-ranging contentfulness that is a polar opposite to the spareness of the material model. (…)
The video works of Luko Piplica, Ivona Vlašić, Ervin Babić and Ivana Jelavić are also characterised by minimalism and simplicity of operations. Most often these are static or slightly moving images with a reduced motif and a temporal theme. On the whole they are contemplations of scenes in which the natural element has a dominant part, as is the case with the work of Ivona Vlašić. (…)
The camera of Luko Piplica on the other hand records micro-events of the interior of a demijohn, a large glass bottle, which, when rinsed, allows the rising of the murga or olive fines, producing a dynamic Art Informel pictorial event. The reasons for shooting it were also the highly private feelings of the artist, for whom the rising of the sediment from the bottom of the bottle can be perceived as a metaphor for the awakening of painful memories of the period of the war in his native Konavle. (…) Ivana Jelavić also makes use of a simple procedure, shooting the way a large tourist ship passes between Lokrum and the City, going from one edge of a static frame to another. The uninterrupted repetition of arrival and departure includes of course other less ironic and less local connotations, but the hopeless endlessness of events suggests some realistic immobility as the trouble faced by the milieu in which the scene unfolds. (…) Božidar Jurjević shots his ritual performances, which call up a return to primary states of being, to some primordial power and health of the human being, regularly connected to nature or the land and water, basic elements of life, are subject to extensive post-production processing. 
Five of the exhibitors are represented in the photographic medium, including the well-known Dubrovnik photographic artist Ana Opalić,. She spreads the idea of the self-portrait to the spiritual level, to the reciprocal permeation of subject and setting. (…) The second also well known Dubrovnik woman photographer, Mara Bratoš, unobtrusively evokes the refinement of the ancient country house figures and practice of the area, irrespective of whether she is shooting in the exteriors of Lopud or Dubrovnik or in rooms inland. Her motifs are most often friends and acquaintances, in which the interpersonal relations of the people and the spaces are highly emphasised, but the emotions are in a suspension, are the marks of the anti-expression of her models, as well as the moderation of approach of the photographer, who with her cool protects her own vulnerability. (…)
Josko Baće in work My Family replaces art with the most realistic possible photography of life. Ivana Pegan Baće used her stay in a Dubrovnik hospital to record her own observation of the human traffic in its premises. Marko Ercegović’s Dubrovnikians brings the local definition into sharp focus. 
The idea of theatre, as of a kind of genius loci, is also evoked by Tina Gverović in her pictures. After 1997, when the artist took her degree in painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb, came her Set Designs, a series of paintings that literally, in cold monochromes, only minimally photographic, show actual stages arranged for particular performances (A Doll’s House, Three Sisters, Salome and so on) from the repertoire of the Croatian theatre. In these pictures Tina has started a “debate about the variable dimensions of space”. (…)
Viktor Daldon in his pictures, graphic depictions of animal figures, human faces and figures in the form of collages or photographically faithful copies, manually produced quotes of particular figurative stylisations taken over from various historical mise en scenes, from antiquity to closer at hand. The motifs of pictures of Ivan Skvrce are the most recognisably and directly Dubrovnikan. Indeed, his pictures are actually transcriptions of photos taken out of the local press, those that illustrate topical scandals. Although faithfully reinterpreting the motifs, Skvrce in a certain sense is really producing primary painting creations. These paintings thus include a double critique cynically result in an actually attractive aesthetic artefact. 
And so with the example of Skvrce we close, as it were, the circle of the contemporary Dubrovnik art scene, touching on the work of Slaven Tolj, the artist with whom we began. Between these poles of immediate social interest, with references to the realities of time and moment, there is a whole spectrum of creative expressions with different shapes and tones. Common to all of them, however, is an active attitude towards art and the subject of working interest. (…) There is also an awareness, common to all of them, of the need to avoid at all costs that freewheeling that marks the passive production of aesthetic products in which the basic fact is missing: genuine thought and desire for movement. (…)

(From the introduction text by Antun Maračić) 

From November 5 until December 4, 2005 
Curated by Nataša Ivančević and Branko Cerovac


New Rijeka Scene is presented through the selection of two Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art Rijeka ( curators aiming to achieve as objective analysis and interpretation as possible. Nataša Ivančević's choice, regardless the diverse disciplines, concentrates ona a production creating art objects, while Branko Cerovac focusses ona a process' aesthetics and a performance scene around the MMC Palach and the O.K. Gallery, the legendary venues of Rijeka's alternative art scene.

Snapshot (curated by Nataša Ivančević)
Autors: Nemanja Cvijanović, Tomislav Ćurković, Tanja Dabo, Igor Eškinja, Ana Grubić, Iva Gobić, Dejan Kljun, Melinda Kostelac, David Maljković, Danica Mračević, Nadija Mustapić, Dunja Sablić, Damir Stojnić, Nataša Radović, Lada Sega i Nikola Ukić

Inside – Outside (curated by Branko Cerovac)
Autors /Performers: Milijana Babić, Lara Badurina, Damir Stojnić, Krešo Kovačićek, Edvin Šabanović, Manuela Paladin, Igor Večerina, Neda Šimić Božinović, Siniša Lenac

11 Fishermen
(put on as part of the conference “Best in Heritage”)
September 22 – September 24, 2005

The Andrew Hunter Exhibition in theMuseum of Modern Art Dubrovnik combined photographs from the project Lalla Rookh: A Poetic Archive and works from the gallery collection.
The topic of the exhibition was a seafaring tragedy of 1850, when a group of fishermen from Worthing on the coast of Sussex drowned attempting to save a ship in difficulties. Like the artist’s other projects, Lalla Rookh(the name of a ship, taken from that of the eponymous Indian princess of the epic poem by Thomas Moore, 1817) combines facts and fiction, and explores at the same time marginal stories and those with global repercussions, the methodology of the treatment of the theme coinciding with museum practice.
Hunter’s stories and photographs can be seen at

Andrew Hunter is an artist and freelance curator who has shown his work in museums and galleries in Canada, the USA and England. He is known for his innovative use of artistic objects from museum collections, his historical research, and projects that are both committed and accessible to the general public. Hunter was associate curator in the Hamilton Art Gallery, Kamloops Vancouver, Confederation Centre, McMichael Canadian Art Collection, and has exhibited in the Winnipeg, Kamloops, Peel, Mendel, Dunlop, Walter Phillips, Greater Victoria, Hamilton, Edmonton galleries.
He has published numbers of essays about his own work, including the recent Speaking of Billy published in The Edge of Everything: Reflections on Curatorial Practice, The Banff Centre Press, 2002.
In 2004 Lethbridge University published his book Cul-de-Sac.
Hunter lives and works in Dundas, Ontario.

With examples drawn from contemporary Croatian art since 1960
Curated by Radmila Iva Janković
From August 20 to September 18 (extended to October 2), 2005

The exhibition First Person Singular deals with issues of the self-presentation of the physical, emotional, social and cultural “I” in the context of contemporary Croatian art, covering the period since 1960. In this period the question of identity, as well as of its multi-layeredness and transformations, has appeared as one of the crucial topics.
In the last decades first-person speech has received privileged attention in literary theory, and after the abandonment of the modernist practice of impersonal and neutral speech, a similar thing occurred in the visual arts. From the 60s on, when artists, resisting middle-class stereotypes of taste and commercialisation, started using their own live body, self-presentation ceased to be a mere matter of the imitation of reality, that is, of mimesis. Visual language has been enriched with traces of narration, with the introduction of the temporal dimension, with the assumption of elements from other genres (such as diaries, autobiographical film and literary elements), transferring with sounds, with written or uttered words and images the experience of reality through the prism of personal vision. The media that are used, apart from the sculpture and painting of tradition, are photography, film, video, computer simulations and all contemporary technological means that the artist considers appropriate to his or her manner of expression or poetics. The topic of artistic speech in the first person singular is introduced with examples of the works of the following artists: Lovro Artuković, Aleksandar Battista Ilić, Iva Bašić, Marijan Crtalić, Tanja Dabo, Vlasta Delimar, Vladimir Dodig Trokut, Tomislav Gotovac, Željka Gradski Galić, Ana Hušman i Lala Raščić, Sanja Iveković, Željko Jerman, Alem Korkut, Ksenija Kordić, Ivan Kožarić, Kristina Leko, Ivica Malćić, Antun Maračić, Vlado Martek, Dalibor Martinis, Marijan Molnar, Ana Opalić, Jelena Perić, Magdalena Pederin, Jasenko Rasol, Sandra Sterle, Mladen Stilinović, Sven Stilinović, Slaven Tolj, Ksenija Turčić, Ivana Vučić and Vlasta Žanić.

Self-Portraits from the MMAD Collection (Pre-exhibition)
Irrespective of the stylistic diversities that came hard upon each others’ heels in the period between 1875 and 1954, the approach of the self-portrait (with the exception of Dark Variations, the self-portrait of Antun Zuppa of 1938) has always been the same. The artist shows himself/herself turned full-face or semi-profile towards the mirror, in an indeterminable setting, only in rare cases with the full figure in a defines space, which is almost always that of the artist’s own studio.
In this confrontation of the self-portraits from the collection (from the time when self-representation constituted a merely sporadic part of the whole of an artist’s creative work) with contemporary models of self-representation (an equals sign being drawn at the present time between art and the artist), at very first glance it is clear that a tectonic shift at the global social level, as well as in its reflection in artistic creativity, happened in the nineteen sixties.
In this pre-exhibition the Museum of Modern Art Dubrovnik (MMAD) puts on show self-portraits of the following artists from its own collection: Vlaho Bukovac, Ivanka Bukovac Javorsky, Jelica Bukovac, Nevenka Đorđević, Vilko Gecan, Sergije Glumac, Joko Knežević, Marko Murat, Jelica (Lela) Radosavljević, Tihomila Sučić, Vilim Svečnjak, Miloš Vušković and Antun Zuppa.


New Works from the Holdings of the MMAD 
July 9 to August 10, 2005

The exhibition Purchases and Donations: New Works from the Holdings of the MMAD shows a relatively small number (about 40 pieces) of the more recent acquisitions of the gallery, of the total of 556 works that have in the last five years enriched the existing collection (which now has 2467 works, including classics of the Croatian modern period in painting such as Bukovac, Medović and Meštrović, all the way down to artists of our own days).
Most of all, though, there are gifts, the major part consisting of the posthumous donation of the painter of Dubrovnik origin, Josip Colonna, who lived and died in Naples.
Of the other acquisitions, apart from the purchases of some older artists, these are mainly works of artists who exhibited in recent years in the gallery. Thanks to good experience in their collaboration with the MMAD, and aware that the funding resources made available are not sufficient for the holdings of the Museum to be rejuvenated at a decent tempo and with works of proper quality, artists such as Željko Jerman, Igor Rončević, Duje Jurić, Mara Bratoš, Damir Fabijanić, Braco Dimitrijević and Ivan Kožarić were happy to donate their works. 

Paintings 2003-2005
July10 to August 7 2004

Viktor Daldon is a young Dubrovnik artist (born 1972), trained in Rijeka and Zagreb, who counts English, Italian and local, Konavle strains in his background; he is an urban resident who with his partner, a New York woman with Dubrovnik roots, lives mainly in a rustic Mediterranean atmosphere, in the semi-abandoned Dubrovnik villager of Brsečine. There is some analogy between the complications of the artist’s origins and his way in life in his work as well, in canvases with their colourful iconographic, stylistic and technological organisational structure. In his pictures, graphic depictions of animal figures, human faces and figures in the form of collages or photographically faithful copies, manually produced quotes of particular figurative stylisations taken over from various historical mise en scenes, from antiquity to closer at hand. There are also sections of housepainter’s patterns, and other kinds of pattern, then written out words, names, in the form of titles or commentaries on what is painted. 
There is something like a journal in the background to Daldon’s paintings. They are fragments of universal and yet daily experiences, admixtures of idioms from the history of art, the expressions of the artist’s professional and personal, human, inclinations.
Daldon is capable of assimilating, adopting and domesticating the invasion of the images and data that besiege and mark the space of contemporary living. The painter transfers this amalgam of information that is thus at hand in all its intact chaos, but still, a kind of covert order and equilibrium, even indeed of sparseness, are the final contents and condition of his pictures. 
We look at Daldon’s works as specific temporal, ideational and emotional sediments, at the same time spread out and arranged. From them we can draw associations, internally activating them our own experience and evocative equipment. Set off by the presented provocative forms, we in turn project our own pictures onto the screens of these canvases.
Thus there is a two-way transaction going on here, which additionally proves and warrants for the status of the works as a proving ground for communication, an area of incessant activities. It is in this vibrating vitality, it would seem, that the true value of Daldon’s art inheres.

Viktor Daldon was born in Dubrovnik in 1972; in 1995 he enrolled in the Visual Arts Department of the Education Faculty in Rijeka; in 1996 he switched to the course of the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb. He won the Chancellor’s Painting Prize for 2001.
He graduated in the class of Eugen Kokot in 2001. He is a member of the HDLU (Croatian Fine Artists Association), HZSU and Academia Moderna. He lives and works in Dubrovnik and Brsečine. 


Blackboard drawings 1919-1924
Autor of the exhibition: Walter Kugler
April 23 to May 22 2005
40 works were exhibited in the Museum of Modern Art Dubrovnik

Rudolf Steiner was born on 27th February 1861 in Kraljevic, Austria. He studied natural sciences at the Technical University in Vienna, attended lectures in Philosophy and literature at the University. Gained his doctorate in Rostock in 1892. Worked at the Goethe-Schiller Archive in Weimar (1890-97) and edited the works of Goethe. Several publications, including: The Philosphy of Freedom, Friedrich Nietsche: Fighter for Freedom. Journalist (Magazine for Literature), writer and teacher (worker's school) in berlin from 1897-1904. General Secretary of the German section of the Theosophical Society from 1902-12. Numerous publications in this period: Christianity as Mystical Fact, Theosophy, An Outline of Esoteric Science, Riddles of Philosophy amongst others. Meetings with Kandinsky, Jawlenski, Else Lasker-Schüler, Stefan Zweig and Franz Kafka, friendship with Christian Morgenstern. Founding of the Anthroposophical Society in 1913. Build up the Goetheanum in Dornach near Basel from 1913-19. Numerous artistic works: ceiling frescoes, sculptures, desings for stained glass windows and other living and functional buildings. Initiated a new form of dance called Eurythmy. In 1919 Steiner's highly regardede work Social Issues was published. Subsequently he gave numerous lectures, some with the aim of founding factory committees. Foundation of the Waldorf School in Stuttgart. Other schools followed. Training courses for teachers. therapists, doctors, theologians and actors. A total of more than 5000 lectures on cosmology, philosophy, religion, agriculture, the economy, education and medicine. Rudolf Steiner died on 30th March 1925 in Dornach, Switzerland. 

Curated by Ivica Župan
From March 3 until April 3, 2005

Ever since he began to appear in public (in the twentieth fifties), Ivan Kožarić has displayed an atypical, anti-evolutional behaviour. Characteristic of his work is an absence both of a noticeable development line and consistency of style. His work is at the same time figurative, abstract and conceptual; he is a media nomad - a sculptor, a painter, a drawer, a graphic artist, a ready made and site specific works author. 
Although he created several complete cycles such as The Space Form (Oblik prostora), Temporary Sculptures (Privremene skulpture) and Spontaneous Sculptures (Spontane skulpture), Kožarić is an artist of revision and revocation, inclining to recycle his own works and include ordinary objects into the context of his art.
A sculptor with an outstanding sense of volume and space, he produces works bursting with energy and powerful vitality, regardless of their form, material or dimensions.
The photograph is among the media he uses on an equal footing. He makes photographs of everything that surrounds him, including his own works executed in other media. His photographs are at the same time the sketches, documents and, quite typically, recycling of his own works. In his photographs Kožarić achieves the same he achieves in his paintings and sculptures: the freshness of a new standpoint and new vision.

Ivan Kožarić was born in 1921 in Petrinja, Croatia.
He graduated in sculpture from the Zagreb Academy of Visual Arts in 1949 and has exhibited since 1954. 
He joined the Zagreb Gorgona group in early sixties. 
Author of well-known sculptures as are the A. G. Matoš Monument and The Grounded Sun in Zagreb, he has had about one hundred one-man and more than two hundred group exhibitions.
He participated at most prestigious exhibitions worldwide such as the Venice Biennial (1976) the Kassel Documenta 11 (2002), etc. He holds numerous national and international awards.
One of the present time greatest Croatian artists, Ivan Kožarić lives in Zagreb.


JOHANN SEITS (1887-1967)
Curated by Sanja Žaja Vrbica 
21. 12. 2004. - 13. 02. 2005.

Johann Seits was born in Vienna on April 3, 1887. In 1904 he enrolled in the painting school of the Viennese Academy of Fine Arts, and then joined the master class of Kasimir Pochwalsky, which he completed in 1912. During the summer vacations he travelled around Dalmatia and painted in the environs of Dubrovnik. Attracted by the beauty of the area, he built a house in Lozica, intending to settle down there. After completing his studies, he set off on a journey to Japan, then to Hawaii, San Francisco, New York and Chicago. He returned to Vienna via Algeria, Naples and Trieste. During World War I he was mobilised as a war illustrator. He saw action in the naval battle off Otranto on May 14, 1917, and for paintings of the battle received a decoration from Emperor Francis Joseph. After 1918, he lived in his house in Lozica and worked as a painter for the American and English fleets that occasionally put in to Boka Kotorska or the port of Gruž. In 1942 he was deported to the Italian concentration camp of Isernia, where he was incarcerated until 1943. Then he moved to Zagreb and stayed there until 1945, when he left Croatia and went to Austria. He lived until the end of his life in Radstadt, near Salzburg. He died on May 3, 1967.