ecology

  • 05.05.2010. - 30.05.2010.

    Recycle The Future!


    Aleksandrija Ajduković, Paul Matosic, Tonka Maleković, Tanja Perišić

    When in a recent interview Umberto Eco was asked about the size of his private library, he said that he throws away most of the books he receives as a gift or those he doesn't need any more. However, for the post-war welfare state generation this behaviour of the noted Italian writer would have seemed quite outrageous. Up until recently, to treat items of high culture as nondurable goods meant that you were either totally economically irresponsible or that you obviously had utter contempt for humanist culture in general. Merging of economic and cultural capital – a practice that began in the second half of the 20th century – is still very productive, especially in the field of museum institutions and the associated idea of the original work of art, or the concept of master-piece.

    But it is clear that the flow of contemporary cultural capital is different today. Without analysing the reasons for this change, the present situation can be shortly explained in this way: the humanist culture – until recently being a privileged working field that served as a symbolic capital of a certain society – became yet another economic sector, next to tourism, entertainment industry and sport. In another words, there is more writing, reading and publishing today than ever before; more painting, performing and exhibitions; more music and theatre performances. When this is supplemented by further so called primary sector production growth, it isn’t hard to conclude that that the majority of our everyday activities are aimed at managing abundance of goods.
     
    Ecological aspect of that management is the subject of the joint work by Paul Matosic and Tonka Maleković. Similar to their previous art practice, they work with discarded materials and items. This time Matošić and Maleković are using obsolete and disposed computer equipment. The artists will treat the distribution seting up of the objects in the gallery space as a site-specific installation. In a direct physical/tactile contact with a large amount of waste, the public is invited to comprehend the ratio of contemporary production of goods.

    Aleksandrija Ajduković, on the other hand, is interested in commodity market. Citizens of the Republic of Serbia – or, more precisely, Chinese immigrants on the one hand, and the domicile population on the other – were asked to advertise a nonexistent Chinese detergent in a specific commercial manner. By juxtaposing national stereotypes and advertising strategies the artist points to the ridiculous aspect of the global market. Tanja Perišić’s photo montages deal with the problem of the future social development based on unlimited production and consumption of topics. Nowadays the awareness of unsustainability of this kind social development is manifested in different ways: from the economical - or political - critique of neoliberal capitalism, through discovery of new, green sources of energy, to alternative ways of living . It seems to us that this very atmosphere of the immanent end of one phase of social development, i.e. one civilization focused on appropriation of human labour and nature, is best presented in the dystopian landscapes of Tanja Perišić. (K.Štefančić)


    Artists’ talk – which we hereby kindly invite you to attend – will be held at the gallery on the day of the exhibition, May 5, starting at 6 pm. The talk will be recorded and shorlty available in audio form at http://galzenica.posterous.com.


    Aleksandrija Ajduković was born in Osijek in 1975. She graduated from the Braća Karić Academy of Fine Arts, Department of Photography. She is currently attending a post-graduate interdisciplinary study at the University of Fine Arts in Belgrade. She has received the Photography Award at the 2004 October Salon in Belgrade and the 2005 Young Talents Henkel Award.  <ajdukovic.aleksandrija@gmail.com> 

    Tonka Maleković was born in Zagreb. In 2006 she graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb. Since 2003 she has been exhibiting at solo and group shows in Croatia and abroad. She has received several artist scholarships and residencies, as well as the 2007 ESSL Award and the 2009 Zagreb Salon Award. This year she has been elected as finalist of the Radoslav Putar Award. She lives and works in Zagreb. <tonkapalonka@gmail.com>

    Paul Matosic has been present on the art scene of the United Kingdom, continental Europe and North America over three decades. He has been active in many artistic fields (performance, film, sculpture, site-specific installations, curating, etc), and was a lecturer at many art academies for a number of years. He received five art awards for his work. <http://www.matosic.org.uk/artist.htm>
     
    Tanja Perišić graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb in 2006. She is currently attending a post-graduate study at the Piet Zwart Institute in Rotterdam. She has received a number of awards for her work and attended several artist residencies in Austria, Belgium, Germany. She mostly exhibited in Croatia, Hungary, Italy and the Netherlands. Her work has mainly been focused on the correlation between technology, the body and its surrounding space.
    <http://www.tanja-perisic.com>

    Curators: Sanja Horvatinčić, Nina Pisk, Klaudio Štefančić
     

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  • 25.11.2009. - 25.12.2009.

    Interzone : Economy



    This is the last exhibition in this year's cycle dedicated to the influence of globalization on society. Each artist or artist group in this exhibition commented on the recent changes which have primarily occurred as a consequence of the global and liberal capitalist market and the ways in which it operates.
    In their short animated film the Italian video-artist duo, known as Lemeh42 [1], make an ironic view of the business philosophy of Ikea and their global omnipresence, as well as of their practicality and economical approach to interior design.

    Dmitry Strakovsky [2], on the other hand, in his performance at the opening of the exhibition makes a parody of the most powerful Asian corporations by combining the stereotype of Asian spirituality with the stereotype of Asian economic efficiency.

    A Croatian duo Rosana Ratkovcic and Fedor Kritovac [3] will show the results of their study of Zagreb's and Croatian crafts tradition, which has, due to economic changes, undergone some considerable changes in the last twenty years.

    Carlos Katastrofsky (aka Michael Kargl) [4], a member of Vienna group Cont3xt, is, on the other hand, focuses on the critique of corporation economy present on the Internet. By means of intervening into the source code of a certain Web site, he puts an emphasis on commercialization and monopolization of the Internet.

    Here is the accompanying text of Nina Pisk:

    This year’s exhibition programme in Galerija Galženica under the joint title Interzone was dedicated the influence of the economic globalization on society and its particular constituents. So far, the exhibitions have dealt with those aspects of globalizations that are usually overlooked when defining what makes up globalization. Most of the definitions emphasize the economical aspect of globalization as its main element, and in turn, in most cases it brings to mind big corporations. This exhibition shows works of artists and art groups that have touched upon this, perhaps most obvious, form of globalization. All the works subtly criticize, that is, ironize the globalizing process. As all the Interzone exhibitions, this exhibition offers works which refer to a whole range of phenomena, ranging from local to global.

    In their work, two Croatian artists, Rosana Ratkovčić and Fedor Kritovac [3], have presented the results of their research of the situation in the crafts. Specifically, they looked into the problem of advertising crafts as opposed to big commercial advertisements, i.e. the complex layers of meaning this entails. Ratkovčić and Kritovac emphasize the importants of crafts and their advertising signboards, which can be said to be documents of Zagreb’s urban identity and which are, due to the process of economical globalization slowly disappearing from the city. There are many factors responsible for this, including the strict aesthetic specifications as, among others, defined by the municipal services. The authors hold that a kind of desemantization of the city is taking place, with the aim of creating a new aesthetic ideal stripped of real content and meaning, which is heralded by new wallscapes and billboards, the temporary advertising products in which a lot of funds and creative energy was invested, as opposed to the simple and unsightly crafts signs which, once put up, were to last for years. With digital interventions on the photographs on which the crafts (subversive) and commercial (mainstream) ads are placed within the same context, a new space opens up for critical questioning of society and the direction in which it is developing.

    Lemeh 42 [1], an Italian pair of video artists, take a somewhat different route in their short animated film. They critically look upon the global presence of Ikea by using its well-known iconography. The simple animation accompanies, i.e. visualizes the nursery rhyme which, once in this context, becomes somewhat ironic. On the other hand, the simplicity and intelligibility of the animation itself allude to the philosophy of Ikea as a globally-present brand which aims at the economics, practicality, simplicity, as well as accessibility and functionality of its furniture. At this point, the irony of the video becomes even greater – Ikea bases its business on massive, cheap industrial production, while at the same time propagates care and protection of the environment.

    With his performance Top 10 Asian Brands, Dmitry Strakovsky [2] deals with the specific situation in Asia. The artist’s work is embalmed with binary oppositions via which he parodies the biggest Asian corporations; he brings together the East and the spirituality so often associated with it, with the West and its obsession with material values. With his posture and way of articulating, i.e. chanting, the artist creates a religious atmosphere which reminds one of Buddhist rituals of devotion which include chanting specific verses or mantras. Here, however, the mantras are the names of big corporations. With his performance Strakovsky criticizes not only big corporations, but also the majority of Asian nations which have, despite their historic reputation for always being obsessed with their work, with the appearance of capitalism and big corporations become almost religious towards their work, which has, one might say, become their new religion.

    Since its beginnings 40 years ago, when it was started as Arpanet, the Internet has undergone fundamental changes and is one of the many changes which were not spared by the influence of economic globalization. Carlos Katastrofsky [4] of the Vienna-based initiative Cont3xt.net critically approached that phenomenon in his work. His work deals with the problem of web-pages of big corporations. By intervening in the original code of a specific web-page, he points to the commercialization and monopolization of the Internet.
    (Nina Pisk)


    Links:

    (1) http://lemeh42.indivia.net/
    (2) http://www.shiftingplanes.org/
    (3) http://www.hdlu.hr/2009/06/04/rosana-ratkovcic-fedor-kritovac-obrtni-spektakl/
    (4) http://katastrofsky.cont3xt.net/home/&nbsp;     

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