Apoteka @Gallery Nova
Teslina 7, Zagreb
curated by: Branka Benčić
As a part of the collaboration with the 2nd Industrial Art Biennial (20/07–28/10/2018), titled On the Shoulders of Fallen Giants, co-organized by Labin Art Express XXI in collaboration with Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MMSU) Rijeka and Archaeological Museum of Istria, and curated by the members of the curatorial collective What, How & for Whom / WHW, Gallery Nova presents an exhibition curated by Branka Benčić, art director of the independent art space Apoteka – Space for Contemporary Art in Vodnjan, which is also one of the Biennial’s venues. Established in 2013 in an abandoned pharmacy on Trgovačka Street in the center of Vodnjan, Apoteka is a space for a variety of programming and open to different artistic media, positions, and practices. Through a series of temporary exhibitions of varying character, it serves as a place of encounter and dialogue as well as an open space for artistic, curatorial, and program research.
Focused on the mechanisms framing space and time, place and identity, the exhibtion Intervals, Collisions presents three artistic positions that in different ways speak of the processes of material and symbolic exchange, the concept of time, time and space discontinuities, and intervals and collisions as projections and apparitions that create a certain anxiety around the axis of the past, present, and future.
The exhibited works—Ben Cain’s object, Igor Grubić’s photography, and Jelena Jureša and Grubić’s moving images—point toward interrelations and tensions between man and the environment, the shifting context that surrounds them, and the potentiality or the perspective inscribed in the protocols that define their relationship. Concentrated on spending the utopian potential of factory (industrial) production, the works of Grubić and Cain refer to different temporal and historical moments that indicate the possible presence and absence of man in the unfinished or aborted processes of material production, as well as the labor and residue of production processes. Cain’s Small Subject Factory (Black) (2018), produced for the exhibition of the same name held at Apoteka and dealing with issues of labor, affect, production, productivity, commodification, and precarity, invites us to reflect on how we can utilize the exhibited object, the metal structure, and what roles we can imagine it performing: machine, prop, support, abstract construction, abandoned object, dryer, hanger, furniture . . . The object’s performativity, or rather its “theatralization,” in the framework of the exhibition creates intervals of pseudo-staging.
Grubić’s experimental animated film How the Steel Was Tempered (2018), in the manner of a double-exposed image where past and present meet, represents a look back on the hollowed out and abandoned halls of a factory. Like a scene of dissipation, Grubić’s films, drawings, photography, and archival material serve as a trail of events that fades away and disappears before our eyes.
Through their specific attribute of stopping time and the different conceptual and media treatments they offer, photography and video partake in conserving the scenes in which photography itself is conserved as a representation of memory. Jureša’s artistic practice focuses on photography and video that deals with questions of identity, the politics of remembering, and social amnesia. Using archival photographic and video footage, the artist interrogates historical positions, truth, identity, memory, trauma, and loss. Developed along that line of questioning, the new video work Song (2018) is structured in four chapters revolving around the circumstances of the reception of a popular song. The song, “Tebi majko misli lete” (Mother, my thoughts go back to you), retains the residue of past (hi)stories, which are dissolved and rewritten in a new context, refracted in a series of moments, both collective and individual, and consider visible and invisible histories written on the margins. It deals with different forms of transposition, translation, rereading, compiling, and the processes of producing meaning, which indicate how meaning is transferred, how the circumstances of discourse change from context to context, and how it is recontextualized through memory, repetition, recognition . . .
The program is supported by:
Foundation for Arts Initiatives
City of Zagreb, Office for Culture, Education and Sport
Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Croatia
EU Program Creative Europe
Government Office for Cooperation with NGOs
Kultura Nova Foundation
Igor Grubic: Factory Reanimation, photography series, 2108