Ištvan Išt Huzjan

25/05/2019 - 20/06/2019

Fontana cuts into a canvas.*
Huzjan steps in front of the cut canvas.
Delvaux photographs the performance in front of the cut canvas.
Derycke forms a book from photographs of the performance in front of the cut canvas.

* “The artwork Concetto spaziale: ‘Attese’ from 1967 was sold by Lucio Fontana to Museo Revoltella in Trieste at a symbolic price only a few months before the artist’s death in February 1968. As one of his letters to the director of the museum attests, he agreed to entrust the artwork to the new gallery of modern art believing it was “an honor to be present in the Museum.” http://www.museorevoltella.it/opere.php?id_opera=106

The exhibition FONTANA HUZJAN DELVAUX DERYCKE by Ištvan Išt Huzjan, is the artists’ first solo exhibition in Croatia. The title of the project reveals its collaborative nature. Structured as a photography series, the artist is employing the medium of photography, to document a performance based action as a dialogue and exploration of the artists’ poetic experiments in confrontation with the exhibition space.
The work was staged and performed in the modern art galleries of the Museo Revoltella in Trieste. We read Huzjan’s performance as an hommage to one of the most important painters of the 20th century as well as a silent dedication to institutional art spaces, their exhibition history and memory. The artist positions himself before a spatial concept (concetto spaziale), the cut canvas entitled Attese/Waiting (1967) by Lucio Fontana. Our attention is equally caught by the image of the cut in the canvas in the background and the torso of the artist wearing a black T-shirt in the foreground. Structured as a sequence, realized in black and white technique, the photographs equally present the fragments of the artist’s body in movement and the fragments of Fontana’s painting acting as discursive a framework, while the sequence of frames and their shifts of point of view enable us to recognize the artist wearing a black T-shirt. This minimalist intervention, a simple artistic gesture of existence and positioning in front of another work of art is a sign of elementary embodiment, phisical and symbolic presence, before a work whose abstract determinants fill the space with emptiness, tension, awaiting, history, musealized artifact and the time of the 20th century art history. As if the tension of the cut canvas we perceive from Fontana’s work was documented in the presence of Ištvan Išt Huzjan. A clear and precise formal vocabulary and conceptual procedures are a constant in the artist’s work. By expanding artistic reflection on the entire space of the exhibition, the gallery itself becomes a conceptual gesture, encouraging the observer to explore the relations between objects and inscribe new narratives. Caught between the material and the immaterial, the individual gesture and the public space of the museum, the atmosphere this series exudes is one of simultaneous presence and absence, it is a place of tension and exploration of the relationship between body, image, object and space, museum and gallery, memory and history while the meaning, which is not completely defined, remains suspended. The haptic character however, embodied in Fontana’s cut, is inscribed in the photographic representation, while the performative gesture is directed towards the relations within the exhibition space and the institutional system of art.
The artistic practice of Ištvan Išt Huzjan combines various artistic strategies, languages and media forms, moving between performance, artist’s book, photography, object, drawing and installation. In this way, exploring codes and conventions of the contemporary artistic vocabulary, Huzjan creates equally atmospheric, simple, clear and precise, playful and suggestive constructions, as temporary encounters of artistic action, found objects, performance, photography, creating sequences of a specific visual language reproducing and repeating conceptual procedures and precise minimal gestures. Somehow connecting the geopolitical space, cultural heritage and genius loci, Huzjan marks his belonging to a common space and cultural landscape without national borders. His actions, interests and aspirations are recognized and reflect in the activity of Apoteka – Space for Contemporary Art. – Branka Benčić

The exhibition of Ištvan Išt Huzjan has been realized within the framework of the ongoing perennial program cycle Temporary Encounters: This is (not) a museum. The exhibitions and the artistic and curatorial research within Temporary Encounters: This is (not) a museum have been realized since 2014 and are dedicated to redefining and uncovering a series of relations: they question social, institutional and spatial relations, as well as interactions between objects and subjects, relations within the system of art, the gallery space, the institutional frame and the conditions of work. Curated by Branka Benčić.

Ištvan Išt Huzjan, born in1981 in Ljubljana, Slovenia. In 2005 he graduated from the Accademia di belle arti di Venezia in Italy. In 2009 he completed Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten in Amsterdam and attended several residencies between 2010 and 2015, such as National Art Studio in Changdong in Seoul and Apartment of the Ministry of Culture of Slovenia in New York. In 2011 and 2014 he was twice nominated for the OHO award in Slovenia and in 2013 he was awarded the Fernand Baudin prijs in Belgium. In 2015 he was awarded the Grand Prize of the 31. Biennial of Graphic Arts – Over You You at MGLC in Ljubljana. He has extensively exhibited internationally in group exhibitions at museums and galleries. His recent solo exhibitions include De Metrico a Imperial, Proyectos Monclova, Mexico City, MX, MERE at City galleries and Museums of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, SI and Subterranen Walks at Eastwards Prospectus Gallery in Bucharest. Lives and works in Brussels.

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