Exhibition: BLOK / Art (in) the Neighborhood: Trešnjevka Works by Marko Tadić, Ana Kuzmanić, and Božena Končić Badurina

Exhibition: BLOK / Art (in) the Neighborhood: Trešnjevka Works by Marko Tadić, Ana Kuzmanić, and Božena Končić Badurina

Location: SALON GALIĆ (Marmontova 3)

Date: January 25th - February 12th, 2024

Curator: Ana Kutleša
Organizer: Hrvatska udruga likovnih umjetnika (Croatian Association of Visual Artists-HULU- Split): hulu-split.hr

"While economic and social transformations in Jadranka's first life are examined through the prism of a personal life story, Marko Tadić's work "Transient Form" understands Trešnjevka's constant change in its physical appearance. Like Končić Badurina, Tadić starts from the virtual collection of the Trešnjevka Neighborhood Museum. This is a long-term project by the BLOK association, building a specific, non-institutional, socially engaged museum based in the local community. Scans and photographs of objects brought by Trešnjevka residents or their descendants become artifacts in the growing online collection, currently with almost 500 entries. Aligned with BLOK's socially engaged, research-based curatorial practice exploring the urban context, we launched the Living Heritage line within the Museum in 2021. This multi and interdisciplinary, diverse format, cultural-artistic program in real space (Nova BAZA gallery and elsewhere in the neighborhood) and current time brings the virtual collection to life.

As the first work created as part of Living Heritage, the animation and series of objects "Transient Form" by Marko Tadić is based on drawings by Trešnjevka chronicler Matija Pokrivka and photographs of the flood that hit Zagreb in 1964. The first are realistic, precise notes on Trešnjevka's transformation in the post-war decades, aiming for a radical modernization of society in line with the construction of the socialist project. Although it meant a significant improvement in the quality of living, it did not displace often romanticized, almost rural parts of Trešnjevka. These structures, remnants of which suffered the most in the great Zagreb flood, the overflow of the Sava River in October 1964, were one of the most affected parts of the city, especially Trešnjevka. Through his interventions, invoking, among other things, the legacy of Andrija Mutnjaković, utopian architecture, the Zagreb School of Animated Film, and its Balthazar, Tadić proposes loose associations and automated drawing that follows its logic instead of a clear narrative line. The flooded city turns into a construction site: instead of a city underwater, a city on water. Continuous Trešnjevka (dis)construction, usually a source of frustration for the neighborhood's residents, becomes material for the imagination of (im)possible places. The result is a fragment devoid of linear structure and clear logic, more similar to the neighborhood's reality than it may seem at first glance.

If Trešnjevka inspired Tadić as a constructed landscape that is constantly changing, and Končić Badurina uses one life story as a prism for observing broader social transformations, Ana Kuzmanić finds a completely different perspective, but still with a focus on change as a constant. For "Wild Growth," she explored neglected Trešnjevka lands, plots in the pause between demolition and construction, where she found over a hundred different species of wild plants. Some belong to the category of so-called indigenous species, but most are considered invasive or foreign. In the collages that form the core of the work, she uses herbarium representations of plants that grew on the site of the former silk factory in Adžijina Street and documentary photographs she took at the same location shortly after the demolition of the factory remains. She overlaps them with selected artifacts from the virtual collection of the Neighborhood Museum. In a story where it's challenging to determine what is what background, the perspective distorts from the human to the plant and a broader timeframe. Cycles are no longer one life, one event, one century, but the long duration of the plant world that may not have a definable beginning and end. This weed will live. This is how writer Luka Bekavac concludes his "Wild Growth," an atypical short story inspired by Ana Kuzmanić's work, and the eponymous book that brings together these two authors, the first edition of the newly launched Trešnjevka Neighborhood Museum Library, is also exhibited.

From research, direct work with the local community, referencing different social spheres, to exhibitions and publications, the three artists, with whom we started the Living Heritage program, have revitalized Trešnjevka's heritage in specific ways. In the neighborhood, with the neighborhood, for the neighborhood, their works are living proof that heritage is not condemned to catch commercial trends for the benefit of capital growth and/or dance to the rhythm of national pride."

From the foreword by curator Ana Kutleša, BLOK

Marko Tadić (1979.) graduated in painting from the Accademia Delle Belle Arti in Florence, Italy. His artistic practice is based on drawing, collage, installations, and stop animation. He exhibits in numerous solo and group exhibitions, as well as film festivals in Croatia and abroad. Some notable exhibitions include "In the Gorges of Balkans" at Fridericianum in Kassel in 2003, "Second World" as part of the Steirischer Herbst Festival in Graz in 2011, "They used to call it Moon" at Baltic Mill in Newcastle in 2014, and "I am the mouth" at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Zagreb in 2018. In 2017, he represented Croatia at the 57th Venice Biennale together with Tina Gverović, and the same year exhibited at the first Biennale in Anren, China. In 2018, he participated in the second Industrial Biennale in Labin and Raša. He has received several awards for his artistic work and has participated in numerous residencies and study programs in Helsinki, Vienna, New York, Los Angeles, and Frankfurt.
Since 2015, he has worked as a guest lecturer at the Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti in Milan. Since 2016, he has been working as an assistant, and since 2020, as an associate professor in the painting department at the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb.

Ana Kuzmanić (1980.) studied at the Academy of Fine Arts, University of Zagreb, and completed her postgraduate studies at the Edinburgh College of Art, University of Edinburgh. She is one of the founders and members of the international collective Eastern Surf, and since 2009, she has been an assistant at the Faculty of Civil Engineering, Architecture, and Geodesy at the University of Split. In her work, she problematizes human everyday life, addressing issues of collectivity, community, possibilities of collaborative work, pedagogy, and youth education. She has received several awards and recognitions for her work, including the Radoslav Putar Award for 2018 and the Visual Art Award of the City of Edinburgh Council in 2012.

Božena Končić Badurina (1967.) graduated in Russian and German language and literature from the Faculty of Philosophy in Zagreb and in Graphic Arts from the Academy of Fine Arts. She regularly exhibits solo and group works at relevant events and notable institutions in Croatia and abroad. Her works are often based on research, with a particular interest in the stories of women in various social contexts. Some of her recent productions include "When the Factory Would Sound" for the Gallery Siva zona, Korčula, and GMK, Zagreb, in 2020, "Equalities, Brotherhood, Freedom, Where Are You?" for the Industrial Art Biennale Labin in 2018 (curated by WHW), "Here and There" for MMSU in 2017, "Adžijina 11: Way of Use" for BLOK in 2016, and "Ćemo, ćemo, ja ma kako ćemo" for MMSU Rijeka in 2017.


More about exhibition: hulu-split.hr/izlozbe