EXHIBITION OPENING: Thursday, March 13th 2017 at 20 h
EXHIBITION DURATION: 13th – 20th March 2017, 17-20 h
ARTIST TALK: 20th March 2017 at 18 h
Exhibition @ Galery MKC Split
Artist talk @ Galery PRAKTIKA
Ulica slobode 28
“Go unnoticed” is a motto by an American company which deals with concealing various electrical installations on buildings, including mobile and radio antennas, which begs the question – what if it is not just about aesthetic embellishment but potential hidden dangers? Who and why do they go unnoticed and how are we deceived by these false façade constructions? Does it even invade our private space? Lana Stojićević deals with similar questions in her project titled “Structures of Concealment”, showing us contemporary Potemkin villages – architectural backgrounds manipulating the truth which she found in Croatia. Two examples particularly highlighted by the artist as absurd examples of improvisation are chimneys without smoke and rooftops without houses. The chimneys hide what is contained inside them, while the rooftops conceal the absence of houses which should exist underneath them, occupying now empty space. Chimneys and rooftops such as these, rid of their original functionality, do not exist in a real and expected relation. Drawing a parallel between the American and Croatian way of concealment, the difference is not only in the questionability of the initial idea (concealment) but also in the freedom of an individual to consciously deceive the public in the way they execute this illusion. For Croatia, the motto “go unnoticed” leaves an exact opposite impression bordering on comical and inviting us to analyze these manipulative images in greater detail.
In order to better illustrate the problems of researched locations, the artist employed a somewhat scenographic approach, using a combination of photographs, models, sound and video. The humor and problem-reveal are achieved by manipulating the imagery using different materials, which change the function and image of real objects (e.g. printed chimney or relationship between 2D and 3D elements), changing the focal points which enable the artist to play with the light and shadows in relation to the models, and changing the relations of above-below, full-empty, hidden-revealed, real-fake in relations to the models, video and sound (e.g. a flat rooftop on the ground or the construction of a rooftop on rods). Perfectly concealed antennas of leading cell companies are not present in this exhibition, but rather representations of chimneys which can be described as almost improvised, and uncoordinated in scale, material and color. The smoke which cannot emerge from the fake chimney is seen only on video, but combined with the static-like sound signal – the only thing associated with antennas – it creates an even more surreal moment of this already fake display. A lot of this kind of antennas were installed illegally, even more absurd, often on top of illegally built houses. The artist depicts an example of this “upside-down built houses” in a model containing just the finished roof, while the absence of a façade is revealed by changing our perspective and noticing the shadow of the empty metal construction under the roof. “To build a house from the roof” gained a completely fresh meaning in the context of Croatia because it signifies simulating finished houses by private investors which in reality do not exist, with the goal of manipulating the legalization law. Namely, just an aerial shot was needed in 2011 as proof to start the process of construction legalization. By putting up roofs on empty metal constructions the aerial shot was manipulated enough to achieve that – amounting to nothing more than a fraud attempt.
Unfortunately, none of these represent a case of innocent and wacky acts but solely indicate an individual’s hunger for money. One cannot help but wonder if people have too much freedom in defining their own construction rules or is it actually whole groups of people committing a crime – from the owners, to the builders, the government and management. This exhibition also contains different depictions of façades with the emphasis on an already accepted image of new-Dalmatian architecture, that is to say a combination between bare brick and PVC windows. The artists depicts it in a model resembling more of a children’s toy castle than a serious building. As a last example of the absurdity of this kind of construction, the artist offers us a paper toy of a printed chimney which we can assemble ourselves.
Through her work, Lana offers a fresh take on the mentioned problems and with different media emphasizes the tragedy and comedy of the situation, presenting us with a detailed insight into manipulating the truth in urban spaces. What is left for the visitors is to rethink the space around them.
Lana Stojićević was born in Šibenik in 1989. She graduated painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Split and has continued to work there as an external associate since 2015. She had several solo exhibitions (Gallery SC, Museum of Fine Arts in Split, Gallery Kranjčar…) and participated in a number of group exhibitions (THTnagrada@MSU.hr, New East Photo Prize, Slavonian Biennale, Your Country Does Not Exist, Almissa Open Art Festival, Erste Fragments, Young Contemporary Photography: Different Worlds, Split Salon, Youth Salon…). She is the winner of the Metro Imaging Mentorship Award (Calvert 22 Foundation, London), the yearly HDLU award for best young artist, the second prize at the Young Contemporary Photography: Different Worlds exhibition (Gallery Photon, Ljubljana), Erste Grand Prix award, Rector and Dean award, as well as the first award given by the Museo Civico della Città di Rovigno. She was nominated for New East Photo Prize, HT Award and the Radoslav Putar Award.
CURATOR: Tina Vukasović Đaković
NMG PROGRAMME CURATORS: Lana Beović, Natasha Kadin, Tina Vukasović Đaković
TRANSLATION, LECTURE AND PROOFREADING: Lana Beović
DESIGN: Nikola Križanac
EXHIBITION LAYOUT AND DOCUMENTATION: Tihana Mandušić
PROGRAMME NMG@PRAKTIKA SUPPORTED BY: Ministarstvo kulture RH, Grad Split, Splitsko-dalmatinska županija
MAVENA SUPPORTED BY: Nacionalna zaklada za razvoj civilnog društva, Zaklada Kultura nova
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: MKC, KUM, Goran Radošević, Hrvoje Pelicarić