OPENING: Thursday, 11th March 2021, at 20:00
NMG@PRAKTIKA, Club KOCKA
Youth Center Split, Ulica slobode 28
Exhibition is opened untill Friday, March 19th, you can see it by calling 0955627223
ABOUT THE WORK:
Stolica – eng. chair,
When you split the word chair in Croatian you get two words stolica which means a hundred faces.
#100lica. Stolica. Stolica. The name of this exhibition can be interpreted in many ways, and this interpretation is up to the audience. The focus of the artist’s interest are chairs. Why chairs and why a hundred of them? The answer can be found in the name of this exhibition. A chair can have a hundred faces in the eye of the artist and the observer. These chairs take on the role of a model, a model who changes his/her face when facing a photographer.
Chairs are an object which we use in our daily life, some more some less, depending on our lifestyle. The interesting thing is that they are an object which we don’t notice that often, we take them for granted, but when they aren’t near us we feel that we need them and miss them. Especially in Split. It’s important to rest in Split. Split is in a state of fjaka and a person can quickly learn that life is exhausting, weather you’re a local or a newcomer. In the city of Split, which is constantly tired, public spaces don’t have enough adequate urban mobiliar which serves as a resting place for the citizens after long walks. In recent years those public spaces have been redesigned, but unfortunately most of them are in the city center, which means that the fate of the surrounding neighborhoods is in their own hands. Passing through those surrounding neighborhoods, the artist photographs the resourcefulness of its inhabitants and their own intervention as an answer to the lack of resting places. She finds chairs in all kinds of positions, in groups or individually, but in most of the cases they serve their purpose. According to her, every chair has its own character (face) which suits the character of its user. She finds all kinds of chairs, from the deserted ones which lost their function and were placed by the dumpster, to the ones at the vividly arranged exterior of the local market place, all to the carefully planned seats surrounding the local ballot court in the Visoka neighborhood. Noticing the number of chairs placed by citizens, the artist begins her photographic cycle by accident and only later turns it into a devoted chair hunt. Although they are completely unaware, citizens are introduced as creators of this public installation. Using only her smartphone camera the artist took over 150 photographs of chairs. Her galleries are social media, mostly Instagram, because of the need to attract an audience who experiences art exhibitions through the screens of their smartphones. Because of Instagram she created her own hashtag which will guide her audience directly to her content. Although Instagram is well known by its numerous photo-manipulative algorithms, the artist says that she only used several filters just to emphasize the color of the photograph. All of the chairs are photographed in a state that they were found in, the artist didn’t intervene in any way. During my interview with the artist I found out that this cycle criticizes the culture of influencing and that she became a sort of an influencer and a local cyber celebrity, as she says jokingly, because strangers have started to greet her on the street and ask her about her work. The artist has chosen a hundred chairs to justify the existence of her hashtag and to give the opportunity to find beauty and honesty in these deserted but very needed objects.
ABOUT THE ARTIST:
Zela Luša (Split, 1982) Growing up in an artistic family with a father who was fascinated by African musical roots, she spent her preschool days in Zimbabwe together with her older brother and mother. When returning to Split, she enrolled in elementary school and grew up in the eastern part of the city in a skyscraper popularly called the “Great Wall of China”. After primary school education she enrolled in the School of Fine Arts, a photographic designer. Studying Film and Video she directs her interest towards animation, moving image and drawing, and chooses an animated film as hers final work. At the end of her third year, she gave birth to a girl and after a break enrolled in postgraduate studies in Film, Media Arts and Animation at the same Academy, ended in 2016. During her studies, she exhibited at a group exhibition at the Multimedia Cultural Center and at solo exhibition at the Art Gallery in Split as part of the Fast Forward project. She participates in various art projects.
CURATOR: Mirta Lučin
NMG PROGRAMME CURATORS: Natasha Kadin, Vedran Perkov
DESIGN: Nikola Križanac
EXHIBITION LAYOUT AND DOCUMENTATION: Tihana Mandušić
DONORS: Croatian Ministry of Culture and Media, the City of Split
MAVENA SUPPORTED BY: The National Foundation for Civil Society Development, Kultura Nova foundation
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: KUM, PDM, MKC