OUT ON A LIMB
curated by Antonia Majaca
The video selection from Croatia appropriated the title of a work by the artist Vlatka Horvat where the only visible representation, within a forest setting, is that of a tiny leg struggling to keep balance while standing on a stump. This image seems to be paradigmatic of the current state of Croatia, which can be defined as an exhausting endeavor to keep one's balance in some kind of in-betweeness situation, juggling on the borderline of past and present and an extension of the moment of transition.
Goran Devic "Imported Crows", 2004
The works in this selection are the result or reflection of this state – a state of ambiguity, powerlessness, defeatism, confusion and an absurd struggle for a longed for fictitious future. At the same time these works speak of a specific post-war situation with shaken values, about the establishment of a new post-socialist moral majority, the relation towards the past, but also the hopes and expectations of citizens from a country where great icons are easily crushed and even more easily produced.
David Maljkovic "Scene For a New Heritage", 2004 (4:33 min)
From the perspective of a future observer, David Maljkovic travels to a forgotten partisan memorial park from the time of communist rule, which was completely destroyed during the war in the 1990s. Dramatic history is here fully identified with a fiction in which time creates collective amnesia and in which the moment of the observer "becomes his/her heritage".
David Maljkovic was born in 1973, Rijeka, Croatia. Lives and works in Zagreb
Renata Poljak "Great Expectations", 2005 (17 min)
Renata Poljak is one of the first younger generation artists who, in her early works during the 1990s, questioned the position of women in Croatian society. Her new film with the symptomatic title, Great Expectations, traces the transformations of Croatian architecture during the past decade and the examples of architectural violence. At the same time, the film reconstructs the development and transformation of violence through three generations of the same patriarchal family line in traditional Dalmatian surroundings, filled with the iconography of the new Croatian transitional capitalism, wild urbanism but also post-war social traumas.
Renata Poljak was born in 1974. in Split, Croatia. Lives and works in Paris and Split.
Kristina Leko "Her 25802nd Day", 2000, (11 min)
Displaying a specific context of open urban markets where women from rural areas are the main protagonists, Kristina Leko deals with a destabilized
economy and the relative value of money in a transitional state. Her work also questions the status of these women,
threatened by the invasion of western capitalism.
Kristina Leko was born in 1966 in Zagreb, Croatia. Lives and works in Zagreb.
Lala Rascic"17 stories", 2005 (3 min)
After coming to study in Croatia from war stricken Sarajevo, artist Lala Rascic deals with her
own alienation using a metaphor of aerophobia experienced from the 17th floor of a Zagreb residential building.
Lala Rascic was born in 1977, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Lives and works in Zagreb
Zlatko Kopljar "Love Shot", 1996 (3 min)
During the time of war, in the mid-1990s, Zlatko Kopljar uses video to document his useless yet symbolic action in which he employs the weapon of aggression to protest but also his helplessness and desperation in the face of a personal tragedy.
Zlatko Kopljar was born in 1962. in Zenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Lives and works in Zagreb.
Goran Devic "Imported Crows", 2004 (22 min)
Portraying an unusual event in a small town, Goran Devic enters into a polemic
with the Croatian petty bourgeois mentality and creates a metaphorical
image of a troubled society in which there is no identity, where one
identity is violently replaced by another, as the crows imported from
abroad into a small town during the communist rule become unwanted, un-Croatian, transforming into a metaphor of the Other.
Goran Devic was born in 1971. in Sisak, Croatia. Lives and works in Zagreb
Vlatka Horvat "Out on a Limb", 2002 (2 min)
The only visible representation, within a forest setting, is that of a tiny leg struggling to keep balance while standing on a stump. This image seems to be paradigmatic of the current state of Croatia, which can be defined as an exhausting endeavor to keep one's balance in some kind of in-betweeness situation, juggling on the borderline
of past and present and an extension of the moment of transition.
Vlatka Horvat , born 1974. in Cakovec, Croatia, lives and works in New York
Tanja Dabo "Wellcome", 2004 (8:54 min)
Incessantly repeating, almost to the point of choking, the phrase welcome in foreign languages addressed to all potential tourists for whom the country and its weakened economy crave, Tanja Dabo uses choking as a metaphor for the exhausting attempts to satisfy foreign interests.
Tanja Dabo was born in 1970 in Rijeka, Croatia. Lives and works in Rijeka.
Mladen Stilinovic´ "Potato, Potato", 2001 (3 min)
(Usti nad Labem, Zagreb, Istanbul, Iasi, Graz, Sofia, Holon, Novi Sad, 2005)
Finally, in the work of Mladen Stilinović, the artist, alone in a winter forest, imitates the yelling out of street vendors offering cakes instead of potatoes to invisible customers. It is the irony of the tragicomic picture of Croatian society, possibilities and limitations, big and unrealistic expectations, small prices for a greater profit, and the other way around.
Mladen Stilinovic was born in Belgrade in 1947. Lives and works in Zagreb.