The Virtual gallery of the Art Pavilion in Zagreb

Prisutnost, virtualna izložba Mihaela Gibe

The Virtual gallery of the Art Pavilion in Zagreb

March 2021 – February 2022

The particular and unpredictable circumstances of 2020 faced us with multiple challenges. Not only was there the demanding epidemiological situation but in March Zagreb was struck by an earthquake that temporarily put the Art Pavilion out of commission as far as the holding of its regular exhibitions was concerned.

And yet, new and uncommon conditions often make fertile ground for the generation of a new kind of creativity. In addition to a special programme called Art in Front of the Art Pavilion, which has maintained the continuity of the institution’s exhibition activity, the Virtual gallery of the Art Pavilion has also been launched, the aim being to expand the area of artistic activity.  Idea and production have moved to a different sphere – online. The specific context has resulted in a unique project that actually in these difficult conditions functions in a somewhat experimental new-media form, the focus being placed on contemporary art and artists of the younger generation.

The selector of the virtual programme is art historian Dr Ivana Mance from the Institute of Art History in Zagreb. To her has been confided the task of selecting several young artists who at intervals of a couple of months will be presented in the venue of the online gallery. The artists featured will be Tin Dožić, Mihael Giba, Klasja Habjan, Oleg Šuran and Ivana Tkalčić.

In communication with the artists, the idea of infiltrating the space of the Pavilion was developed, in a kind of parasitism of its digital sphere, because it is not permitted to spend time in the exhibition rooms because of the damage caused by the earthquake. The artists use footage of the surveillance cameras in the building so as to be able to intervene indirectly in the space of the Pavilion. Each one in accordance with his or her own poetics, but united by the umbrella idea of inhabiting the Pavilion, the artists offer visitors a well-nigh voyeuristic view of the space that currently cannot be accessed, reveal its secret life, offer a view into the bowels of the building that has been previously impossible. In conceptual terms, the project functions as a reference to WFH in the period of the “new normal”, the shifting of all functions under the aegis of the home – artistic work and production, as well as the consumption of artistic contents.

In the course of this year, within the programme of the Virtual gallery we will introduce you to five young artists.

On March 22, on the anniversary of Zagreb earthquake, we will launch our Virtual gallery by presenting the first author in the cycle – a multimedia artist Mihael Giba. In his work, Giba applies digital tools in research in the sphere of the media. He has created numerous interactive installations and applications, often focusing on social and political reality and commenting on the system in which we live.

This will be followed by four more exhibitions:

Illustrator and graphic designer Klasja Habjan cultivates an intimist and introspective artistic expression. She is a tale-teller with an exceptional ability to perceive world around her and record it in succinct and poetic stories.

Ivana Tkalčić is a multimedia artist who also possesses a master’s in economics; her work deals with the transformation of the image and memory with the help of technical media, the influence of technology and social media and in consequence with the change in the attitude to reality and the formation and transformation of identity. She won the Grand Prix of the 35th Youth Salon in 2020.

Oleg Šuran is a designer of interactions and visual communications as well as assistant at the visual communications design department at Arts Academy in Split. He is one of the front-runners in research and critical practices in Croatian design, with a special interest in speculative design practice. The phenomenon of sound is the point of departure of artist and psychologist.

Tin Dožić; his area of activity includes multimedia field recordings, radio, experimental music and installations, media archaeology and DIY culture. In his work he also deals with the construction of his own electronic instruments, via the appropriation and recycling of obsolescent technology.

We believe that the Virtual gallery project is an excellent platform for representing young artists. More so if we take into consideration that the Web site of the Art Pavilion was visited around 70 000 times in 2019! Therefore, we are going to continue with this project even after the damage to the Art Pavilion caused by the earthquake is repaired and our exhibitions available again in “live” version.