JELENA LOVREC’S EXHIBITION
FOR THE VIRTUAL GALLERY OF THE ART PAVILION
The Art of Cooking or Artistic Cuisine
Multimedia artist Jelena Lovrec’s exhibition Eggo is the first to be presented in the framework of the second consecutive cycle of exhibitions in the Virtual Gallery of the Art Pavilion covered by the common denominator of Work in Progress. Aesthetically speaking, the exhibition picks up from the cuisine that has become fairly recently a highly popular theme of not only western culture but of the universal social quotidian as well. In its nature, the work Eggo is part of the broader artistic exploration of Jelena Lovrec that, significantly, bears the name of the traditional Balkan dish Moussaka, so fixing the project both socially and geographically. The three basic provisions necessary to make this dish are revealed in the titles of the individual sections of the project – Eggo, Hot potato and Meat me. These ingredients were used as the point of departure for the elaboration of the conception of the project of preparing a volume of three cook-books of the same names. Eggs, potato and meat were assigned the role of figuratively depicting the current state of the general cultural, political and social casserole. Accordingly, the participants of the first part of the project are artists, while the creator in the late phases has provided for the involvement of migrants and pensioners, as a whole thus drawing attention to marginal social groups.
Through the choice of ingredients for the initial section of the Moussaka project, Jelena Lovrec is referring to a famed 1968 advertising jingle of the egg producer Agrokoka: “To each morning eggs belong / They make the organism strong!”. The phrase must surely in this region have contributed to the everyday consumption of this foodstuff, generally accepted as making an important input to the overall health of the individual. The artist (Lovrec) transfers the slogan and the connotations it evokes to cultural health, promoting the regular consumption of art, claimed to be one of the most important factors in the process of making the society in which we live healthier, stronger and more resistant. Addressing the first of the three main meals of the day, the work Eggo symbolically invokes the consumption of art as early as possible during the day.
Although in its last phase it is imagined in the traditional and in recent times popular format of the cookery book, composed of 365 recipes using one egg, at this moment it is documentary materials that form an integral part of the work in progress Eggo. Employing the video medium, the artist records the preparation of dishes unified around the theme, i.e., the foodstuff designated in the title of the work. Numerous contemporary Croatian artists (Neven Bilić, Vojin Hraste, Ivan Tudek, Đorđe Jandrić, Boris Greiner, Kata Mijatović, Igor Ruf, Goran Škofić, Neli Ružić, Vedran Perkov, Bojan Krištofić, Vanja Babić, Ivana Pipal, Lana Stojićević and others) who have the status of active participants in this artistic research prepare their dishes in the artist’s own kitchen, which they then eat together. The mundane action of making a meal is thus in the exhibition put in the position of being a performative artistic creativity that is there to be of service to the voice of the insufficiently socially supported contemporary art community. The form of the implementation of the project confirms the participative character of the work, typical of the oeuvre of Jelena Lovrec, as well as the propensity of the artist to have direct communication with the research participants, at the same time suggesting the appearance of intimism in her idiom.
The first version of the work, composed of more than twenty recipes, was presented at the exhibition of the shortlisted artists in the Radoslav Putar Prize in the Galić Salon in Split. Demonstrating the possibility of the piece operating successfully as independent performance, the artist on that occasion, within the exhibition space of the gallery, set up a mobile kitchen for the artists of Split to be able to prepare their one-egg dishes in it while the show was on. Since the earthquake inflicted damage on the Art Pavilion in Zagreb, it was impossible to have the multimedia exhibition of Jelena Lovrec and for that reason the exhibition has been shifted in its entirety to the Web site of the gallery. In the virtual format, the exhibition provides us with a supplemented and re-cut version of the video, which currently includes about fifty recipes – at the same time, placing the emphasis on its gradual evolution and its nature as process.
Foreword by Aneta Barišić
Access the virtual exhibition by clicking on the photo:
List of exhibitions
2021. Until Tomorrow/Do sutra, Galerija Kranjčar, Zagreb
2020. Želim bit’ k’o Berber vol.3, Galerija Matice hrvatske, Zagreb
2020. Žeim bit’ k’o Berber vol.2, Galerija APURI, Rijeka
2019. Izložba Godine, Galerija Kranjčar, Zagreb
2019. Deveti Život, Salon Izidor Kršnjavi, Zagreb
2018. Mein Kulturkampf, Landeshauptstadt, Düsseldorf
2017. Kotlovina, Galerija AŽ, Zagreb
2017. ‘Ko te šiša, Galerija Šira, Zagreb
2016. Still Life/Still Alive, Galerija SC, Zagreb
2015. In English please! Galerija Vladimir Filakovac, Zagreb
2014. Švedski stol, Galerija Zlati Ajngel, Varaždin
2013. O znanju, neznanju i ostalim tvrdokornostima, Galerija Inkubator, Zagreb
Group exhibitions (selection)
2021. Save the Date, Galerija Umjetnina, Split
2021. Almissa Open Art Festival, Omiš
2021. Nagrada Radoslav Putar, Salon Galić, Split
2021. Performing Ilica, HDLU, Zagreb
2018. Okoliš sjećanja, Galerija 90-60-90, Pogon jedinstvo, Zagreb
2018. 34. Salon mladih – Panoptikon, HDLU, Zagreb
2017. Graphics open 2, Hungarian Academy of Fine Art, Budimpešta
2016. 33. Salon mladih – Troškovnik, HDLU, Zagreb
2015. T-HT email@example.com, Muzej suvremene umjetnosti, Zagreb
2014. ESSL ART AWARD – VIG Special Invitation, Junge Kunst aus CEE, Beč
2014. Erste Fragmenti X, HDLU, Zagreb
2013. ESSL ART AWARD CEE, Essl Museum, Beč
2013. ESSL ART AWARD CEE, MSU, Zagreb
Jelena Lovrec (1989, Zagreb) is a multimedia artist who works in the medium of documentary photography, video, installation, performance and book. She took her degree in Graphic Arts from the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb in 2014. She has shown her work at numerous solo and collective exhibitions at home and abroad. She was on the shortlist for the Radoslav Putar Prize in 2021 and has won various prizes and awards, such as the Croatian Artists’ Association Best Young Artist Prize (2019); the Kranjčar Gallery Prize at the “Panopticon” 34th Young Artists Salon, Croatian Artists’ Association (2018); the “Bill of Quantities” 33rd Young Artists Salon, Croatian Artists’ Association (2016); the VIG – Junge Kunstaus CEE Prize, Museum of Contemporary Art Zagreb (2013) and the CEE Essl Art Grand Prix, Museum of Contemporary Art (2013). She is a member of the Croatian Artists’ Association. She lives and works in Zagreb.
To find out more about the artist, see: jelenalovrec.com