Mihael Giba exhibition


The feeling of unease that typically accompanies watching surveillance camera footage is a very particular and significant condition. Much has been written about this kind of unease, particularly in writing that deals with the theory and epistemology of photography as kind of image that has been mostly interpreted as an indexing sign – a kind of sign that is connected with its referent by a real and yet ephemeral link, like an involuntary trace that some thing, being or event leaves in its wake. Drawing attention to the fundamental absence of what should be being signified, named or presented, the index thus brings out some inscrutability, foreignness, non-identity, an essential otherness of signs and images in general. Walter Benjamin was struck by the lack of transparency in the scenes of Atget’s photographs of empty Paris streets, which looked to him and his contemporaries like crime scenes (Tatort). Juxtaposing this kind of photographic image to other kinds of picture, primarily artistic, Benjamin recognises in the awkward covertness of their meanings a political potential – the opportunity for the observer too to take up a committed stance and interpret them as historical testimonies.


If, then, every photograph is evidentiary material in spe, footage from CCTV cameras is that in a literal sense. Until they are used for their ultimate purpose, revealing history in its truth, the shots from surveillance cameras are however just meaningless scenes. Such a semantic vacuity is troublesome: by no kind of contemplation or hermeneutic ingenuity will we be able to decode their meanings, for their function is one of indexing, for their meaning will be established only after the event and is completely independent of the actual nature of the image. What goes for surveillance images in general holds true for the footage of the Art Pavilion in particular, the current context only heightening this characteristic. Since the gallery is not open for visitors, the images show only empty space – a huge spatial resource in which currently nothing public is going on and in which the traces of last year’s earthquake are visible. A dedicated space that continues to exist while not being used is a disturbing space indeed; it is not just a deserted mise-en-scene, but a location for some anonymous, incomprehensible goings-on, horrors that go beyond the objective causes, which reach down into the role of the intimate and the private, concerning us personally.


Faced with such scenes, then, it is impossible just to contemplate: something has to be undertaken. The decision of a group of artists to intervene into recordings of the empty space of the Art Pavilion shows the way. The first of these artists, Mihael Giba, gives the viewer a virtual introduction into the space of the Pavilion; arriving at the Web site of the Pavilion, the visitor can see a photograph from the surveillance camera, one that is refreshed every second. When the virtual space is visited, with a “click”, a light turns on, i.e., a spotlight in the physical space of the gallery; it will remain on for some time, and then go off until the arrival of a new visitor.  The situation that arises is a kind of multidimensional node or loop – activity in the virtual space results in action in physical space, which cannot be experienced any way except indirectly, via the photographic shot that lags slightly after the real duration of the event. The circumstance in which the action, event and experience do not spatially or temporally coincide opens up many philosophical and other questions. We can ask one of these questions here, which is: what actually counts here? Which part of our action or behaviour has real consequences? Is there anything we can think or do that exists without any consequences? The footage of the interior of the Pavilion in the work of Mihael Giba, over the course of time, that is, while the exhibition is on, is gradually worn out: from visitor data, tracks like a barcode are generated – black fields indicate periods when there is no visitor, while voids refer to their presence. As the exhibition goes on, the image from the surveillance camera actually decays, but the state of this virtual place, ultimately depends precisely on how much it is visited.


The footage from the CCTV accordingly returns to its original evidentiary, indexing, function; although the visitors are not visible inside the physical space, at the level of the photographic image, their existence does nevertheless leave a trace. Putting aside the dire predictions of the absolute surveillance of everything and everyone, this ingenious intervention of Mihael Giba primarily tells of the power and competence of the individual; the idea that nothing that we do is not invisible – and hence not without significance – is not comforting, but it can be very stimulating indeed.

Author of the text: dr. sc. Ivana Mance

Virtual exhibition

Remaining time to start:

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Access the virtual exhibition by opening the photo and then clicking on it:


Exhibitions, projects and awards

Solo exhibitions:

2020 Arheologija rada, Galerija VN, Zagreb

2017 Status podataka: Kompozicija XIV, Galerija Prozori, Zagreb

2016 Status podataka: Kompozicija XIII, Greta, Zagreb

          Pejzaž i pravila igre, Galerija AŽ, Zagreb

2013 Radio OKO, Kino Tuškanac, Zagreb

          Sredstva obmane i poslušnosti, Salon Galić, Split

          Pejzaži, ciklus Oni dolaze…,Galerija SC, Zagreb

2012 Zidne novine Bacača sjenki, javni prostor, Zagreb

          Vjerujte mi vjerujem vam, Galerija P74, Ljubljana, Slovenija

2011 Status podataka: Kompozicija III, Greta, Zagreb

          Globalna slika (s Daliborom Martinisom), Željeznički kolodvor, Ljubljana, Slovenija 

2010/2011 Kako ste danas?, Galerija VN, Zagreb 

2010 Status podataka: Kompozicija II, Galerija umjetnina, Split

          Status podataka: Kompozicija I, Salon Galić, Split

          Globalna slika, (s Daliborom Martinisom), Pozdrav Suncu, Zadar

          Globalna slika, (s Daliborom Martinisom), Trg bana Josipa Jelačića, Zagreb

2009 Galerija NANO, Zagreb

2008 Multimedijalni kulturni centar Split (MKC), Split



Public performances and screenings:

2018 – 2020 Legenda o picokima, video mapping, redatelj: Krešimir Dolenčić, Đurđevac

2017 Bijela noć, video mapping (sa Sandrom Đukićem), Zgrada HAZU, Zagreb

          Picokijada, 3D mapping, Đurđevac

2013 38. splitski salon, video mapping, Multimedijalni kulturni centar Split (MKC), Split

          Interface, video mapping, Rijeka 

2011 Process in Progress, video, redatelj: Boris Bakal, Bacači sjenki, Kazalište Mala scena, Zagreb,


Presentations and guest lectures:

2012 Open Source Art, Artist talk, Muzej suvremene umjetnosti Zagreb (MSU), Zagreb

       Truth is concrete: a 24/7 marathon camp on artistic strategies in politics and political strategies in art, Festival Steirischer Herbst, Graz, Austrija

2010 SCCA Institut suvremene umjetnosti, Ljubljana, Slovenija

2009 Akademija likovnih umjetnosti, Zagreb


Related experience:

Since 2013 – member of  Hrvatska zajednica samostalnih umjetnika

2011 – 2015 – assistant, Umjetnička akademija Sveučilišta u Splitu

Since 2011 – Greta – independent art space, Zagreb

Since 2010 – member of creative network Zebra

2009/2010 – assistant, Umjetnička akademija Sveučilišta u Splitu

Since 2008 – member of HULU Split

Group exhibitions:

2018 34. salon mladih, Dom HDLU, Zagreb

          11. HT nagrada, Muzej suvremene umjetnosti Zagreb (MSU), Zagreb

2016 33. salon mladih, Dom HDLU, Zagreb

2015 Herojska iscrpljenost, Galerija Nova, Zagreb

2013 38. splitski salon, Multimedijalni kulturni centar Split (MKC), Split

          Mladi, mlađi, najmlađi, Atelijeri Žitnjak, Zagreb 

         30. grafični bienale: Prekinitev, Ljubljana, Slovenija

         Izložba finalista nagrade Radoslav Putar, Galerija Galženica, Velika Gorica

2012 Knjiga – umjetnički objekt 2, Beograd, Srbija

          The Piracy Project, Steirischer Herbst Festival, Graz, Austrija 

2011 Interface 0.1.2., Festival Hartera, Rijeka

2010 Participacija, ne simulacija, Stara gradska vijećnica, Split

          T-Htnagrada@msu.hr, Muzej suvremene umjetnosti Zagreb (MSU), Zagreb

2009 Globalna slika, (s Daliborom Martinisom), 3. biennale Kvadrilaterale, Rijeka

          Kriza, MMC Luka, Pula

          DOPUST – dani otvorenog performansa u Splitu, javni prostor, Split

2008 Slikarski odjel – produkcija, Multimedijalni kulturni centar Split (MKC), Split

2007 35. splitski salon, Loggia OPUS-a, Split

          Izložba Umjetničke akademije u Splitu, Podrumi Dioklecijanove palače, Split

2006 ST-20’06-VŽ, Villa Oršić, Varaždin

           28 salon mladih, Dom HDLU, Zagreb


Prizes and grants:

2016 3rd Prize,  33. salon mladih, Zagreb

2013 Finalist, Nagrada Radoslav Putar, Zagreb

2012 Festival Steirischer Herbst, stipendija Truth is Concrete, Graz, Austrija

2008 Dean´s Award, Umjetnička akademija Sveučilišta u Splitu


Leading workshops:

2020 Crtam crtić, Pakrac

2018 – 2019 Ne živi snove dok spavaš, probudi se., Pakrac

2013 Frooom, Kino Tuškanac, Zagreb

         Interface – radionice novih medija, Rijeka

        Frooom, FEN Festival, Umjetnički paviljon Juraj Šporer, Opatija

2012 Frooom, 10. obljetnica Bacača sjenki, Zagreb

          Frooom, Kino Tuškanac, Zagreb


Mihael Giba is a freelance multimedia artist. He was born in Varaždin in 1985. After having completed the School of Applied Art and Design in Zagreb, in 2003 he enrolled in the Art Academy in Split.  He graduated in 2003, at the painting department, class of Nina Ivančić, and received the Dean’s Prize. From 2008 to 2015 he worked part time for the Art Academy in Split. He has been showing his work individually since 2008 and has to date had a number of solo and collective exhibitions at home and abroad. He is a member of the Croatian Artists Association and of the Zebra Creative Net. Since 2013 he has been a member of the Croatian Association of Freelance Artists. He was on the short list for the 2013 Radoslav Putar Award and in 2010 and 2019 for the HT Prize. He won third prize at the 33rd Young Artists Salon on 2016. He lives in Zagreb.

For more about the artist, see: http://www.mihaelgiba.com/