22 April – 11 June 2023
Botanical Garden of the Faculty of Science in Zagreb, Croatia, Trg Marka Marulića 9a
Opening hours: Monday-Thursday 11-13.30 // Wednesday – Sunday 11-18.30
Curator: Irena Bekić
Rejecting the dominant idea that man is superior to other species in nature, SofijaSilvia explores their different modalities of existing. She records wild and tamed landscapes, animals in their natural or imposed environment, decomposing animal carcasses, and the state of nature following disasters. She also records nature’s state conditioned by the logic of the human species – organized, evaluated, studied, established human order in systems such as national parks, botanical gardens and natural history museums. Underneath the wondrously beautiful scenes, a network of complex ecological narratives is established that speaks about the need to recognize the possible fair coexistence of heterogenous species in nature, their fragility, weariness and strength.
Invited to set up an exhibition in the Botanical Garden of the Faculty of Science in Zagreb, Croatia, SofijaSilvia takes the space of the garden as a starting point, a found state and an established semantic field. She creates a site-specific installation using the space, including the context it carries, as an artistic resource and material equal to all others that she handles: that is exhibited photographs, photographed environments and subjects.
The artist turns the orangerie into a ‘study room’, inviting the audience to take a closer look and reflect on the cycles of nature and life.
The outdoor installations, are scenes of a burnt forest with still visible traces of smoke and fire. They are mounted in oval frames of old windows and act like views of a catastrophe from the ideal garden.
The artist’s approach is a strategic procedure in the direction of establishing an idea of a multiplicity of existence, as well as a discursive field in which wild and controlled nature and different philosophical and scientific concepts are juxtaposed.
Ultimately, she points to the necessity of ecological negotiation, or rather, defines a state of emergency, for the time of negotiation is behind us and that responsibility for our own environment is even greater.
SofijaSilvia (Silvia Potočki) graduated from the Department of Art Photography at FAMU – Academy of Performing Arts, College of Film and Television in Prague, and received her master’s degree from Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in London. She has exhibited in Croatia and abroad, and her works have been published in the magazines Dazed and Confused (UK), Camera Austria International (Austria), Blok, Fotograf i Elle (Czech Republic), Fotografija i Emzin (Slovenia) and Kontura, Čovjek i prostor i Oris (Croatia). She is the winner of residencies with the EU Japan Fest for the program realized in cooperation with the European Capital of Culture, Rijeka, Croatia ‘European Eyes on Japan’ (2019), with the European AIR Kuberton / Krinzinger (Croatia, 2018) and the Français Institute (Paris, 2017). Her works are in major Croatian and international public and private collections.
For more information about SofijaSilvia read on her website http://sofijasilvia.com/
exhibition design: SofijaSilvia
tehincal set-up: Damir Martinec, Mirko Pokrajčić
graphic design: Rafaela Dražić
Photographs from the exhibition opening in the Botanical garden on 22 April (photographer Sanja Bistričić Srića)