Branko Franceschi
Paso Doble

Amongst all the inspirations and coincidences that have influenced the formation of the concept of the Paso Doble exhibition, I would like to stress the impact that The Most Beautiful Woman in Gucha1, a film by Breda Beban, had on me and the audience during the premiere in Rijeka, followed by Split, Venice and worldwide presentation. Undoubtedly this result was contributed by Breda Beban’s mastery in mediating the moments of simultaneously powerful and subtle erotic recognition between two of her unsuspecting film protagonists, a belly dancer, and a drunken young man, taking place in a tent at the notorious trumpet festival in Gucha. However, the general audience, proverbially disinclined to gallery presentation of moving images, allowed its attention to be caught by the truly palpable charge that the screening spread throughout the gallery. Obviously, the situation in which the enchanted audience watches an 8 minutes film loop for an hour and a half, recording it on their mobile phones and mailing it to acquaintances, carries a simple and hence deep message. The audience, artists, and all those involved in the context of contemporary visual arts are obviously saturated with clever concepts, calculated artworks, and sophisticated production. It seems the moment has come when intellectual docility and astuteness that mark the cool and alienated mental discourse of contemporary curatorial practice, at least for a moment, ceded the attention space over to the ecstasy of emotions, charm, passion, and vital charge that are still powerfully present in art production. And while it appears that each ambitious recent exhibition criticizes the contemporary standards of curatorial behavior or at least the context of group exhibitions, it is truly hard to avoid the patterns used when conceiving one. While searching for an exit from this compromising situation it should suffice to remember one’s own experience as an exhibition visitor. Then, as it turns out, one finds it most difficult to recall a curatorial thesis i.e. find a key to applying the thesis to an actual artwork’s case. Ultimately, one is left solely with acknowledging and accepting that, when an exhibition is stripped bare, our memory is most often based on impressionability with a particular artwork. In time this impressionability becomes a fact, isolated and purified of everything external, curatorial discourse included. The artwork is remembered for its strength and expressivity that wrests from oblivion and – when it comes to professionals – from the deadly relativism of oversaturation.

As to myself, looking back I see that the resonance of The Most Beautiful Woman in Gucha has initiated a spontaneous process of selecting the works, each of which – in their own i.e. author-specific manner – expressed intensity of experience in collision with an existential division of reality. It was actually a retreat to the position of presently neglected Andre Malraux’s concept of the imaginary museum. Moreover, in my case, it was about the highly specialized virtual institution focused on obsession, yearning, and passion for the search for the other which is always, in fact, a search for oneself. In an ensuing ricochet, before even a hinted possibility for gathering these – in terms of poetics and media – unconnected works, the repertoire started expanding. From the passion for the other, it expanded to obsessive coexistence and collaboration, personal and political partition, palpable absence of the other, strategies of collision with the other... In time the concept became increasingly complex, developing in ever-growing concentric circles, growing distant from the initial impulse. Seemingly unrelated images would arise at memory’s fringes, incessantly influencing the original concept and a simple aim of the ideal exhibition, one of powerful works whose intensity would catch the attention of the audience and therefore restore, now shaken, faith in the purposefulness of one’s own job. This search after the curatorial grail has ultimately become focused on works whose authors, in an attempt to find a solution of realization, composition, and/or narration, were required to infuse their works (at any given level) with the duality as the foundation of a functioning whole. Thus an event occurred, unconsciously reflecting the grand matrix of reality and finally resulting in targeted intensity. Therefore, after the invitation by HULU Split to organize the annual exhibition, the final proposition was: The exhibition’s concept is based on dynamism which infuses the artwork’s composition or the process of arising with duality as the definition of quantity. The latter transforms into quality, with no regard to the depiction or protagonists and independently of the substantiality level, biological definition, or gender affiliation. The concept’s starting point is based on the tradition of dualist interpretation of reality as a principle necessary for its arising, survival, and development. Two expresses the antagonism that turns from the invisible into the visible. It is a rivalry and mutuality that can stem from hate as much as they can come from love, an oppositeness that can be harmful and incompatible, yet complementing and fertile. Within the artwork, duality in the process of creation is manifested through temporary or permanent collaboration between two artists, regardless of the concept discourse at hand or, if speaking of the visual level, in a case when the composition presents the realization of two motifs. In both cases, it is about a fact that to explicate the idea one needs two protagonists i.e. two motifs.

As always when we focus on a single reality’s aspect everything starts evolving following that same aspect. Its contours became discerned in each segment. I witnessed the same, starting with my own business relation with HULU Split, to a successful agreement on organizing the exhibition in another institution’s space i.e. MMKC Split – both filled with the positive charge of previous collaborations – down to a string of stimulating tête-à- têtes with artists. The latter, encouraged by the concepts, reached deep into the holdings of their own works or previously unrealized concepts in order to satisfy my demand to remove ourselves as far as possible – for the truth’s sake – from the pragmatic practice of conceiving the works just to participate at yet another exhibition.

I shall not elaborate on the intensity and amount of exchanging mails with familiar, less familiar, or entirely unfamiliar professionals, all with the aim of acquiring targeted artworks by foreign artists. However, when such contacts turn into a communication chain, they can always be reduced to a basic dualistic pattern. In order to dynamically regulate the concept’s development, it is my great wish to work with yet another curator. Still, due to objective reasons, this wish didn’t come to life completely. A promising start of collaboration with Ana Janevski soon became complicated due to quick, unpredictable developments in our careers and never accomplished, yet the targeted level of intensity. Following the pattern of the exhibition concept each of us, simultaneously, got confronted with two jobs that divided our business and private lives. Hence Ana got split between Warsaw and Zagreb, and my time was divided between Rijeka and Zagreb. As if everything that influenced the development of the exhibition, whether positive or negative, started to duplicate at a certain point, making our plan practically unrealizable, and pushing most of the realization into my hands. However, the ultimate sign that everything is OK has come forth during my first visit to the MMKC gallery space. The sign was a mirroring pair of grandiose spiral stairs, that firmly and elegantly articulate the gallery’s architecture.

The search for a striking name for the exhibition, one that would at the same time animate the audience and reflect the concept’s nature, was also resolved suddenly. After long deliberation, after playing around with a number two, its linguistic equivalents, and their variations, the solution emerged spontaneously, following a series of attempts to join all the key exhibitions’ points of reference – duality, dynamism, and intensity – into a unique syntagm. Paso Doble over a musical background, derived from a bleating military score, through a choreography of a presumable male-female division, expresses the pair’s dramatic passion, during the transformation of deadly ritual and fatalist symbolism of corrida into a dance. Within a given program repertoire of contemporary dance competitions and within a current craving for the spectacle of decadent artificiality and camp stimuli, Paso Doble stands out with its intensity and theatrical potential. Besides the accompanying symbolism that was shaped after the context of our exhibition, the title’s presumed marketing potential and obvious reference to the mass media mental frame succeeded in adequately irritating the rigidly inclined intellectual elite. And though it is obvious how contemporary visual culture is simply not conceivable without the concepts fluctuating from one sphere into another, while the omnipresence of visual media realized an ideal platform for programming the current visual standard, trends, and fashion, the above-mentioned repulsion refers to the implicit dynamic duality which still, and despite many interfusions, marks the modern cultural discourse. The level of democracy achieved on the wings of technological progress has reached its optimum in a phenomenon of the Youtube portal which enables the indiscriminate dissemination of utterly diverse visual information. Archives that spontaneously form in its software surrounding have provided us the possibility to integrate mass media contents into the exhibition tissue. Therefore familiar visions of spectacle as the breather within the dramatic art tissue came to be presented in a format of small LCD screens, actually humoring spectacle’s unquestionable domination over the spiritual sphere of contemporary society.

Presented artworks are meant to primarily serve as the transmission of awareness of duality’s dynamism. At the level of the annual HULU exhibition duality presents itself due to the manifestation’s provenance, pointing at an immanent division of the recent editions’ pioneering enthusiasm and visionary persistence in contributing to the collision of the local scene with all the outside production. Such an event’s format is a realization of the correct, and thus paradoxically rare, strategy of actualizing one’s own art scene by positioning an international project within a local context.

And finally, the ultimate doubts on exhibition’s succession can, in accordance with its title, get articulated into dilemmas on whether the works shall come to play together, whether that exciting interaction with space will happen, and shall we touch a tepid heart of public and will this exhibition, mostly heart-conceived, pull it off. Shall we dance?

two weeks after the opening...

The possibility and necessity of printing the catalog after the exhibition’s opening have evolved from a desire to present – besides the spatial disposition, entire show’s attractiveness, and layout – those works that have been realized in accord with the exhibition’s concept and thanks to the proficiency of HULU Split. There was also a wish to analyze the project’s reaches and say something more about particular artworks whose synergy was supposed to articulate intensive and diverse experiences in the audience. Commencing to analyze and with no special desire for self-promotion, I would like to emphasize that the exhibition features the selection grasping deeper into the past, all the way back to 1972, and follows the development of concepts through all the art disciplines from traditional painting and sculpting media to diverse installations to video projections to performance to contextually specific projects with individuals appearing within the showroom, complemented with the appropriated mass media cultural segment. Thanks to all those elements, the exhibition fully embodied the actual curatorial discourse of presenting the totality of visual production and its historical and cultural references. Those with a critical view immediately discerned a confirmation of organizers’ conviction that the local scene manages well in comparison to contemporary and historical works of the guest artists – both acknowledged artists and international stars, as well as young powers to come. Abstaining from involvement in further elaboration of generational, status, and geographic dualities, the exhibition definitely disclosed a wide grasp of the realm of those dualities’ manifestations. Intensive collaborations are probably the best starting point in considering the other aspects of dualities’ manifestations in artworks. The dynamism of relations within a creative couple incessantly intrigues the audience’s imagination and easily becomes a metaphor for oscillations or permanent power positions within a relationship, one met by the audience with interest and open perception, all in collision with personal experience. Gilbert & George and Marina & Ulay are archetypes of creative pairs in the world’s contemporary art. Set diagonally on the first floor of MKC gallery, video recordings of their performances, though both basically of static nature, also present the antipodes in explicating the inner dynamism. Proverbial coolness of Britons, strengthened with a black and white recording of their autistic drunkenness in a low image resolution and unwavering tidiness of their suits’ conservative tailoring yields no answer, as always, to the immanent question of reasons and strength of their intensive collaboration which in recent decades ensured them the cult status at the international scene. On contrary, a severe choreography of emblematic Rest Energy by Marina Abramović and Uwe Laysiepen condenses all of their personal relation’s passion and its acceleration in creative collaboration. Reflection on the motif of Amour and his bow in the hands of a charismatic performance art couple is transformed into 4 min and 6 seconds of physically and psychically exhausting dance macabre that portrays the rapture of love craze through a prism of its perniciousness. An unconscious reflection of their performance of endurance is found in a recording of a performance by Siniša Labrović made in collaboration with Rino Efendić for the 39th Zagreb Salon in 2005. A ritual of mutual slapping, to which the audience too was discretely invited, in this case, does not refer to the personal plan but to the social position of an artist concerned with contemporary expression. Therefore Labrović necessitated both collaborations with a colleague and the audience’s reaction. Yet, a formal aspect of this case points to the existence of interesting parallelisms between local and international art production, one opening space for some future exhibitions. On the other hand Hit 3, a subsequent performance by Efendić within a collaborative cycle with Milan Brkić, is scheduled for the exhibition closedown, revealing Efendić as one who regards creative collaboration with other artists to be an excellent starting point. Consistency of art cooperation with an intimate partner, i.e. identification between private and creative, is marking the entire oeuvre by Vlasta Delimar, from the very beginnings of her career to the present time. Therefore unavoidability of including her in the exhibition was imposed as a challenge of presentation in another light. There was no doubt. Enlargement of the invitation card for the project I Am 40, which I remember from 1996, discloses an entirely different manner of expressing self-awareness and a different choice of collaborators than the one that the author has accustomed us to. The shot of Vlasta and her daughter emanates uncommon serenity and warmness that marks a life’s turning point that happens to be a proverbial source of anxiety for the complete female population of the Western hemisphere. Vlasta signposted the border of 40 with the notion of maturity pertaining to satisfying motherhood and the idea of continuing female identity transferred from mother onto daughter. The same calming mood is radiated by an enlarged poster and slide projection from a 1998 project To Forget, to Remember, to Know by which Sandra Sterle and Dan Oki have designated, amongst other things, mental reconfiguration which the idea of dual citizenship injects into the identity sphere. This couple’s creative collaboration is most often evolving in the background of their individual projects, where the partner’s view rather frequently provides irreplaceable support and correction. The photograph’s composition indirectly confirms this claim. Though their faces look in opposite directions and their bodies are separated from each other, it is obvious that the immovable couple dreams the same dream. Same as in the case of Vlasta Delimar, in time this material visually separated within the curator’s awareness. Its expressivity and stratified meaning singled it out from the rest of the project, as a value on its own. By returning to passionate emanations and overlaps between the artwork and personal life, Watermelon by Lynne Chan & Patty Chang gets revealed as a testimony much more layered than its first impression which invoked the mere dynamism of lovers’ relationship. At the conceptual level, the video documents the duality of performative artworks presented by the moments of exercise, dilemmas, and expectation in relation to the excitement, unrepeatableness, and precision of performing in front of the audience. At the thematic level, the performance touches on an exploration of the bordering sphere of sexual identity within which the personal inclinations, in collision with the socially accepted norms, appear as ambivalent or even split. The theme of collision between sexual identity and cultural tradition is a subject of interpretation of the famous Pietà, as performed by Paolo Ravallico Scerri. Screening the video on a marble tablet refers both to famous Michelangelo’s works as well as to the latter’s sense of classical physical proportions of protagonists and the work’s sensual homoerotic aura. The complex dialogue with history, tradition, milieu, and identity appears in Ravallico’s works with an intensity worthy of baroque relations and orgiastic unions with the divine, at the same time emerging as apotheosizes of love’s spiritual component. The spontaneous performance that Ravallico staged at the opening in a form of common prayer with individuals who watched his video, demonstrated the power of general human need for the spiritual union with the other in the first place. The appropriation of mechanism for advertising the search for one’s soul-mate, which in the era of mass media compensates for the spontaneous discovery of a partner, is the subject of social sculpture by Marko Marković. Press adds, that creating discreet ambient for the dates of a potential couple and two-week monitoring of the development of a potential relationship are the elements which in his case express the concealed need of contemporary art practice to merge with real life and its passionate flow. These needs and splits have been paradoxically linked in a seemingly self-referential video by Vlatka Horvat titled About Two of Us. A static take presents the author’s face and dignifying expression during a 12 minutes monologue on yearning for the other, on the unpredictable beauty of the uncertainty of union which isn’t there in a given moment. The palpable need for the other is obvious in a series of recapitulations of personal relations and experiences represented by many works at the exhibition. A photographic installation by Mara Bratoš discloses the first love as a pastoral saga enclosed within its own happiness, telling of the intimacy and innocent beauty of being a couple. In opposition, long-term experience defines a skeptic recipe embodied in an object by Zlatan Dumanić, expressing the impossibility of balancing between existential and emotional aspects of love relation. Similar, spontaneous cynicism emanates from a painting by Sonja Gašperov, whose parody of composition and conception of famous Da Vinci’s Last Supper comprises the real-world invoices of dinners that have marked the beginning and the end of the author’s love relationship. Gašperov brings us back to the problematics of collision with cultural heritage which, as a super-ego, the ideal and unreachable interiorized self, towers over the creative process. The complex relation of love and hate towards spiritual authority’s pressure is always pronouncedly prolific for the creatives. Video works by Anna Molska and Toni Meštrović refer directly to their famous predecessors. In her internationally celebrated Tanagram Molska realized the task of interpreting her professor’s constructivist sculpture by fusing disciplines of new media and performance. The same methodology was employed by Tony Meštrović who recorded himself sleeping between two caryatides in a central room of a foundation of his recognized namesake. Both works problematize a relationship between a young artist and their respective famous predecessors or mentors. During the 1990s Juraj Karakaš obsessively painted hundreds of compositions, trying to resolve the new age dilemma on the meaning of art. While a male figure in the painting personifies the artist, a female figure personifies the very art whose vampire kiss, in Eros of creative rapture, draws out vital energy from the artist. The Sacrificing of Isaac by Zlatko Kopljar uses grotesque immediacy of photographic media, managing to level a biblical moral dilemma and one of the more renowned motifs of painting history with a context of contemporary war and today’s need for renewing the moral code. The collision between the authorial credo based on subversive comics’ aesthetic with obvious interest for painting heritage has been solved by Vinko Barić. Barić morphs a figure of Henry VIII, as depicted by Hans Holbein, with a rabbit who – as an incarnation of an unexpected antihero – becomes the leitmotif of his paintings. Metier richness of the painting is ideally joining the worlds of high art and street art. And how does reality manage its demanding virtual mass media counterpart? This is best exemplified in El Amor Vince by Valentino Bilić Prcić. A love story between the Pearl of Labuan and Sandokan was the basis of homonymous soap opera that marked local and global TV programs in the 1970s. Here it is opposed to a victorious love story of Split’s urban legend Grop and his partner, a belly- dance instructor. Souvenir’s portraits of protagonists consciously employ camp aesthetics that unites kitsch with deliberated stylization. Political kitsch is the focus of new work by Renata Poljak titled You Need Something to Believe In. Photographs present an Albanian boy and girl appearing on stage under the stars of the European Union. Political aspiration to enter the union of European peoples manifests by the same ritual which once upon a time celebrated the isolation of socialist Albania. Ultimately, the two realities do not differ so much in methods of their ideological strategy. The quotidian life does not have to be different at all, i.e. we live in a world more homogenous than we believe it to be, as is demonstrated in a case of two societies within a project titled Copycat, by Zagreb-based artist Kristina Lenard and Swedish artist Michael Johansson. Discernment of parallelisms has led them into setting each other a task that had to be copied. A coincidence between store chains Konzum in Croatia and Konsum in Sweden is surely based on a Latin root of the word denoting the notion of consummation. However, the astounding similarity between stores, their positions, visual communication, and immediate surrounding discovered by the artists seems almost staged. Social dynamism is tautologically presented through relation to others in Pushy Ways by Vanja Pagar. Repeating a warding-off elbow motion points to the notorious and omnipresent fashion of social self-promotion. Specific Croatian dynamism of distinguishing between Croatian and Serbian identity has been actualized by Vedran Perkov. His diversion concerns a monument to Nikola Tesla, and refers to the political halving that is refracted into images of famous and meritorious citizens. The complementariness of two political options forms a basis of stratified ready-made installation by Nebojša Šerić Shoba, dating from 1996. The Kiss between two BIC lighters is maybe the best Shoba’s work from the 1990s, since a witty mimic of a real kiss, all through the political connotations of red and green in the context of post-war Sarajevo, opens up an entirely new level of meaning. Where is that Buffalo is the title of the latest work by Petar Grimani, providing an excellent link to the works that deal primarily with analyzing inner splits. Grimani’s film starts off by mixing dream and waking world and continues to develop through pondering into the cinematic alter ego of the tracker who is looking for a buffalo, only to end up in a critique of the transitional economy that destroys the healthy social tissue. Naturally, the idea of buffalo functions as a metaphor for the lost balance and lost quality of living. An incessant fight between ego and alter ego evolves in one of the certainly most entertaining works at the exhibition. The aggressive and humble side of Marijan Crtalić’s personality competes in an unbroken fight for dominancy. An interesting thing to mention is that the customary image of artistic personality in public presumes the forcefulness of temperament that arises from the imbalanced psychic life. The inner tension is present also in a work by Mateo Perasović who employed his own literary work, written in long gone 1981, during his military service. Using sandblasting and applying blood-red shine-through light he executed his literary sample on the mirror. Awareness of his own anima within a context of peculiar isolation imposed by the military regime, as well as any other situation of facing oneself, is almost proverbially being realized in mirroring media. A floating heavy mirror construction, leaned against a small ladder, has been used by Gorki Žuvela in his installation titled Subtenants to designate a breakthrough into the space of the personal subconscious. This is about an ancient game of self’s shapeshifting, where the transition to that other self is manifested by disguise at a personal level and by uniformity at a social level. The same elements, reflection, and ladder appear in a metaphor of diving into the subconscious that always represents the other, unknown and intimidating, as executed by Viktor Popović in his installation of a ladder that merges with its own reflection within a black opaque circle. Using the mirroring to enlarge the intensity in a perceptive experiment within the painter’s metier, Jadranko Runjić brings us to the non-psychological level of duality. Merging of blue paintings under a right angle and on a longer axis simply draws us into the atmosphere of a cooler that clearly disappears after the paintings are separated. Regarding the painting composition, Two Scabs by Željko Kipke appears as a substitute for the missing presence of those who vanished directly from this into some other reality. The same sense of a spirited parallel reality penetrating into our own world is emanated from Tony Klaasen’s video Go Go Go Ghost in which two naked children move within a ritual circular construction, following some other laws. Finally, the duality of our reality fixed within the immanent mechanism of sexuality is manifested by Sanja Švrljuga’s installation titled You & Me. There is no exit from the morbid squeaking parallelisms of the male and female principle, and perhaps it’s not meant to be. The romantic side of a great narrative on love, conceived by Petar Grimani as a reconstruction of the legend of local lovers, will be performed by Mozaik Teatar.

Reaching the end of this summary and due to the thirty-four presented works long survey, the patient readers will probably think, as well as I do, that a starting point of the exhibition was a basic division between oneself and the rest of the world. However, I remind that the point wherefrom we started was a quest for the intensity of interpretation of that division in whose absence the very life, not to mention the art, has no meaning at all.

Ana Janevski
Duets – Duels

The concept of the exhibition is focused on dynamism which number two infuses into the artwork’s composition or its origination process, wherever it is about a depiction of protagonists, regardless of the level of objectness, biological definition, or gender. Temporary titles: Passo Doble proposed by Branko and Folie à deux proposed by Ana. This was a working concept for the exhibition which Branko mailed me at the beginning of our collaboration. Subsequently, complemented with titles, the same concept was forwarded to artists invited to participate in the exhibition. The dynamism of duality in the process of artwork origination and/or as the thematic framework of work. To simplify, two as the subject and/or object of work was and remained the exhibition’s starting point. The presence of two curators was inherent to this idea, and two titles pointed at the first confrontation, even opposition to working in a pair.

However, it was obvious that our reflections reached further from the dualist traditional disclosure of the world and life. Envisaging the theme only through categories of binary oppositions was too narrow, so a mutual center of interest came to be focused on a more extensive range of human relations.

This issue is naturally inexhaustible, reaching back to antique texts, philosophy, psychoanalysis of mythology, literature, music, film, and pop culture... The first spontaneous association was actually a syndrome of Folie a deuxMadness Shared by Two designating a rare psychiatric disorder that an individual transmits to another she or he is in relation with. In such a spirit arose images of a legendary gangster/love pair Bonnie and Clyde, surrealist and phantasmagorical depiction of love relations in works by Andre Breton Nadja and L’amour fou (Mad Love), and rocambolesque itineraries of Anna Karina and Jean-Paul Belmondo in Goddard’s Pierrot le fou.

In my own case, the first phase of reflection on the exhibition evolved in direction of the couple’s relationship. Considering this, an artwork summarising all the complexity and stratification of that kind of relationship is “enterprise”, as in the case of Marina Abramović and Ulay’s work titled The Lovers: The Great Wall Walk. This performance was conceived back in 1983 as a meeting of inseparable lives and creative sojourners in the middle of the Chinese Wall, prior to which each artist traveled for 2000 km. The meeting was supposed to be ended with a Chinese traditional wedding. Due to administrative obstacles, the idea came to be realized in 1988. In the meantime, the crown of their twelve years of life and work simultaneously turned into a moment of their artistic and private separation i.e. separation of two human beings, the occurrence of independence for both creators. Though of opposing individualities, during their joint work Marina and Ulay became congenial creatures, beings focused on each other and finding refuge in each other. They are created in symbiosis, rejecting their own egos and therefore entering the vestibule of a life-endangering situation.

Three months' walk helped them to liberate themselves from their own ego, expand their consciousness, and turn their receptors to the external world. An immediate physical and extreme experience of walking not only liberated them from their mutual symbiosis but was also a powerful poetical artistic gesture and act, serving as the preparation for our subsequent exhibition’s creation. Project Lovers: The Great Wall Walk comprises a series of photographs, recordings, diaries, and a film that recorded those special experiences. More than just a synthesis and culmination of what Abramović and Ulay created to that point, it is also an open path to new and unexplored spheres of creativity. Lovers are one of the most intensive examples of equalling an art act with life.

The break, both temporary and permanent, is followed by the absence of the other, by confronting the empty place that the other occupied. A cult book by Roland Bathes A Lover’s Discourse has the starting point in the experience of the absence of an addressee – object of love, employing a series of figures to articulate “the alphabet of love speech” that is actually directed at the absent other. Hence tensions caused by not meeting, the impossibility of realizing love relation, “act manqué” – operate, by mistake, in a stimulating and creative fashion.

These primary reflections that preceded the exhibition’s realization, due to unforeseen circumstantial junction, have not accomplished full realization, and so the lovers could not be shown due to technical reasons. Yet, the final exhibition’s layout enables us to read a wide palette of relations. There’s a relation between historical British art pair Gilbert and George. Then there are real, fictive, idealized, sexual relations (works by Valentino Prcić Bilić, Sandra Sterle and Dan Oki, Sanja Švrljuga, Mara Bratoš, Sonja Gašparov, Lynne Chan and Patty Chang, Zlatan Dumanić, Nebojša Šerić Shoba, Vlatka Horvat), obsessive search for the other (video by Petar Grimani), parenting relation (photograph by Vlasta Delimar), relations with ideological implications (photographs by Renata Poljak and project by Vedran Perkov), the relation between an artist and his or her teacher or predecessor (video works by Ana Molska and Toni Meštrović), down to relations with a biblical – religious theme (Zlatko Kopljar and Paolo Ravallico Scerri) and those referring to historical themes (Vinko Barić). We covered relations within social behavioral modes (examples of works by Gorki Žuvela, Vanja Pagar, Rino Efendić and Siniša Labrović, Marijan Crtalić) and those including formal tensions in works by particular artists (Jadranko Runjić, Viktor Popović, Željko Kipke, Mateo Perasović).

The first activity phase of Marina Abramović and Ulay was the so-called “warrior stage” wherein the artist examined borders of psychic and physical stamina. Rest Energy, dating from “the warrior stage” is a couple’s work presented at Split Exhibition. It shows artists standing opposite each other and looking straight into each other eyes, Marina holding a bow, and Ulay clutching an arrow pointing straight to her heart. Microphones recording their accelerated heartbeats testify to oscillations of tensions in a collision of these two personalities. And the arrow will slip sooner or later, and it won’t miss the target, since Duets are always Duels as well.
  1. The Most Beautiful Woman in Gucha’, 2006 two-screen film for gallery staging, two-segment, duration varies
Paso Doble

group exhibition

Gallery of Multimedia Cultural Center Split (organized by the Croatian Association of Visual Artists), Split, Croatia
May 16 – June 13, 2008

Ana Janevski, Branko Franceschi

work exhibited:

Untitled, 2008
iron, used motor oil
92,5 x 150 x 175 cm

photo credits:
Zoran Alajbeg