The Museum of Contemporary Art Zagreb


Amela Frankl: What I bear

Extension MSU, Friday, January 20, 2010 at 6 p.m.

Commission no. 6: Some Old Songs

Commissioned by Evelina Turković

... I expect you to return with the same degree of authenticity: on this occasion, in public space, and in a public form of artistic life, to show your everyday life in Paris. On this occasion, taking yourself as an example, to remove from our vision the common idea or stereotype about Paris, and make the city a real place of a real life, an individual and personal life... From Evelina Turković’s commission.

Some Old Songs

At one of the Sunday family lunches, we were celebrating someone’s birthday. After the presents had been given, everyone sang in unison the well known children’s song. All except me. I didn’t know the words of the song that invoked pleasant memories of childhood in the members of my French family. An apparently mere banal detail, just a few stanzas of an old song, separated me for a moment from the micro-community to which I had that Sunday afternoon belonged.

A few years later the Paris cinemas were successfully showing the musical comedy of Alain Resnais On connait la chanson (1997), inspired by the life of the Parisian middle classes. In emotion-laden scenes, the actors in the film would suddenly start singing, which would always remind me of the scene of that song-filled, Sunday family afternoon. Strangely, in the Resnais comedy, everything correlated with my experience: the spaces of the city, situations from everyday life, the characters.

In the spirit of the assignment set by Evelina Turković, the work in Extension has an extremely personal form. It is conceived as an evening home movie show, along with the aperitif that is usually awaiting my guests and friends. The projection of the film On connait la chanson, and the minimalist intervention in it, are a tribute to members of my French family, to Lilliane, Pierre, Colette, Jean-Yves, Benoit, Florence and to our Sunday afternoon together.

The screening of the film has been made possible with the support of the Institut Francais.

About the project:

During 2011 and 2012, artist Amela Frankl is producing the project What I Bear, setting up and maintaining an uncommon link between the culture and art scenes of Zagreb and Paris. Fourteen times the artist will present the results of the mission in the space of the Extension. The project combines public and private, for Amela Frankl will from time to time put her private connection with Paris and France to public use. She has engaged fourteen curators, art associations and activists from the Zagreb cultural scene to set her one task each, or to expect the fulfilment of some wish that is in some sense connected with Paris and its cultural and arts scene. On her return to Zagreb, she puts on a micro-event, an exhibition or presentation of the results of this research. Using the resources and documentation collected during her stay in Paris, she creates a new expressive unit. The format of the presentation will depend on the kind of the assignment, and also on the results achieved during this process of communication.

A brief then becomes an opportunity for new creation, and the artist/commissioner/motif relationship leads to the creation of a new artwork, or as the artist says: “What I bear means for me fourteen times having the chance to endorse my own freedom, put my capacities to the test: to create and improvise, respecting the while the set rules, fulfil the unexpected instructions of the person making the commission, offer unexpected solutions and overcome the constraints within the project.”

When the project has been completed, the whole of the documentary material will be encompassed in book form.

Those taking part in the project are: DelVe, Kontejner, Slobodne veze, WO kolektiv, Irena Bekić, Marina Viculin, Iva Radmila Janković, Evelina Turković, Tihomir Milovac, Feđa Vukić, Kornel Šeper (URK), Dora Baras (Subversive Film Festival), Stefan Haus, Vesna Vuković (BLOK).

Artist: Amela Frankl

Curator of the project: Tihomir Milovac

Place: MCA Zagreb, Extension

Time: during 2011 and 2012

Commission 1: Ethics of the hero (Iva Rada Janković)

Commission 2: Valérie Jouve, first time (Marina Viculin)

Commission 3: Velvet Melancholy (Feđa Vukić)

Commission 4: Drummer (Kornel Šeper/URK)

Commission 5: Let’s see what’s underneath the skin (BLOK/ Vesna Vuković, Ivana Hanaček)

Commission no. 6: Some Old Songs ( Evelina Turković )

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