The Museum of Contemporary Art Zagreb

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ATELIER KOŽARIĆ: ANTUN MARAČIĆ „THE DOCTOR AND ME“

10th June – 3d July 2016

“Things usually happened by chance, without any intention of creating grand art, in most cases they were the casual consequences of our episodes of flânerie, ordinary everyday communication.” (A.M.)

The companionship between artist and curator Antun Maračić and Ivan Kožarić began in the late eighties. Since then Antun Maračić wrote many texts about Ivan Kožarić’s works and organised about fifteen of his exhibitions, including the radical project of moving Kožarić’s entire studio from Medulićeva Street no. 12 to the Zvonimir Gallery which, not without further consequences, happened for the first time in 1993. Fascinated by the remarkable energy of this artist who brought poetry into everyday gestures and turned them into an artistic experience, but also by the modesty of the “plebeian who dwelt in the unsightly ground floor with a view of the sky”, the curator, an artist himself, also realised several spontaneous artistic actions with Ivan Kožarić. The Revivification Laboratory programme includes an exhibition of the abundant photographic and video documentation of those unpretentious, what Maračić called “casual” events, and also several artefacts which they created together.

As a conceptual artist, Antun Maračić is known for strategies of affirming chance (Unintentional and Similar Works), making use of found scenes and constellations, even errors for the purpose of art. Now, with “the Doctor” (as Maračić familiarly calls Kožarić) and himself in his focus, the author meticulously reveals little pieces of Kožarić’s microcosm from his rich archives that keep the memory of their shared moments. By documenting Kožarić’s private and working space Maračić turns his look on many details which, even when the artist is absent, testify to his presence. In this exhibition Maračić also recalls the small but equally the great gestures of birthday gifts, like the one he initiated in the urban environment for the artist’s 87th birthday. All these gestures and notes, continuously created for more than 20 years, are now exhibited as hommage to one of the greatest Croatian artists, another present, this time for Kožarić’s 95th! And this, in fact, is not (an isolated) coincidence. Without pretending to the originality of his own gesture, Maračić rightly observes that celebrating Kožarić’s birthdays has become a kind of phenomenon. In recent years exhibitions of Ivan Kožarić’s work were sometimes opened on 10 June in several places at the same time. The reason for this was undoubtedly the artist’s longevity, but certainly also the feeling that these were celebrations of features immanent to the very nature of his works and activities – freedom, creativity, vitality… life itself.

Curator: Iva Rada Janković


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