21.01.2021 - 01.04.2021 / Zbirka Richter

We kindly invite to the SintArt exhibition From Top to Bottom on Thursday, January 21, 2021, from 5 pm to 8 pm at Richter Collection.

The story of the legendary Zagreb firefighter Matija Juričić is the basis of the artistic work of Ištvan Išt Huzjan, through which he explores his own family history, observing it not only in a personal, but also in a symbolic way. The story of the famous Cathedral-Man, a relative who realised his noble life dream of saving people in danger, is preserved in the family history of Ištvan Išt Huzjan. In the 1930s the unemployed carpenter Matija Juričić, in order to show a high level of physical fitness and agility, climbed the tower of the cathedral and perform acrobatics. However, due to the strong wind, Juričić could not stay on the tower for long, and after a few poses started to climb down. Juričić's descent was accompanied by huge applause from the gathered crowd of citizens, but he was taken to the police station accompanied by a police officer.  Matija Juričić's greatest desire was soon realised and he was employed as a firefighter.

Two years ago, Huzjan began to develop an art project, in order to perform Juričić  ‘sculptures’ on the roof of the Richter Collection, but in 2020, when Huzjan's performance was to take place, his work began to encounter unplanned changes as the COVID-19 pandemic spread. Moreover, Zagreb was first hit by a catastrophic earthquake, and a few months later the city was flooded during heavy rain, a phenomenon which according to meteorologists, happens only every 400 years. Many people were left homeless after the earthquake, and numerous historical buildings in the centre of Zagreb were damaged, including the symbol of the city of Zagreb, the cathedral.

Huzjan's artistic work began to change in the new circumstances, as he reacted to the effects of chaotic everyday life in which people's destinies were changing almost overnight. The artist has placed the Richter Collection at the centre of his interest, as well as the people who are connected to this space in various ways. Art project From Top to Bottom is consisted of a performance in which artists, students and collaborators participated at the invitation of the author and curator of the Richter Collection, and spent together on the roof of the Richter Collection. The participants in the performance, connected in various ways, unconsciously formed various sculptures with their bodies, recorded in aerial photographs, rather like Huzjan's famous relative, the Cathedral-Man. From this position, the Richter Collection has taken on the role of a kind of refuge, a place that, like a natural shelter, can provide a temporary feeling of security and protection.

Ištvan Išt Huzjan (born in Ljubljana, 1981) graduated in 2005 from the Accademia di belle arti di Venezia in Italy. In 2009 he finished the artist in residency program Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten in Amsterdam and finished several other residencies between 2010 and 2015, amongst them the National Art Studio in Changdong in Seoul and Apartment of the Ministry of Culture of Slovenia in New York. In 2010 he cofounded the artist collective Project Goleb in Amsterdam. In 2011 and 2014 he was twice nominated for the OHO award in Slovenia and in 2014 he was awarded the Fernand Baudin prijs in Belgium. In 2015 he was awarded the Grand Prize of the 31. Biennial of Graphic Arts - Over You You at MGLC in Ljubljana. In his work, Ištvan Išt Huzjan brings together different artistic strategies and combines different media, photography, drawing, objects, performances.  In 2012 he joined the Simplon Express / The Return a group exhibition set in a train traveling from Zagreb to Paris, Taxi Avant Minuit a project for La Galerie Des Locataires involving a happening in a Taxi at FIAC in Paris. That year he also traveled from Seoul to Ljubljana by land using only public transport as an artistic performance. He registered his own book-publishing house 21st Century Books in 2006. Since 2012 he is running an exhibition space in Brussels called Coffre Fort together with Gregoire Motte and Thibaut Espiau as the Artists Club. Ištvan Išt Huzjan lives and works in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Curator: Vesna Meštrić

The exhibition is open until April 1, 2021. // Working hours of the Richter Collection: Wednesdays and Saturdays from 11 am to 4 pm, on other days with prior notice on +398 1 60052700