SintArt 15 - Mario Mu: The Sun, the Mast, or Gravity


SintArt 15 - Mario Mu: The Sun, the Mast, or Gravity

21.12.2022 - 26.02.2023 / Zbirka Richter

Opening: 21/12 at 7 pm

"Looking at the course of a river from an airplane, I was often intrigued by the drawing the river made in the ground it flowed through. Some parts were so artistic that you only had to frame and sign them. That, of course, would be pure theft, because the image is created by the river, the ground, and gravity. The author is nature."
(V. Richter, Gravitational Drawing, Museum of Contemporary Art, Zagreb, 2001)


A view from an airplane, drone, or the position of the Sun is a privileged point of view. Approaching this position is a sign of progress and technological development, an attempt to overcome the force of gravity. The modernist idea of progress has been distorted in the previous century into a perverse economy of growth, extraction, and war that hide the sun behind a thick layer of pyrocumulus clouds. Nature is losing its authorship.

Expo 58 – the 1958 Brussels World's Fair – provided a respite from warfare with its celebration of new national authorship, presenting different dialects of the language of modern architecture. Vjenceslav Richter teamed up with architect Emil Weber to design the Yugoslav pavilion, which was initially conceived as a floating structure attached to a 70-meter pole by steel cables, but this idea was rejected due to huge costs and dubious statics. According to an assessment by construction engineer Zvonko Springer, in order to realize a structure with a "floating foundation," you would need steel cables with a 90-100mm diameter, which were not available on the Yugoslav market at the time. We learn from his diary that similar cables – trophies of questionable quality – were found in the Danube below a bridge that had been destroyed in World War Two.

Corroded steel cables emerge from the riverbed and become a branching, nervous system-like structure that powers the image and the architecture of Mario Mu's new video work. We follow the cyclical nature of destruction and construction through the transformation of a structure that encompasses different architectural typologies, from the never-realized mast of the Yugoslav pavilion to the ruins of the National Museum of Aleppo destroyed in the Syrian war in 2016. In the video, the built environment and the residues of destruction intertwine, and space articulates the changing social dynamics. This work is a continuation of the artist's ongoing project entitled "Sites of Encounter'' which explores alternative perceptions of spatiality through the morphology of digital spaces. Inspired by the language of modernism, the possibilities of arranging and framing basic elements into new constellations, and the permutations of images and their shadows, Mario Mu translates Vjenceslav Richter's visual language to the cinematic space of video games.

Mario Mu is an artist and filmmaker living in Berlin, Germany. After graduating from University of Arts in Berlin in 2017., Mario has been working on a series of events as an author and collaborator with The Institute for Endotic Research, Singapore Art Museum, CICA Museum, WHW Collective, Kultur im Zentrum, Media Mediterranea, TAP-Théâtre auditorium de Poitiers, V2 Institute for Unstable Media, MGLC Ljubljana, MAAT Lisbon, Pivilion, The Wrong Biennale, Avyss, Play Co London, Pakhuis de Zwijger, Research Center for Proxy Politics, Galerie gr_und, GMK and Museum of Contemporary Art Zagreb, The Killscreen, The Carillon, Milan Machinima Festival, FACT Magazine, Gestalten Publishing, Digital Futures and The School of Machines.


Curator: Lovro Japundžić

Collaborators: Marin Berović, Marijana Gradečak

Sound design: Strahinja Arbutina

Graphic design: Andro Giunio

The exhibition and the catalogue have been realised with the financial support of the Zagreb City Office for Culture and Ministry of Culture and Media of the Republic of Croatia


Opening: 21/12 at 7 pm
Exhibition duration: 21/12/2022 - 26/02/2023
Working hours: Wednesday / Saturday: 11 am - 4 pm (other days with prior notice)
Vjenceslav Richter and Nada Kareš Richter Collection, Vrhovec 38