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Josip Kresović & Iris Poljan

durational performance: 11 hours & 30 minutes / at the Matica hrvatska Gallery, 14.11.2023 / curated by: Marta Radman



In the softly lit spaces of the Matica hrvatska Gallery, the performance begs the question “What does culture mean to a culture worker?” The Cell approaches this task in two ways. Does this work criticise the administrative tangles that define the outcome of cultural content or is it a symbolic insurgence of two young artists who are slowly but surely losing themselves within the walls of the bureaucratic labyrinth? This dichotomy takes its form in a set of Microsoft Excel tables printed on a standardised A4 paper format by a printer placed in the middle of the gallery. Although stereotypically uniformed in the performance, the artists’ idiosyncrasies manifest themselves through a subtle but unique typing speed, in the ways in which their fingers hit the keys, through the positions of their bodies on the chairs, and designs of their coffee mugs from which they drink during the working day. All of this is in spite of but also for the system. The duality with which they are working points out the complexity of their status, actions, and ways of navigating the aforementioned labyrinth, all while trying to maintain their individuality. Their reactions exist as an embodiment of the dichotomy through 58 chosen words, that replace their brush and chisel while the rhythm and repetitiveness followed by the sound of typing, emphasises the relationship between the mechanic and the artistic, summarising the complex interplay of creativity and bureaucracy. (…)

From the foreword by Marta Radman, the curator of the exhibition.

Translation: Vedran Husremović

Link: Video of the performance ĆELIJA

Video, camera, sound, color & edit: Tomislav Paviša

Photo: Vedran Husremović & Luka Pešun

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