Re-Discovery III: Ivan Kožarić and Carla Filipe

Re-Discovery III: Ivan Kožarić and Carla Filipe


Ivan Kožarić, Muški akt (Male Nude), 1953.
Pastel on paper, 100 x 67 cm. Copyright the
City of Zagreb.

November 3, 2014
Re-Discovery III: Ivan Kožarić and Carla Filipe

15 November–13 December 2014

Opening: Friday, 14 November, 19h

Leipziger Str. 56
10117 Berlin

Curated by Ulrich Loock as part of the Re-Discovery project.

Re-Discovery is a series of exhibitions and lectures, conceived and designed by five international guest curators, in which the works of artists of an older generation enter into dialogue with younger artists. The earlier positions focused on—David Hammons, Ivan Kožarić, Sture Johannesson, Peter Rose and Marianne Wex—are those of artists who are, in Germany, unknown, little known, or known only as uncharted territory in contemporary art history. They are artists whose works have fallen into neglect on account of the economic, social or political mechanisms of the art world or have gone undetected, slipping under the mainstream radar. The philosophy of Re-Discovery is not restricted to the mere exhibiting of these positions in the manner of a well-deserved re-encounter. The objective is to create a chamber of resonance in which older works come up against contemporary creations, corresponding with them or producing tensions through which new ways of seeing or new contexts can emerge. Our concern is to reclaim works of art for present attention and to turn the spotlight onto the conditions under which they were produced and onto the discourses involved in their creation.

This, the third exhibition in the Re-Discovery series, is characterized by conjunctions. The oeuvre of Ivan Kožarić is on display in some 30 three-dimensional pieces spanning the period from 1953 to 2005. Close to the floor of the exhibition space, they occupy a zone in which spatial constellations supplant chronological sequence. Just how the works stand in relation to one another seems random, unintentional. As if pieces that are separated from one another by great temporal distances and have no stylistic relationship to one another had come together of their own accord. Papered over the walls are the prints and photocopies of Carla Filipe’s multi-part work As Primas da Bulgária (The Cousins from Bulgaria). One sheet of paper follows another, preserving from oblivion a noteworthy and perplexing episode of recent history. Seemingly, the works of Kožarić and Filipe have nothing in common—neither the nationality nor the generation of the artists concerned, nor again the aesthetics, thematics or historical context of their works. Nevertheless, there is an atmosphere or attitude which runs pervasively through all the differences in time, space and ideology that the works reveal without leveling them out—a pervasive delight in the things of the world.

Ivan Kožarić was born in Petrinja (Central Croatia) in 1921 and now lives in Zagreb. He can look back over decades of artistic production, in the course of which he has received great recognition and acclaim in his home country. His early sculptures are the expression of a subversive attitude to his academic training (heads standing on their heads); in the 1960s he was a member of the “anti-art”  Gorgona group and worked on seemingly abstract impresses of the spaces between objects (Spatial Forms); subsequently, he was happy just to collect everyday things and to make them the objects of his art (1996: “As a sculptor, I live nowadays almost exclusively on the streets”). A critic has spoken of the “anarchic creative discontinuity” (Želimir Kožčević) of his work, the oeuvre being stretched between two extreme distances—the cosmic, which makes things appear spiritually transfigured, and the immediately close, in which even the most banal assumes the significance of greatness.

Carla Filipe was born in 1973 and lives in Porto, Portugal. In various of her works, the railway network gives her the possibility of engaging with the history of industrialization and colonialism, with economic, political and social issues within Portugal, with non-organized ways of ensuring a livelihood, and with her own biography.

She derives material evidence concerning her particular object of investigation from a variety of sources, in the form of texts, illustrations and objets trouvés. The individual work is the product of her idiosyncratic working over of this archived material—the work being, in equal measure, a report on a given situation and the catalyst of Filipe’s own personal approach and access. Using collages of photos and graphic signs linked via handwritten commentaries in Portuguese and English, As Primas da Bulgária reports on the forgotten students who, in the wake of the Portuguese revolution of 1974, emigrated to Bulgaria in search of a socialist society.

Carla Filipe’s As Primas da Bulgária and Ivan Kožarić’s sculptures created over five decades encounter each other in the briefly illuminated tableau of a possible connection between art and things.

The exhibition is curated by Ulrich Loock (b. 1953, Braunschweig). Between the years 1985 to 2010, Loock was successively Director of the Kunsthalle Bern and the Kunstmuseum Luzern and Deputy Director of the Museu de Serralves in Porto. He currently teaches at the Hochschule der Künste in Bern, living and working as a critic and curator in Berlin.

The five-part Re-Discovery exhibition project is funded by the German Federal Cultural Foundation.




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