April 26, 2019
PHOTO / 'PLACES OF INTERRUPTED DEPARTURES' The 'Dubrovnik Pavilion' project presented at the Venetian Mostra
April 26, 2019

Towards the opening of the so-called The Dubrovnik Pavilion at the 58th International Exhibition of Visual Arts, held annually in Venice at the Art Gallery, featured the project 'Place of Intermittent Departures' by Slaven Tolj, Marijana and Izvor Penda. The works by which three Dubrovnik artists will 'defend the colors' of our city have been made in the last year directly to the event itself.

- The excitement is growing. Another day we are going to Venice to build this exhibition. We have been working intensively on the project for the last twelve months with a whole team of collaborators from abroad who are established on the world art scene. We took it very seriously and made a strategy for how best to represent Dubrovnik, the museum and ourselves in this mass. We intended to attract professionals with our professionalism. So, we have a target audience. It is personally important to me that the City has recognized that the contemporary moment is important. For the most part, we are witnessing that greats from our rich history are represented, and this is a positive example not only in the regional but also in the national sense - said Izvor Pende.

The wish was to refer to the very topic of this year's Biennial, which as always addresses the geopolitical problems of today. For that exhibition, they chose an imposing 600-square-foot setting at the Venetian Arsenal that represents all the power of the Venetian Navy. It is an industrial complex, otherwise a protected cultural monument with a glass cover that provides additional interaction with the works. 'The Place of Intermittent Departures' speaks to the physical and metaphysical space of the artists themselves, explained curator Jelena Tamindžija. They are constantly re-examining their boundaries, overthrowing their previous premises in order to arrive at new insights.

- At Izvor Pende, we see the transformation from figuration to abstraction preceded by the exploration phase. It began with a series of exhibitions with German artist Daniel Richter and continued through the issue of how to reduce form to image while filling it with content. The works are a mixture of abstract surfaces, devoid of any association with the subject world from which he wanted to move away, she concluded.

Marijana Pende, on the other hand, was recognized for her praiseworthy project at the TUP factory, where she used discarded material - graphite as material for her installations when working with employees. During the presentation of the series the buildings of the booths could feel the psychological magnetism of the sculptures and even two were damaged. With the introduction of Plexiglas, neoprene rubber or latex-graphite, it emphasized the play of light and shadow. However, in her work, she represented the saturation of the gloominess of the aforementioned ingredients, so she turns to new solutions visible in the five newly created sculptures that will be presented in Venice.

- Slaven Tolj is one of the most significant representatives of the Croatian independent art scene with an international reputation. In 2012, he was a selectman of the Croatian Pavilion, which was set up at the Fortuni Museum. This time, with his older and newer works, he touches on topics he has otherwise addressed, but in a different context - said Tamindzija.

The so-called project The Dubrovnik Pavilion is of great importance for the Dubrovnik Art Gallery, a city institution whose goal is to establish a museum on a world scale, Director Tonko Smokvina said. Let us remind you that one million kuna was earmarked from the budget for the representation of the City on the Venetian Mostra, while other funds were invested by private companies and those owned by Dubrovnik. The 'place of intermittent departures' is, among other things, the result of the twinning of these two epicenters of Croatian and Italian cultural and historical heritage.

- When it comes to cooperation between Venice and Dubrovnik, the twinning agreement was signed in 2012. So far, not many cooperation projects have been implemented. As early as 2017, this City Administration made contact with the Venetian. We started conversations on a topic that is perhaps the most recognizable for the City, which is the problem of excessive number of visitors, that is, the problem, which are related to cruise ships. We are already working on adjusting the landing of ships in the Adriatic basin and we believe that after the opening of this exhibition we will have the opportunity for a more serious meeting. Based on their experiences, we have launched Respect the City, and it is important to highlight in the cultural field the 'Venice + Dubrovnik' project, which we should soon sign, which will relate to the exchange or realization of such and similar contents. We hope to host young artists from Venice for the next few years. We expect that cooperation will deepen in the future. We didn't like each other very much in history, but we did coexist - said Dubrovnik Deputy Mayor Jelka Tepsic, noting that the project was not easy to do logistically and financially, but at the moment when the 'Intermittent Departures' opens its doors, all the circumstances will fall into the background.

The official opening of the exhibition 'Place of intermittent departures' will be on May 9 at 5 pm.

Author of the photo of Izvor Pende Source Boris Cvjetanovic

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January 17, 2017
Globalocation: Celebrating 20 Years of Artnauts
J. Willard Marriott Library
The University of Utah, 01/17/2017

The University of Utah’s J. Willard Marriott Library will host the art exhibition Globalocation: Celebrating 20 Years of Artnauts, Jan. 20-March 3.

Artnauts, an art collective formed 20 years ago by George Rivera, professor of art and art history at the University of Colorado, Boulder, consists of 300 global artists who serve as goodwill ambassadors, acknowledging and supporting victims of oppression worldwide. Their creativity has generated over 230 exhibitions across five continents. Five faculty members from the U’s Department of Art and Art History are members of the collective, Sandy Brunvand, Beth Krensky, V. Kim Martinez, Brian Snapp and Xi Zhang.

Globalocation derives from “Globalocational Art” — a concept used by the Artnauts to refer to their exhibitions in international venues. It is the mission of the Artnauts to take art to places of contention, and this anniversary exhibition is a sample of places where they have been and themes they have addressed.

“The Artnauts could not exist without the commitment of the artists in the collective to a common vision of the transformative power of art,” said Rivera. “The Artnauts make their contribution with art that hopefully generates a dialogue with an international community on subjects that are sometimes difficult to raise.”

Krensky, associate department chair of the Art and Art History Department, had the opportunity to travel with Rivera in Chile as part of an Artnauts project, working with mothers who were searching for their children who had mysteriously disappeared during a time of political unrest.

“When I travelled to Chile in 1998, George and I spent an afternoon with the Mothers of the Disappeared, and the meeting changed my life,” said Krensky. “It was from that moment on that I placed a picture of them on my desk to look at every day. I was so moved by what they each had lost — a son, a brother, a father — and yet what remained for them was a deep, deep well of love. They were fierce warriors and stood up to the government to demand the whereabouts and information of the people who had disappeared, but they lived within profound love.”

The 20th anniversary exhibition at the Marriott Library is a retrospective of the traveling works the Artnauts have toured around the globe. The exhibition will be located on level three of the library. The opening reception is open to the public and will be held on Friday, Jan 20, 4-6 p.m. Rivera will speak at 4 p.m.

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