[artinfo] Political Speech is Suprematism: The Mestrovic Pavilion

Slought Foundation info at slought.org
Sun Sep 20 19:39:21 CEST 2009


Political Speech is Suprematism: The Mestrovic Pavilion

Slought Foundation Exhibition | September 19 - November 14, 2009

Curated by Branko Franceschi

Slought Foundation is pleased to announce "Political Speech is 
Suprematism," an architectural exhibition about the changing history 
of the Mestrovic pavilion in Zagreb, Croatia, and the cultural 
practices that it has inspired. The exhibition will be on display in 
the Slought Foundation galleries from September 19 through November 
14, 2009. Branko Franceschi, Director of the Croatian Association of 
Visual Artists (HDLU) and curator of the exhibition, will deliver a 
lecture on the featured artists and architects on Saturday, September 
19th at 6:30pm in conjunction with the exhibition opening. Franceschi 
will be joined in Philadelphia by featured artists Zoran Pavelic and 
Josip Zanki, due to the generous support of The Trust for Mutual 

Designed in 1934 by the late sculptor Ivan Mestrovic, the Mestrovic 
pavilion in downtown Zagreb is famous for its singular grandeur and 
its glass dome. Since its construction, it has become a sort of 
palimpsest for political agendas, many of them totalitarian. The 
pavilion was first transformed from an exhibition hall into a mosque, 
and then into a museum of the revolution. Most recently, after the 
war of the 1990s had ended, the Mestrovic pavilion was turned back 
into an exhibition hall and placed in the care of the Croatian 
Association of Visual Artists, its original owners. Since then it has 
become one of the prestigious contemporary exhibition spaces in 
Croatia, known for the site specific art works inspired by the 
architecture's unique form. The title of the exhibition is taken from 
one of these practices, a public space intervention by the visual 
artist Zoran Pavelic (1999).

Through its many transformations, the architecture of the pavilion 
has come to register the complex political aspirations that have 
swept the region throughout the twentieth century. This political 
tumult has been reflected and materialized in the very syntax of the 
pavilion's architecture, but also the many artworks presented in the 
pavilion in recent years that have sought to explore its complicated 
history. In presenting a survey of these artworks at Slought 
Foundation, the exhibition highlights the pavilion's symbolic power 
and explores how a physical structure can captivate the imagination. 
The result is a unique blend of forms, a trespassing of the usual 
boundaries between architecture and the visual arts.

Works featured in the exhibition include:

* Near Island: Score for a Complex Scene (2006), by Ben Cain, Tina 
Gverovic, and Susan Kelly
* Untitled (Behind the Curtain) (2000) and The Mosque (2001), both by 
Igor Grubic;
* Political Speech is Suprematism (1999/2000), Home of the Artists 
(2003), and Voice of the Artist (2003/2005), by Zoran Pavelic
* K2 (1997, and 2009 performance reenactment), by Zlatko Kopljar
* Sculpture (1954-2000), by Ivan Kozaric
* Mestrovic Pavilion (2009), an animation by Dario Bardic
* Pavilion & Square / Politics & Power (2009), a documentary by Zeljko Senecic

This program is made possible in part through the generous support of 
the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, The Trust for Mutual 
Understanding, and the Society of Friends of the Slought Foundation.

Slought Foundation
4017 Walnut Street, Philadelphia PA 19104

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