GALLERY AS EXHIBIT

Antun Maračić
(text from the exhibition catalogue – Guide to the Gallery, Forum Gallery, Zagreb, 2013)

Anything that might recall a conventional set up, anything suggestive of gallery venue as recipient for objects of one kind or another is only dubious and provisional at the Božena Končić Badurina exhibition. The twenty five pencil drawings, small in size, modestly framed in natural wood with glaze of transparent white paint, visually tend towards a loss of their physical nature, that is, towards merging with the whiteness of the walls. Accordingly, although they are the only classical exhibits at the show, they do not serve for some story unrelated to the given setting; rather, they are in fact instructions for an unhurried and contemplative use of the space of the Gallery. This particularly refers to Suggestions, fourteen succinct, instructive pencil drawings after photographs that indicate how to move and to stand in a space for relaxation and meditation, not for the traditional consumption of the art on its walls or wall surface. The drawings suggest leaning against a pillar, sitting on the steps, relaxing in a reclining position on the wooden space alongside the window display of the Gallery. Depending on whether the visitor wants to use these possibilities, their angle of vision switches the attention and directs it to the space currently occupied.

Furthermore, with drawings of the same format, technique and framing, in an interpretation of sketches for furnishing of the architect Vjenceslav Richter, who at the end of the 1960s, when the Forum Gallery was founded and started working, devised the whole of its interior, the present artist draws attention to the architectural conception of the Gallery and its past.

Apart from these recent drawings aranged in the ground floor and the first floor, the artist has also made a large linear wall drawing in marker. On it, in latteral elevations, on a scale 1:1, in an ‘X-ray’ depiction, the office of the manager of the Gallery that lies behind the wall is depicted. The drawing is also accompanied by a sound recording that tells us of the contents of the office, the furnishings and other items as well as about its history. Thus, looking at the elevation drawing we learn, among other things, that the office was once occupied by a graphic workshop, with next to it a photographic laboratory. In this way, the guide informs us, the Forum Gallery, a unique specimen of an exhibition space founded and run by artists, enabled its members not only to have control over the programme and the way it was directed, but also a high quality production framework in which to realise their works.

Going downstairs to the ground floor again, if they did not already do so when they arrived, the visitors will have the chance to hear the story about the Gallery’s (lady) custodian. She will herself offer the visitor  an MP3 player and headphones and sitting opposite her, from the simple, informative but also poetic text by the author on the recording, they will find out some details about her origin, education, her affinities, her earlier jobs and her experience of work in the Gallery. The voice of the announcer will tell us at the end that Marija (the custodian) is delighted by the Gallery’s total openness onto the street… People sometimes tap on glass, which vibrates, and then she feels like a fish in an aquarium.

The equally agreeable audio recording Street  also tells of this outside world behind the glass of the Gallery’s window, a story from which the visitor can find out something about Antonija, a shop assistant visible through the window of the shop over the way, about her angle of vision and viewpoint on the Gallery, which she looks at everyday from her workplace, but which she has never yet entered; listen about what goes on in the yard opposite the Gallery; find out the names of the tenants on the bell pushes in the passage and have his or her attention drawn to the striped blind on the first floor of the opposite building, which is almost never raised.

The artist supplements the story of the neighbourhood by taking on an extra, a stroller with a red scarf, who in front of the Gallery window display during the time the exhibition is on will bring a note of the artificial into the existing spontaneous street traffic. In this manner the daily goings on outside seem to be promoted as a whole into some directed, theatrical or filmic event that we follow on stage, on the screen, in the proscenium of the gallery window wall.

This exhibition is the most recent and ‘the most finished’ in a series of the artist’a appearances in the last few years, in which she, irrespective of whatever media forms are involved, shifts the framework of perception and opens up the possibility for a more vigorous sense of space, of one’s own body, mind, interaction with another person. All this in a way to which intrusiveness, spectacle, aggression and incongruity are foreign… On the contrary: silence, whiteness, light, shadow…; slipping aside, slowing down, halting, immobility; self-abnegation, absence, defensiveness, lastingness… these are the attributes and categories that mark her thinking, behaviour and work. In the case of this exhibition, with her discreet means Božena turns the Gallery itself into exhibit. Reacting actively to the exhibition space, the artist animates its actually not very emphasised aspects, both as pre-text for her own creation and as proposal to activate the visitor, whose usual routine of art consumption is disputed. But in return, she offers the chance for a new accession of reality, for the opening up of mental spaces, for becoming conscious of his or her own perhaps somewhat rusty spiritual potentials.

The Božena Končić Badurina exhibition is the first in a programme cycle of the Forum Gallery started under its new management. The significance of this exhibition points up this starting position, that is, it presents a kind of paradigm of the ambition for the Gallery to be made aware of as space and to be regenerated as place of live permeation with its context, narrower and broader, urban and cultural, and with the better part of its own tradition.

Galerija kao izložak

Antun Maračić
(tekst iz kataloga izložbe – Vodič kroz galeriju, Galerija Forum, Zagreb, 2013.)

Sve ono što podjeća na konvencionalni postav, odnosno što upućuje na galerijski prostor kao na recipijent za umjetničke objekte ove ili one vrste, na izložbi Božene Končić Badurine dvojbeno je i uvjetno. Tako dvadeset pet crteža olovkom, manjih formata, uokvirenih u decentno, lazurnim bjelilom premazano natur-drvo, vizualno tendiraju gubitku svoje fizičnosti, odnosno stapanju s bjelinom zida. Dosljedno tome, iako jedini klasični eksponati na izložbi, nisu u funkciji neke priče nevezane za konkretni ambijent, nego su zapravo napuci za polagano, kontemplativno korištenje prostora Galerije. Posebno se to odnosi na Sugestije, četrnaest sažetih, instruktivnih, prema fotografijama nastalih crteža olovkom, koju upućuju na kretanje i zastajanje u prostoru kao mjestu odmora i meditacije, a ne tradicionalnog konzumiranja umjetnosti na galerijskim zidovima ili podnoj površini. Crteži sugeriraju naslanjanje na stup, sjedenje na stepenicama, opuštanje u ležećem položaju na drvenoj plohi uz izlog Galerije… Neovisno o tome hoće li se namjernik koristiti tim mogućnostima, njegov se rakurs mijenja i pozornost usmjerava na sam prostor u kojem se nalazi.

Nadalje, crtežima istog formata, tehnike i preme, interpretacijom skica za namještaj arhitekra Vjenceslava Richtera koji je potkraj šezdesetih godina poršlog stoljeća, kada je Forum osnovan i kad je počeo s radom, osmislio i cjelokupan njegov interijer, autorica upozorava na arhitektonsku koncepciju Galerije, kao i na njezinu povijest.

Osim tih decentnih crteža raspoređenih u prizemlju i na katu, autorica je izvela i veliki zidni linearni crtež flomasterom. Na njemu je bokocrtno, u omjeru 1:1, ‘rendgenski’ prikazan ured voditelja Galerije koji se nalazi iza tog zida. Crtež prati i audiozapis koji nas informira o sadržaju ureda, namještaju i drugim predmetima, kao i o njegovoj namjeni u prošlosti. Tako, promatrajući zidni bokocrt, uz ostalo saznajemo da je na mjestu ureda nekad bila grafička radionica, a u susjedstvu fotografski laboratorij. Na taj način, upućuje nas vodič, kao jedinstveni primjer izložbenog prostora koji su osnovali i vodili umjetnici, Galerija Forum je svojim članovima osim kontrole nad programom i njegova stručnog vođenja, omogućavala i kvalitetan produkcijski ovir za realizaciju radova.

Kada se s kata spusti ponovno u prizemlje, posjetitelj je, ako to već prije, po dolasku nije obavio, u prilici slušati priču o čuvarici Galerije. Ona sama ponudit će mu MP3 plejer i slušalice pa će, sjedeći nasuprot njoj, iz jednostavnog informativnog, ali i poetičnog autoričina teksta audiozapisa, posjetitelj saznati detalje o čuvaričinu porijeklu, školovanju, afinitetima, prethodnim radnim mjestima te iskustvu rada u Galeriji. Saznat će da je riječ o povjesničarki umjetnosti koja čuva izložbu, ali ujedno i stažira u Galeriji. Glas spikerice informirat će nas na kraju da je Marija (tako se zove čuvarica) oduševljenja potpunom otovrenošću Galerije prema ulici… Ljudi joj ponekad lupkaju po staklu koje vibrira i tada se osjeća kao ribica u akvariju.

O tom vanjskom svijetu iza stakla izloga Galerije govori jednako lijep audiozapis Ulica, priča iz koje posjetitelj, uz ostalo, saznaje nešto i o Antoniji, prodavačici vidljivoj kroz izlog trgovine preko puta, njezinu rakursu i viziji Galerije koju svakodnevno sa svojeg radnog mjesta gleda, ali u nju još nije ušla; sluša o radnjama iz dvorišta nasuprot Galeriji… Saznaje imena stanara na zvoncima u kućnoj veži, upozoren je na prugaste rolo-zavjese na prvom katu nasuprotne zgrade koje se gotovo nikad ne podižu.

Priču o ulici autorica dopunjava i angažmanom statista-šetača sa crvenim šalom koji za trajanja izložbe ispred galerijskog izloga unosi notu artificijelnog u postojeći sponatni ulični promet. Na taj način, dnevna vanjska zbivanja kao da se u cjelini preoblikuju u neku vrstu režiranog, teatarsko-filmskog događaja koji pratimo na pozornici/ekranu galerijskog prozirnog zida.

Ova izložba posljednja je i ‘najdovršenija’ u nizu autoričinih nastupa posljednjih godina, u kojima ona, bez obzira na to o kakvim se medijskim oblicima radi, pomiče perceptivne okvire i otvara mogućnosti intenzivnijeg osjećanja prostora, vlastita tijela, uma, interkacije s drugim.

I sve to na način kojemu je strana nametljivost, šarenilo, spektakularnost, agresija… Naprotiv – tišina, bjelina, svjetlo, sjena…; izmicanje, usporavanje, zastajanje, nepomičnost…; samozatajnost, odustnost, defenzivnost, dugotrajnost… atributi su i kategorije koje obilježavaju njezino razmišljanje, ponašanje i rad. U slučaju ove izložbe, Božena diskretnim sredstvima pretvara samu Galeriju u izložak. Reagirajući aktivno na prostor izlaganja, umjetnica animira njegove inače neistaknute aspekte, istodobno kao predtekst vlastite kreacije i kao prijedlog aktiviranja posjetitelja kojemu pritom osporava uobičajenu rutinu konzumiranja umjetnosti. No zauzvrat pruža mu priliku za novi prijem stvarnsoti, za otvaranje novrih mentalnih prostora, odnosno za osvještavanje vlastitih zanemarenih duhovnih potencijala.

Izložba Božene Končić Badurine prva je u programskom ciklusu Galerije Forum koji počinje njezino novo vodstvo. Svojim značajem ova izložba i ističe tu startnu poziciju, odnosno predstavlja neku vrstu paradigme nastojanja da se Galerija osvijesti kao prostor i regenerira kao mjesto živog prožimanja sa svojim užim i širim kontekstom, urbanim i kulturnim kontekstom te boljim dijelom vlastite tradicije.

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