GALLERY NOVA, TESLINA 7, ZAGREB
Ana Hušman & Dubravka Sekulić, Dan Perjovschi
curated by: Ivet Ćurlin, Ana Dević, Nataša Ilić, Sabina Sabolović /WHW
production by: Ana Kovačić
Revisiting historical and current innovative forms of the shared use of public resources as well as actions and experiments related to processes of collectivity and education, the exhibition Do Not Trace, Draw! puts two projects into dialogue: Ana Hušman's and Dubravka Sekulić's research into the Zagreb-based project Pioneer City and an ongoing series of critical drawings by Dan Perjovschi. These artists share an interest in popular and engaged methods such as sketching, note-taking, drawing, and testing as an integral process of knowledge sharing.
Initiated in 1947 and inaugurated in 1951, Pioneer City, which was dedicated to the education of youth, took the form of a unique urbanistic and political project of Socialist Yugoslavia, as designed by architects and urbanists Josip Seissel, Ivan Vitić and Marijan Haberle. It was a project of political and societal necessity built with the idea that education has to leave the confines of the school and enter the city—that is, enter everyday life—and thus produce the “new” human for the new socialist society. The experimental school and laboratory for pedagogical reform was in operation from 1951 to 1961, with a student body of about 400 children and youth. The aim of Pioneer City was to enable education, learning, and socializing. Derived from research into official archives, residual documents, and family memories, Do Not Trace, Draw!, Pioneer City and the Simulation of Future by Ana Hušman and Dubravka Sekulić uses references, footnotes, and historical interpretations as props to retell the story and space of Pioneer City. The production of this work was supported by Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW), Berlin, and Harun Farocki Institut in the context of the exhibition and research project Education Shock. Learning, Politics and Architecture in the 1960s and 70s, held 29/01–02/05 2021 at HKW and curated by Tom Holert.
In his daily drawings, each sketched with just a few strokes, Dan Perjovschi comments with piercing irony on the absurdities and cynicisms of our “brave new world.” He addresses current global news topics as well as general social phenomena and issues that affect him personally. These simple and literally economical drawings condense and intertwine complex matters, reflecting on the contingencies of our time. Perjovschi’s drawings have taken over some of the most prominent international art institutions, populating their walls, floors, corridors, and windows and transforming them into spaces of discussion. While revisiting Gallery Nova sixteen years after his participation in the group exhibition Normalisation (curated by WHW), which thematized how processes of normalization suppress social problems, Perjovschi will design a new site-specific installation, called Back to Nova. Closing the Distance. This installation will reflect on recurring and developing global and local crises, institutional memory, and the possibilities of the gallery as a pedagogical site that considers its responsibilities within the complex geopolitical conditions of the current moment.
Ana Hušman’s practice disassembles the structures and textures of cinematic elements through film, installation, books, sound, image, and text. Hušman experiments with the possibilities of animation, documentary and fictional cinematic methods, and the recorded voice and its articulation. Her working process questions and plays with the positions of the amateur and the professional subject of performativity, the medium of cinema itself, and the structures that dictate and produce patterns of behavior. She is Associate Professor in the Department of Animation and New Media at the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb and cofounder of the documentary film organization RESTART, through which she has been holding film education programs for children and young people for many years. Hušman’s works have been shown in numerous festivals and exhibitions.
Dubravka Sekulić is an architect who researches the transformation of the built environment at the nexus between politics, law, and economy. After spending four years as Assistant Professor at IZK – Institute for Contemporary Art at Graz University of Technology, this summer she joined the School of Architecture at the Royal College of Art, London, as Senior Tutor. Sekulić recently defended her PhD dissertation, “Constructing Non-alignment: The Construction Enterprise Energoprojekt 1961–1989,” at the gta Institute for History and Theory at ETH Zürich. She was a co-curator of the conference Life of Crops: Towards an Investigative Memorialization, held in Graz in 2019, and continues to be a core member of the research team at IZK. Together with Milica Tomić, she coedited “Exhibiting Matters,” GAM.14, Graz Architecture Magazine.
Dan Perjovschi lives and works in Sibiu and Bucharest, Romania. His solo exhibitions include The Black and White Cape Town Report, A4 Art Foundation, Cape Town, 2019; The Prize Drawing, Kunsthalle Hamburg, 2016; Unframed, Kiasma, Helsinki, 2013; Not Over, Museum of Contemporary Art of Rome, 2011; What Happen to US?, Museum of Modern Art, New York, 2007; I Am Not Exotic – I Am Exhausted, Kunsthalle Basel, 2007; The Room Drawing, Tate Modern, London, 2006; and Naked Drawings, Ludwig Museum, Cologne, 2005. He has participated in numerous group shows and biennials such as … of bread, wine, cars, security and peace, Kunsthalle Wien, 2020; On the Shoulders of the Fallen Giants, Industrial Art Biennial, Labin, Pula, Raša, Rijeka, and Vodnjan, 2018; Jakarta Biennale, 2015; Biennale of Sydney, 2008; Venice Biennale, 2007; Moscow Biennale, 2007; and Istanbul Biennial, 2005. Perjovschi is the recipient of the George Maciunas Prize (2004) and the Rosa Schapire Art Prize of Kunsthalle Hamburg (2016).
This program is presented as part of the two-year collaborative project Education from Below, conceived in collaboration with the The Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten, Amsterdam, and MACBA – Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona.
The program is supported by:
Foundation for Arts Initiatives
European Commission’s Creative Europe program
Kontakt Collection / ERSTE Foundation
Kultura Nova Foundation
Government Office for Cooperation with NGOs, Croatia
Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Croatia
City of Zagreb