The Center of Periphery

The Center of Periphery - Artists from  Žitnjak Ateliers in Zagreb

Place: Günter Grass Gallery in Gdańsk, Szeroka street 37
Opening: 4th of October 2018, Thursday at 7.00p.m.
Exhibition: 04.09. - 25.11.2018
Artistsi: Boris Cvjetanović, Hamo Čavrk, Boris Greiner, Alem Korkut, Kata Mijatović, Hrvoje Mitrov, Zoran Pavelić, Predrag Pavić, Vesna Pokas, Frane Rogić, Mirjana Vodopija, Vlasta Žanić
Coordination: Galerija AŽ: Alem Korkut i Kata Mijatović, 4G: Marta Wróblewska

Art organisation Žitnjak Ateliers was founded in 2004 by the artists who use the ateliers within the complex of former Žitnjak Primary School; the facility was repurposed by the City of Zagreb as ateliers and was given to the artists in 2003.

In 2005, AŽ Gallery was founded as part of the Atelier as a multipurpose exhibition space in which approximately one hundred exhibitions and other cultural events have been organised to-date. From 2007 onwards, Žitnjak Ateliers have participated in the Zagreb-Düsseldorf International Art Exchange Programme. Due to its high-quality programme, in 2010 AŽ Gallery was included in the list of reputable exhibition spaces of the Republic of Croatia.

Even though the programme concept is not strictly determined in advance, the programmatic determinants of AŽ Gallery have been formed around the concept of peripherality as a location determinant or as the artistic choice or assignation. This was wittily concretised by Zoran Pavelić when he wrote Centre of the Periphery in large white letters on the gallery’s façade. In their works/exhibitions/projects, in their own unique manner, the artists also problematise exactly this aspect of artistic life and activity by reacting directly or more broadly to the location of the Gallery.

Most of the leading names of Croatian contemporary visual arts scene have hitherto participated in the exhibition programme of AŽ Gallery. The unique position held by Žitnjak on the Croatian contemporary scene – which is based on the fact that, save for the dynamic gallery programme, the community members equally convincingly present themselves as independent authors – has been recently consolidated by the opening of a newly-furnished residential space. The specificity of the situation at Žitnjak, characterised by different media orientations of atelier users (among them sculpture, painting, photography and printing) – provides the residential programme with a prospective processual aspect alongside the gallery dimension, which opens up various possibilities of collaboration, from exhibition exchange and workshops to one-month residencies.

When observing this diversity from the perspective of the domicile building – which, in its past life as a primary school had the objective to shape children according to a well-established pattern – we could say that the building in its second incarnation bears witness to an entirely different concept. It is a logical one since the present artistic manufactory, which produces postmodern goods in post-industrial surroundings, cannot possibly have a single assembly line, and especially not unison mental mechanisms. Therefore, it is difficult to determine a common direction, development line or any kind of denominator that would keep the thematically and stylistically dispersed folk on the same track.

From this follows that the Gdańsk presentation does not have a conceptual or programmatic framework, but rather assumes the format of a review group exhibition, thus providing insight into individual authorial oeuvres.