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Kristian Kožul’s exhibition “The Old Cabinet” opens on October 14, 2011 at 20:oo h in Dr. Vinko Perčić Gallery in Subotica and runs until November 8, 2011. The exhibition is made in cooperation with the “Filip Trade” Collection and “Lauba” Art Association from Zagreb, and the project is supported by the Provincial Secretariat for Culture (Autonomous Province of Vojvodina) and Ministry of Culture (Republic of Serbia).
List of works lent:
1. Kristian Kožul: From the Tease Series, Gold Collection, 2004, sculpture, gilded shoes, bikini, wig, nails, tinsel, feathers, mirror base, 120.00cm x 120.00cm x 30.00cm
2. Kristian Kožul: From the Tease Series, Gold Collection, 2004, sculpture, nails, short fur coat, 130.00cm x 50.00cm x 20.00cm
3. Kristian Kožul: From the Tease Series, Stiletto Shoe, 2004, sculpture, razors, pearls, pieces of mirror, faux gems, stiletto shoe, 14.50cm x 24.00cm x 11.00cm
4. Kristian Kožul: From the Asylum Series, Baby High Chair, 2004, leather, chains, chrome spikes and rivets, bay high chair, 90.00cm x 50.00cm x 50.00cm
5. Kristian Kožul: From the Asylum Series, Cradle, 2004, leather, chains, chrome spikes and rivets, cradle, 120.00cm x 120.00 cm x 60.00cm
Kristian Kožul was born in 1975 in Munich, Germany. He started his career as a video artist; however, he is currently interested and actively working in the medium of sculpture. Kožul’s sculptures, objects and installations are aimed at questioning traditional aspects of the medium of sculpture and characterized by fine craftwork and intentional use of kitsch. He has received several awards including the 8th Croatian Sculpture Triennial Award, Zagreb (2003) and the Filip Trade Contemporary Art Award, Zagreb (2004). He has had solo exhibitions in Croatia, Germany, Finland, Slovenia, Austria and the USA. He has participated at many national and international group exhibitions and festivals, including the Tokyo Video Festival (1998), the Young Artists Biennale (Rome, 1999), the Osnabrück Video Festival (2001) and the Künstlervereinigung MAERZ (Linz, 2005). He works and lives in New York, USA.
Suzana Vuksanović: Interview with Kristian Kožul
The Strange and Eventful Life of the One Kristian Kozul – is a very good, intriguing, literary title for CV/Resume on your website. Your life is really strange and eventful, do you see (present) yourself as a hero of a novel or are you just kidding…?
I'm just kidding...
Under the title Boutique of Social Political and Historical Inaccuracies Revisions and Curiosities on the same website you have listed your production from 2003 to date, 2011. Why is 2003 important to you? Was it, in a sense, a turning point?
After finishing my studies I have started to exhibit in Croatia in 2003.
From idea to realization – what does your working process really look like?...
It’s hard to tell, it really depends on the work. But I think the most honest answer would be to say that what's most important is the choice of social/political/historical phenomenon I want to illustrate...From that point on things become much simpler.
Humor is an important factor in your works in conceptual, and even formal sense, but it is equally important for the reception of your works. What does humor, as a part of artistic strategy, enable?
In any case it enables an easier communication, but it also makes it easier to look at certain absurd aspects of our existence (individual and social ones) in a much more sincere way.
Having in mind different contexts, traditions and sense of humor, how do people see your works in Europe and in the USA? What is your opinion about (mis)understanding and (non)acceptance?
Heh...I think my work is much more understandable within the European context in which people grow up surrounded by humor, often marked by irony and sarcasm. Through the prism of growing up, it is very obvious how much damage the often exposure to Monty Python and Top Lista Nadrealista (trans. Surrealists' Top Chart) have caused in my case, during the innocent days of my childhood.
What interpretation of your works is closest to you, and what interpretation is the least satisfactory? Whose interpretation did you have most trouble identifying with and which one was the easies for you to accept? And why?
The most beautiful thing about art is its democratic nature – the possibility of free interpretation...
Terms like: obsession, playing, displacement, uncanny, discomfort, tragicomic, shock, incompatibility, subversion, demystification, camp, aestheticization, etc. often occur in the descriptions of your works. Have these terms become obligatory and perhaps burdensome for you?
Haha – obligatory? Obsession – yes, but that is the problem that exists a bit longer than my artistic activity and it ruthlessly penetrates all the aspects of my life. It is really not funny – it is a really serious problem.
Attraction and repulsion, exaggeration in content and form, playing with taboos, sex industry and entertainment industry, using the products of popular culture, iconography of national/traditional/kitsch culture, as well as contents from pornographic subculture – all in the service of social engagement, social criticism, ironic stance, but also finding a communication channel accessible to general public?! Some of that or all of that?
I think that presenting art as a medium capable of making social and political changes is very far-fetched. On the other hand, I think it is important to keep an ironic stance towards certain aspects of cultural production, even though I wouldn't dare to use the term criticism.
And finally: What does your life in the USA look like? What do people dream about in America? What frustrates them?...
That's very simple...In America people dream about money, and what's frustrating is the constant lack of it. So...almost the same as anywhere else. It has to do something with human nature.
Novi Sad - New York - Novi Sad