Want to know when we are exhibiting works by your favourite artist? Simply take a look in our calendar.
Along with the already established Non-permanent Exhibition, this fall People and Art House Lauba will also present the first solo exhibition at their permanent address. The exhibition named “Sweeping Confetti from the Floor of the Concrete Hole” will show the recent works by a Croatian artist of a younger generation, Zlatan Vehabović. As the primary medium of his work Vehabović opted for figurative painting. He approached the exploration of its narrative possibilities by using the experience of his film, musical, philosophical and literary models.
Narrative figuration is also the manner of his artistic expression in the latest cycle of works. In this cycle he problematizes the darker sides of erotic love, various psychological conditions affected by the accomplished, but also unaccomplished relationships. Each individual work will address a specific notion determined by the topic. We took the authorial texts that describe the latest works from his blog http://weakersoldier.blogspot.com/. We will follow and translate the blog during the summer, in expectation of more new works and the update of this unique glossary. The texts in the catalogue for the Non-permanent Exhibition were written by Croatian writers Ante Tomić, Stela Jelinčić, Maša Kolanović and Ivica Prtenjača. In the same manner, the poet Marko Pogačar will prepare a text for October.
Zlatan Vehabović's paintings are ambitious. Ambitious, neither in the sense of performance as a manual undertaking, nor some pretentious symbolic imagery or complex concept. They are ambitious in the amount of energy, systematic planning and blind trust put into the mediation of certain ideas, personal experiences, memories, emotions and images that elude the universal encoding, in the spheres of image and text equally. That specific approach to mediation is maybe, in experiential sense, closest to the concept of evocation; evocation without interpretation. For Vehabović, paintings obviously have that magical ability, at least one step more mystical than narration. In that sense it is indicative how this author monopolizes the interpretation of his own works, continuously and chronologically publishing texts on each painting on his blog (weakersoldier.blogpot.com). In these reference texts he provides a clear emotional, cultural and literary context for each painting, not leaving much to chance and mystification.
Therefore, although these paintings sometimes resemble visual rebuses, there is little room for decoding. When facing them, one is left with the effect of evoked mental images, and this is not subject to monopolizing. They may have a very specific meaning for the author, whether trivial or complex, authentic or appropriated from the outside world, whether the sequences of a narrative or a staged concept. Often, actually, it is not entirely clear what is what, but the paintings imprint themselves into the viewer's memory as an image and as a young, still unconventional metaphor.
Even when he openly alludes to a reference from popular culture, like the small figure of white buffalo in the painting of the same name, referring to the movie White Buffalo from 1978, the reference itself does not exclusively mediate its specific cultural significance. As Vehabović explains it, it mediates a deeply rooted visual and emotional memory of his childhood. Such reference is not only individually, but also extremely generationally marked. In that context the often mentioned remark of how this painter draws inspiration from the media such as film and literature may get a bit more precise coordinates. It is not about some «unfamiliar» medium which enriches the painting with new possibilities, but about the ways of evoking certain things and articulating them in front of the others, more or less successfully.
The ambition of Vehabović’s approach lies in the fact that he does not implement that articulation in an expressive way, but in a long-term and systematic planning – each painting is a project, each looks for new solutions, while keeping all other channels wide open: music, films, books, intimacy, Internet, etc. In the era of blogs and social networks, the era that has, in a way, disciplined us again in terms of verbalization and other means of articulation of our own subject, Vehabović is only trying out an old, but still very effective, channel of communication.
We invite you to participate in shaping Lauba’s interactive program! During the exhibition there are various activities for all our visitors.
ARTIST TALK will take place on Tuesday, October 11, at 21:00 h.
Marko Golub, an independet art critic and external collaborator of the Croatian Designers Association, will moderate the talk with Zlatan Vehabović.
Our youngest visitors will have the opportunity to learn something more about the exhibition at a free art workshop FAMILY WEEKEND. To find out more about what has a Lauba’s intern, Dora Kokolj, prepared for our youngest ones, visit us on Saturday, October 15, at 15:00 h.
Do not miss the closing exhibition event. On Tuesday, November 8, at 21:00 h the author of the text and poems for the catalogue, a young poet, MARKO POGAČAR READS FROM HIS NEW POEMS. The reading will be accompanied by music performed by Bojan Rokvić and Miro Manojlović!
This is the first out of several paintings I intend to make for my next show in May. This body of work will deal with very difficult subject matter for me. Love. I am a fan of love. I've gravitated towards it (as a subject) in any form of art I ever considered as important. All the movies, music, books, visual art, literally everything I find even vaguely interesting outside this world of hard reality, one way or the another orbits this massive subject matter. More accurately, I mean erotic love. Relationship between two human beings made of all the fascinating things we choose, decide and make in this crazy, unselfish act.All of my heroes in art have dealt with it, quite good I might add, thus made it so hard for me to avoid long shadows they cast upon me with their enormous influence. Sitting down with friends, I've mentioned and cited Dylan or Cave so many times - even here on this blog..I can't even begin to explain how small I feel trying to explicitly deal with this.I want the project to cover some of the darker notions of this particular feel. Not the ones peachy and flowery that we all tend to relate to when things - with the object of our desire - are sailing happily along, but the ones that evolve of misguided notions we have, failed attempts and when things aren't quite living up to expectations.The title of this work is White Buffalo. It is the first work in this show dealing with one of love's dark sides. It points to that hidden side of life where lives a hidden person, somebody who in reality will never know to what extend they occupied someones days. I'ts that person you tried so hard for them to notice you. The one who you wore all the right clothes for, had all the haircuts, made the playlists, burned them movies, been there at the bar - just the right time, but it never worked. Somehow they stayed immune. And when they didn't, it was even worse. They made you go all the lengths, never getting you anywhere. Spending so much time thinking of them, you'd somehow dream up all they'd never live up to in reality. I wanted to make a painting of an eerie mood, showing a ghost-like someone, always distant, never here. She holds a paper buffalo, of course suggesting Charles Bronson movie. Might as well called it Moby Dick, but the reminiscence of Buffalo's surreal atmosphere recalled from my early boyhood, was the initial impulse for the work. In the end sadly she doesn't exist. Blown out of proportions in our yearning mind, she'll stay there forever.
SWEEPING CONFETTI FROM THE FLOOR OF THE CONCRETE HOLE
In the previous work I mentioned I want to cover some of the darker side effects of this particular notion of love. Among these, several stand out on which i plan to pay more attention. The end result will be a body of work where each painting will try to address a different notion. White Buffalo tried to address the idea of a certain somebody you wanted bad but just kept evading, forever distant.Sweeping Confetti From the Floor of the Concrete Hole on the other hand, deals with dark side of already accomplished relationship. Thought as diptych, it sets two protagonists in a obviously same environment but physically divided by two separate canvas. Constant reminder that each bear a world of their own, different and self-sufficient. Perhaps suggesting that in order to work, these two opposite frames of mind will be constantly made to understand and embrace each other despite the disparity between the two. Anyone who spent any time in a relationship knows hard work needed to overcome even the smallest issues along the way. With this in mind one concludes - not giving up may be the hardest thing to do, but in the end just as equally rewarding. Still, between two canvas the gap will always exist, would it be any fun otherwise..
MASTER & EVERYONE
This one is from women's point of view. And it's one of my favorites for many reasons: it lifted the male burden off the body of works it belongs to. It got me out of my male shoes just for a while and it felt beautiful. Also don't need much words behind it. She left. Than she took the remains and burned them.
This one was hard. It was hard to make, hard to title and as hell hard to photograph. The idea behind it follows further development of love matter, focusing on the role of male friends in break-up. So i wanted an image where the main protagonist, obviously plagued by hurt and despair caused by ending relationship is surrounded by his male friends. But they don't have a clue what to do.The image aims at the vague territory of the support we all kind of need in moments like these, but fail to receive..the way it would be of help at least. Not like there's no right intention there, the opposite really. Friends are there for good or bad, but mute, without any good or satisfying word of comfort that you can believe in. There was this one time when my soul was broken, two of my friends took me on a trip to the end of the world. We drove there for couple of days. I felt like a mental patient most of the time, but as we traveled along fun we had was getting better by the hour and by the time we got back i was reborn. What they did, even though it wasn't more than just being there, was beyond words. But i guess if you're in a need for a word of advice, you're in trouble. There is none. So i wanted a work about that, how mute support really is and how those who love you cannot help you. Painting it got really tough as i moved forward. We had a photo-session where i shaped the image and it took me ages to get the painting done.The troubling name of 'Joy Division' was the best one by far. Leave out the implication of monolith band behind the name, It felt right in so many ways: 'division' suggest a very male thing going on and 'joy' is what they're there for. But then there is the band and the chances of disregarding it when seeing the title are minimal i know, and the world war two implication..trouble. Still the title sounded perfect for this work and despite its dangers, i'm keeping it.
Zlatan Vehabović was born in 1982 in Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
He directed his artistic creation to the exploration of possibilities of narrative methods in painting, his primary medium, and in his working process he uses the experience of the medium of film and music.
He has exhibited at numerous solo shows, including 6 Kilometres (SC Gallery, 2006), North (Galženica Gallery, 2007), Anatomies of Caution (HDLU, Bačva Gallery, 2009), I'll Remember You Forever (Kranjčar Gallery, 2011), and numerous group shows in Croatia, Germany, Austria, Slovenia, Italy, Switzerland and USA.
His works are a part of various collections in Croatia and abroad.
He has won several awards, including the Award of Croatian Chamber of Trades and Crafts (Zagreb, 2005), Grand Prix at the exhibition «New Fragments 3» put up by Erste Bank (Zagreb, 2006) and the Second Prize at Essl Award for Central/Southeast Europe (Zagreb, 2007), he was a participant of Radoslav Putar Award (Zagreb, 2009), and won the Grand Prix 49th Zagreb Salon (Zagreb, 2010) and The International Association of Art Critics Award on 49th Zagreb Salon (Zagreb, 2010).
Lives and works in Zagreb, Croatia.
Curator: Vanja Žanko
Assistant curator: Mateja Kuka
Text authors: Marko Pogačar, Marko Golub
Photo documentation: Damir Žižić
Production assistant: Dominik Markušić
Visual identity: Zlatan Vehabović
Translation: Zana Šaškin, Dunja Bahtijarević
Proofreading: Susan Jakopec (English), Jelena Graovac (Croatian)
Technical team: Jure Strunje, Franjo Capić
Thanks: Bruno Pogačnik, Marko Prpić Zets, Petra Vidović, Mihaela Richter, Museum of Broken Relationships (new.brokenships.com/en)
Media partners: Bend Media (www.bendmedia.net), Plan B (planb.com.hr)