|16 October–30 November 2012
T +38516 302 115
Lauba House is proud to present a new series of work from one of Croatia’s most promising contemporary artists, Kristian Kožul. Rumor, oral tradition and contemporary mythology are the narrative starting point of the fragmented and oversaturated staging of Kristian Kožul.
The scenes of events, which take place spanning from the golden era of the Gastarbeiter to the close dystopian future, are interiors that call to mind bourgeois salons or constructed spaces from the history of painting, arising from the transformation of miracle plays into an exercise in geometric perspective. Allegorical staging for those empty stages stop at some point: general places and public secrets, directed by a conspiracy theory and an epic fantasy that has already become an urban legend, are piled up almost to the point of legibility. Repeating the forms over the edge of exhausting their narrative logic twists them into a bizarre ornament, stripping them off their semantic content.
Left without bodies of the main actors, those settings chat and murmur about useless and bizzare details, leftovers of the historical grand narrative related to the recent political myths and ideologies. Theatre stagings where attributes play main roles are transferred to meticulously composed and apparently redundant photographs. Misinterpretation of the iconological apparatus that Kožul uses, due to the lack or overload of context, results as the only key to read its narrative. Within it, private and local allegories intersect in the last 20 years of re-invention of nation and national histories in this part of Europe, keeping in mind that reality can be more unpredictable and absurd than any artistic subversion.
Kristian Kožul was born in 1975 in Munich, Germany. He studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb and at the Arts Academy in Dusseldorf. 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 Austria, Croatia, Finland, Germany, Slovenia and the US. He has participated at many national and international exhibitions and festivals, including the Young Artists Biennale (Rome, 1999), cITy, International Media Award, ZKM, (Karlsruhe, 2000), the Künstlervereinigung MAERZ (Linz, 2005), 1st Biennial of Quadrilateral (Rijeka, 2005), International Projects Fall, MoMA PS1 (New York, 2005), Beijing Biennial of Contemporary Art (2007), BoysCraft in Haifa Museum (2007), KIBLA Gallery, (Maribor, 2009), and The Typhoon Continues and So Do You at Flux Factory (New York, 2011). He works and lives in Zagreb, Croatia.
Lauba is a non-profit organisation managing the program of a new exhibition space, Lauba House, in Zagreb, Croatia, inaugurated in June 2011. Lauba’s mission is promotion of contemporary visual arts, with an accent on collaborations with Croatian artists. So far, Lauba has featured ten exhibitions from the private Filip Trade Collection and solo exhibitions by Bruno Pogačnik, Kristina Lenard, Ivan Fijolić, Ivana Franke, Lovro Artuković, Morten Andersen, Stanislav Habjan and Zlatan Vehabović.
~Jae Joseph (contributor)