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ART-e-FACT, STRATEGIES OF RESISTANCE issue01: ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION issue02: UTOPIA [you are here] issue03: TECHNOMYTHOLOGIES issue04: GLOCALOGUE
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TRANSMEDIALE.04
PARTNER EVENT
TRANSMEDIALE: FLY UTOPIA!
A conference, exhibition and workspace opens January 31st in Berlin.


TRAVELOG

The City in the Age of Touristic Reproduction
Boris Groys
The tourist and the city dweller become identical.

Can the art world really do Hollywood better than Hollywood?
Steven Rand
The hypnotism
of technology: where is the end?

Mobile Utopia
Charles Esche
A utopian day-trip through two views of humanity 400 years apart.

FEATURE AND WRITINGS
LOOKING FOR A HUSBAND WITH AN EU PASSPORT BY TANJA OSTOJIC
ONLINE
Light Type Writer
Constantin Luser


THEORY

Utopia with Lara Croft and some other monsters and Aliens
Marina Gržinić
The re-direction of desires, facts & bodies in the global world.

THE EMPIRE AND ITS UTOPIAS
Žarko Paić
How to envision utopia, and not run away from society’s real repression / depression into a ghetto or exile for fantastic outsiders?


ZERZAN VON TARZAN UND TAXIS - FASCISM OF DESIRE OR FASCISM OF OBJECTS
Zoran Roško
The rejection of human will, civilisation, & the search for what we have left.




ART WORK
MICRO-UTOPIAS
   
NAMA - 1908 employees, 15 department stores  
(in-situ view)
Andreja Kulunčić
  Empty shelves of the once powerful department store chain NAMA, around the time of the workers' lay-offs  



ANDREJA KULUNČIĆ: VOLUME-UPAndreja Kulunčić

Andreja Kulunčić’s area of interest is a societal space that is comprised of invisible, inaudible, absent, superfluous voices, in other words, all those “unimportant voices” that are rejected in statistics. However much these voices belong to small communities, ghettoized groups, “outsiders” and “others”, some sort of islanders in a sea of mutually linked and dependent groupings, without which, it seems, society could function quite well, their sum, undoubtedly, in the long-run presents a seeming “silent majority”. This is the same majority that has no influence on public opinion, that has no spokespersons or its protectors, which is neither black nor white, and precisely because of its non-existence of sharp contrasts uninteresting to agencies researching public opinion, harmless for political cartographers, faceless for manufacturers of history, unproductive for visionaries of the future…

Whether the subject is about laid-off female employees from the department store chain NAMA (NAMA - 1908 employees, 15 department stores, Zagreb, 2000) or the anonymous inhabitants of a tourist coastal city who have no influence on its development nor any relations of power in the city (Zadar: City-Walks, 2001); or even about the “worldwide artist brother/sisterhood” (self)isolated from social currents and the flow of capital (Artist from…, Manifesta 4, Frankfurt 2000), or on the illegal migrants whose fates are sealed in more or less civilized detention centers for foreigners (Sight.seeing, Graz, 2003), the position from which Andreja Kulunčić approaches her subject is far from a documentary-like recording of the actual facts. Articulating her visual language in the marginal area within which artistic methods mix in with non-artistic media (billboard ads, tourist brochures, fliers, etc.), “postponing” the desired effect with its specific disguise of media, and placing her work in public spaces which are not primarily intended for art (billboards and advertising panels, streets, a tourist office, a hotel reception area), the artist establishes a necessary distance - an interspace, if you will - using “Verfremdungsefekt” in order to jerk us out of our indifference, resignation, detachment, and paving the way for critical thought.

   
Zadar: City-Walks  
(brochure on display and in public use)
Andreja Kulunčić
 

The artist does not take on the role of a ventriloquist, nor does she wish to lend her voice to the “voiceless”. Rather, she believes how it is possible to participate in consciousness-raising, in “strengthening” the existing voice. As with many who formed themselves as artists during the nineties, after the fall of the Berlin Wall, during the era of strong social and economic restructurings, equally in the West as in the East, she is aware that art can no longer offer radical solutions nor change the world. Unlike the critical art of the sixties and seventies, which authentically argued for the possibility of social change through art, art at the turn of the new millennium can offer as its program only a mending of the world, striving, with its meager “patching-up of things”, to make life on this planet bearable. It is with good reason then that Nicolas Bourriaud claims that grand narratives, characteristic during the modernism era, are being replaced by micro-utopias. The artists of the nineties are aware that they are not expanding the boundaries of art, rather just testing the resistance which art proffers within the global social field.

Andreja Kulunčić, the paradigmatic representative of art at the turn of the new millennium, of “art as a production of knowledge”, is interested, above all, in this world, the here and now. There is no “other place”, the artist commented in one interview.

Having grown up and been brought up in turbulent times and place (born in 1968 in Subotica, Yugoslavia; educated in Belgrade and in Budapest in the late eighties and early nineties; from 1995 lives in Zagreb), Andreja carries with her a specific place and time as her “luggage” - equally as a burden and as a valuable inheritance. The time of transition in post-communist countries brought out the worst of two worlds - capitalism and communism - a free market combined with ideological fundamentalism, whose accompanying manifestations will become the central issues in her work.

Not satisfying herself with the illusion of democracy, which has come to have all the more followers and victims, and committing herself to the role of the artist, and not, say, the role of a political activist or journalist, Andreja Kulunčić firmly believes how it is possible, through art, to act on the “society of spectacle”, how it is possible to participate responsibly in the creation of change of consciousness, the creation of a critical mass which could realize social “repairs”. In the time of “global paranoia” (Žarko Paić), “battles of everyone against everyone” (Pierre Bourdieu), the state of general uncertainty, to dedicate oneself to the ethic of new solidarity, however much this may seem naive to cynical intellectuals.

 
Artist from ...  
(in-situ)
Andreja Kulunčić
 

Poster text reads:
artist from norway
participant
average annual salary in norway: 26 000 €
2001 artistic income: 4 220 €

 

Indeed, critical minds the likes of Pascal Bruckner, state how the system is programmed as such, so that through finding fault renewal takes place, drawing out its vitality from attack, just like communism “saved” capitalism. Is there, therefore, any hope that neoliberalism will tire itself out, desert? Is there such a thing as an alternative to capitalism?

In an indirect way, Andreja Kulunčić poses similar questions, making use of art documentation as the underlying medium. Her work is accessible to the public in the art space only via art documentation. Setting up the art documentation of a project which takes place in a public space, in the form of an installation in an art gallery, the artist, using the words of Boris Groys, through resiting and inscription into an actual space, transforms the artificial into something living, adding to it an aura of something original and unrepeatable.

Rendering the boundary of life and art unclear, Kulunčić undoubtedly confirms Groys’s thesis on the role and place of art in the time of biopolitics. “For those who devote themselves to the production of art documentation rather than of artworks, art is identical to life, because life is essentially a pure activity that does not lead to any end result,” claims Groys.

It is not surprising then that the works of Andreja Kulunčić, often the result of cooperation with a team of experts from various fields (Closed Reality - Embryo, 1999-2000; Distributive Justice, 2001-2003) - creating a type of social laboratory - are not easily distinguishable from life, from statistical analyses, tables, graphs, decrees, plans, which are also the dominant media for biopolitics.


   
ONLINE ONLINE
Closed Reality - Embryo
1999-2000  
Discussion on genetic engineering, Miroslav Kraljevic Gallery (Zagreb)
Andreja Kulunčić
  Distributive justice
2002
Discussion on distributive justice,
HDLU (Zagreb)

Andreja Kulunčić
 

What is remarkable in these team works is that the boundary between life and art is completely arbitrary, while the artist strives to remain on the sidelines, maintaining the position of observer whose standpoint cannot be determined with certainty, just as with life itself.

Andreja Kulunčić’s neutral standpoint, however, is only an illusion: with the conscious pulling back into the background, the artist strives to expand the space of the observer in order for them to take on their own standpoint and to speak out in their own voice.



also Featured:

DISTRIBUTIVE JUSTICE
VIEW
Distributive Justice
Andreja Kulunčić
 


CONTENTS








ART WORK
Homeless  Ideas
VIEW
FILM
Milk 2002-2003
(still from video)
Kristina Leko
MICRO-UTOPIAS

Time in between
Grady Gerbracht

Milk 2002-2003 Project
Kristina Leko

Volume-up
A text on the work of Andreja Kulunčić


TOPIC AREAS
SYSTEMS

SYSTEMS
 
TRANS.MISSION
 
PERSONAL
 
MECHANIZED
 
MICRO-UTOPIAS
 

CONTENTS




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