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EHXIBITION FRAGMENTS OF URBAN WILDERNESS

EHXIBITION FRAGMENTS OF URBAN WILDERNESS

Authors: Tonka Maleković and Valentina Gulin Zrnić

Designer: Mare Šuljak

From April 2nd to April 14th, French Institute in Croatia, Preradovićeva 5


Urbanity implies built, planned, and organized structures, while wilderness evokes freedom, spontaneity, and disorder. A focused examination of the fusion of urbanity and wilderness in the city reveals astonishing places of hybridity, hidden areas of untamed wildness, persistent attempts at control, neuralgic points of management, and nostalgic sites of memory. At the heart of the project’s interest lies the transformation of the city through the taming/untaming of wilderness/ in a broader sense of nature/ in urban space within the habitat of living. The relationship between humans and nature / in a more concrete proposal, the relationship between humans and nature in an urban context/ is contemplated through the multiplicity of perspectives, valuations, and interpretations of nature and wilderness and their treatment in the city. Through scenes of urban wilderness in Zagreb, the meaning of urban wilderness and its inclusion in urban planning, biodiversity of local species; spontaneous unstructured aesthetics of greenery in the city; the influence of spontaneous user practices on shaping the urban environment were examined. In the strictly structured and regulated urban environment, there is little room for improvisation, play, imagination, and appropriation: precisely in neglected spaces, “waiting” spaces, the gaze rests from rules and instructions, nature takes over, opening up spatial imagination of the possible (past, future, or virtual). By drawing the attention of passers-by to these scenes and with thoughtful selection of accompanying questions/texts, we aim to provoke a shift in the perception of everyday urban environment, towards recognizing the ambivalence of encountered phenomena which, besides critically and negatively, can be viewed affirmatively, in their imaginative and ecological potential.

The selection from the 8 FRAGMENTS OF URBAN WILDERNESS is an artistic research project realized by Tonka Maleković and Valentina Gulin Zrnić, a research advisor at the Institute of Ethnology and Folklore Research and a professor at the University of Zagreb, during 2014 as an edition of Wall Newspapers /commissioner: association: Bacači sjenki/ at eight different locations in Zagreb connected to the content of the posters. The project is re-implemented in one segment through the exhibition “What would nature tell us if we asked the right questions?” (Gallery Forum, March 25th – April 22nd, 2024) in collaboration with the Art Pavilion, Natural History Museum, and KIC, ten years later as contemplating the ruderal in the city is more relevant than ever. Luka Bekavac also participated on one of the posters, and within the intervention in the spaces of the French Institute, it is possible to read his story BIOT(R)OP 1234765 first written for Tonka Maleković’s exhibition at Modulor Gallery, 2013, and later published in the collection of stories Gallery of Fine Arts in Osijek: studies, ruins.

French Institute

Reflections and photographs:

VIZKULTURA April 15th, 2024

NOVOSTI April 12th, 2024

Project is funded by Croatian Science Foundation

Project is funded by Croatian Science Foundation

www.hrzz.hr
Project is funded by Slovenian Research Agency

Project is funded by Slovenian Research Agency

www.arrs.si
ZRC SAZU, Institute of Slovenian Ethnology

ZRC SAZU, Institute of Slovenian Ethnology

https://isn2.zrc-sazu.si/sl#v
Faculty of Humanities University of Primorska

Faculty of Humanities University of Primorska

www.fhs.upr.si/sl
Institute of Ethnology and Folklore Research

Institute of Ethnology and Folklore Research

www.ief.hr
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Zagreb, Department of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology

Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Zagreb, Department of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology

www.ffzg.unizg.hr/etno
Institute of Contemporary History

Institute of Contemporary History

www.inz.si