On the occasion of Tomo Savić-Gecan’s exhibitions at Jeu de Paume, Paris and Bergen Kunsthall, What, How and for Whom were invited to hold a lecture related to the exhibition. Introduction by Elena Filipovic.
The lecture was held by Sabina Sabolovic and Ana Devic from the croatian curator collective What, How and for Whom (WHW).
The projects by Tomo Savić-Gecan often engage in initiating unexpected interactions between the space, the viewers and the non-existent object of exhibition. The author’s projects function as empty sites filled with various charges, concealed tensions, references and interlinings. By abolishing the object of exhibition and impinging on the physical and symbolic dimension of space of art, the artist indirectly interrogates the ways artistic institutions function. The artist’s works can be seen as an ongoing tactical positioning vis-a-vis and within the space of the gallery white cube – a supposedly timeless and neutral framework meant for the production of “autonomous art objects”.
The beginning of our curatorial activities in Zagreb collided with number of the projects Tomo Savić-Gecan has been working on since late 90’s. We would like to address some prominent aspects and persistent methodologies of his work from the specific perspective we share with him, i.e. the original context of Croatian 90 ‘and 2000’s and its specificities and socio-political connotations. The aim of the lecture is to contextualize the artist’s strategies of dematerialization, absence and emptiness in relation to the legacy of local Croatian and Yugoslav conceptual art and the specific status of cultural institutions.