Pavle Mijuca: Endless Becomings
August 25th - September 20th 2023
The rapid development of the coast under the influence of (massive) tourism, apartment building and concretization, as well as the consequences of corruption, gentrification and illegal construction, are key phenomena for the artistic practice of Pavle Mijuca, who bases his work on research and then transfers it into visuals, that is, which summarize the results which occur, but also encourage reflection on the trivialities of reality and possible consequences for the future.
In the series that includes the works called Betoniziraj!, A Catwalk on Riva and Pukni puško, rodilo se muško, the artist explores the phenomenology of urbanism under the influence of tourism in Split, and the starting point and recurring motif is Duje, a macho investor who embodies the problems of urban planning such as corruption, gentrification , illegal construction and unregulated planning. For the mentioned series, called Full of new beginnings, Mijuca won the BA Grant Award at the University of Zurich. The name itself comes from the official campaign of the Croatian Tourist Board (HTZ) for the 2021 tourist season.
Work Betoniziraj! in an unconventional way, the artist depicts apartmentization and concretization, processes that have been penetrating the Dalmatian coast for decades. The starting point is GUP and the effort to make it interactive, like a video game, a medium used by Mijuca even in his first works of art. This is how he arranges the dystopia of an apartment-built beach in an isometric perspective, which is ruled by Split investor Duje, a fictitious character who builds skyscrapers and apartment houses on every free plot of beach. Therefore, the work can be seen as a dystopian GUP, a kind of anti-GUP, and the map can be zoomed to the smallest detail.
The work Pukni puško, rodilo se muško was inspired by the phenomenon of the constant upgrading of floors, which is present throughout the Balkans. The moment the roof is left out, when the load-bearing columns stick out impatiently waiting for the new floor to be erected, symbolizes the anticipation of the birth of the next son. This absurd act of raising floors indefinitely was seen as a direct product of the still-present patriarchy in our climate. In the work A Catwalk on Riva, the scarf is a seasonal status symbol of the Jagoda doll. The scarf functions as a statement, i.e. as a tourist souvenir that symbolizes the ubiquity of tourism and its hegemony in the Dalmatian coast.
In the same form of a scarf, he presents a similar issue of spatial planning, this time exploring the phenomenology of the city of Zagreb, through the work The City is My Lunapark!, developed as part of Vizkultura's research and education program How to think about urbanism and public space?.
The most recent of the works, which he developed as part of his studies at the Sandberg Institute in Amsterdam, investigates and analyzes the phenomenon of coastal development on the examples of Scheveningen Bad in the Netherlands and Žnjan in Croatia, contrasting the history of both maritime assets, but also trying to reveal their similarities and specificities. Referring to the latest proposal of the Law on Maritime Property and Sea Ports, Mijuca speculates on the possible future of the Croatian Adriatic coast. The research results in a publication and a model packaged in the form of a toy, which, along with other objects, intentionally clashes the aesthetics of the gallery space and that of the souvenir shop.
List of works:
Endless Becoming of Seaside Resorts: Scheveningen Bad and Žnjan, 2023
Custom made toy boxes, research paper, 3D printed models, inkjet print on paper, dimensions variable
The City is My Lunapark!, 2022
Custom made printed silk scarf, 100 × 100 cm
Betoniziraj! (Betonize!), 2021
Digital illustration, dimensions variable
Print on mesh banner, 330 × 200 cm
A Catwalk on Riva, 2020
Custom made printed silk scarf, 90 × 90 cm
Pukni puško, rodilo se muško (Fire a rifle, a male was born), 2020
Digital print on cotton, dimensions variable
Pavle Mijuca (HR/RS, *1999) is an artist and a spatial researcher. In his practice, he grapples with the phenomenologies of cities and spatial planning. He researches urban planning-related issues such as gentrification, illegal construction, and unregulated planning. The result of his research is often a satirical visual language translated into the medium of digital illustration. The illustrations are printed on various textile materials and presented as physical objects. He holds a Bachelor in Fine Arts from the Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK) and is currently enrolled in the Studio for Immediate Spaces at the Sandberg Instituut, Amsterdam. For his BA graduation project "Full of new beginnings" he received the Bachelor Grant Award. He lives and works in Amsterdam. Instagram: pavle.mijuca
The exhibition is part of the "Spaces of Play" program that the "Culture Hub Croatia" Platform is implementing in 2023 as part of the Prostor creative hub. The exhibition is co-financed by the Ministry of Culture and Media of the Republic of Croatia. The work of the Platform "Culture Hub Croatia" is supported by the National Foundation for the Development of Civil Society and the Kultura nova Foundation.
Curator: Jasmina Šarić / Technical setup: Marino Vukasović / Assistant: Lotta Erkkilä
Photos: Lotta Erkkilä / Glorija Lizde