17.11.2023. - 24.11.2023.
Andrej Beštak &
Songs of the Owls
We couldn't believe our eyes. Through its sanctuary, all the way to the bare altar of emanating light, the owl, that hybrid being of all accumulated religions and mythologies, calls us. It used to announce death to us, proclaimed the transition to states for which we were not always ready. Now, mesmerized by the luminous darkness of the owl sanctuary, we are invited to linger.
We created her as a digital goddess, an enlightened being who cleanses us from technological nuisances – data mining, digital surveillance, Would you be interested in building your Mobile app? Try the upgraded business travel tool! It’s your high school friend’s birthday today. Death Calculator ☠️ When Will I Die? It leads us towards meditative relaxation, multiplies us and then dissolves the boundaries of our bodies and introduces us to a state of spiritual materialism. It achieves what we have not been able to do so far – instant but absolute oblivion. It releases all those precious neurotransmitters, clothes our body in the boundlessness of emptiness, but without those annoying hyperthermia or trismus. Sometimes, when the euphoria of oblivion leaves us, strange monks fill the sanctuary in their hypnotizing motions.
Sound: Yulia Vasileva & Ronja Jòhannsdottir
The work was created with the support of the Ministry of Culture and Media of the Republic of Croatia, and the City of Zagreb.
The spatial installation is one of six new productions premiered summer 2023, as part of the 63rd Poreč Annale. The Zagreb cycle therefore includes six solo exhibitions (Robert Fenrich, Andrej Beštak and Anja Leko, ROSE Kolektiv, Gaia Radić, Marianna Nardini and Andrej Škufca), and is dedicated to artistic strategies of disruption of reality using irrational, magical and sacred frameworks.
"They told me the planet has nerve endings" explores artistic practices as a place of instability, current realities in constant processes of becoming and disappearing, transitional subjects and carnival suspensions, temporary extensions into new immaterial, surreal and digital worlds. These are worlds in-between, worlds that lurk for us, waiting for us to open our own boundaries. They disturb the dominant systems of reality by accepting irrational, magical and sacred frameworks: in them our bodies burst and sail into new realities, mutating into alien organisms.
Andrej Beštak and Anja Leko are an artist duo born in Zagreb, Croatia. Their artistic practice includes installation, performance, and video works, but overall it depends on the topic that they are interested in at the moment. They mostly consider themselves storytellers in spaces using visual language and sounds rather than words to create an emotional dialog between the artwork and the audience. They like to take paths that are light, goofy, and sometimes cartoony to tell stories that they find serious and possibly heavy to digest. They are interested in urban mythologies, spiritual experiences, techno music, club culture, individualism, materialism, heavy industry, collective memory, body, oblivion, future of the body, virtuality, object/subject relationship, and things like that. They both hold a Master’s degree in Fine Arts from the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb, Croatia. They are working as an artist duo since 2020 and have exhibited in solo and group exhibitions, participated in artist residencies, and got awarded for their work.
Curatorial conception and exhibition production: KUĆĆA (Jurica Mlinarec, Klara Petrović & Luja Šimunović)
Design: Andrej Beštak & Anja Leko
The program is supported by the Ministry of Culture and Media and the Culture Department of the City of Zagreb.
The artwork was created with the support of the Ministry of Culture and Media.