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13 Apr 2010

Ivan Fijolic at Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Rijeka

Bruce Lee Show-off, painted polyester, wooden base and electric motor, 190 x 110 x 65 cm, 2007
Filip Trade Collection

Ivan Fijolic - The Good, the Bad, and the Dorky
Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art Rijeka


April 14th, 2010 at 7 p.m. The exhibition is open until May 8 Curators: Ksenija Orelj, Sabina Salamon

Ivo Matulic

Mali salon
Korzo 24
51000 Rijeka

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IIvan Fijolić, The Good, the Bad, and the Dorky
Sculptures, objects, and reliefs (2003 – 2009)
Mali salon, April 14th – May 8th, 2010

The exhibition The Good, the Bad, and the Dorky is Ivan Fijolić's first presentation in the region of Istria and Northern Adriatic. It will be held at three venues, in three cities: the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Rijeka, Labin City Gallery, and the Multimedia Centre in Rovinj. In the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, his work has been exhibited as part of the selections for the 2nd Quadrilateral Biennale, 2007; 11th Biennale of Young Artists of Europe and the Mediterranean, 2004; and the 15th Exhibition of Drawings, 2002. This individual exhibition is a chance for different profiles of visitors to get to know this artist. The display will adapt to the size and characteristics of venues. It will encompass the cross-section through the artist's primary medium – sculpture, from 2003 to 2009. Reliefs, sculptures, and objects have mostly been put on our disposal by the largest private collection of contemporary art – Filip Trade.

Ivan Fijolić is a noted sculptor, who belongs to the younger generation. He was born in Zagreb 1976; his works are equally communicative and interesting for broader public and for limited visual arts circles. This versatility mostly emerges from his topics: toys and action figures, superheroes, blockbusters, and images of media icons. His protagonists belong to popular culture and originate from cartoons, films and mass media; they are identification idols from his childhood and heroic figures from generally popular American films, like the archetypal Superman or the author's favourite cowboy characters, as well as persons from real life, like Bruce Lee. It is not less important that his works have been executed as model examples of traditional sculpturing, than that his extensions use the impure range of contemporary notions, like collage and montage elements and introduction of non-sculptural elements. His iconography, along with the execution in a wide range of techniques, materials, and colours, shows that the pre-set differentiation between high and low, representative gallery art and everyday aesthetics, camp culture or kitsch, does not exist anymore. Thus the figure of Jesus stands next to a heart-shaped hand grenade, while on a base rotates an impeccably cast pink figure of Bruce Lee, entitled Bruce Lee Show-off.

In a variegated opus, often containing juxtaposed forms, the artist checks the basic ingredients of the contemporary cultural reality and is also concerned with the relation of the artist with his or her social environment, the status of art, and the consequences of its commoditisation. The presented works offer the sweetness of popular culture, detachment, and oblivion in the company of 'good guys'. In doing so, they more or less markedly – ironically, suspiciously or critically – show the enjoyment craze, pressures, and fissures in the system of values. The title of the exhibition suggests the author's thematic preoccupation with heroes, but also with the constant polemics with the good, the virtuous, and the successful and, on the other hand, with their opposites: vanity, egomania, and obsession – everything that makes the contemporary world difficult and interesting at the same time.