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20 Jul 2018

Renata Poljak: Yet Another Departure / The Salon of the Museum of Contemporary Art Belgrade

photo: Renata Poljak, Yet Another Departure (2018)

Exhibition 'Renata Poljak: Yet Another Departure' / The Salon of the Museum of Contemporary Art Belgrade / July 6 – August 20, 2018
Museum of Contemporary Art Belgrade


The exhibition is open until August 20, 2018. Working hours: from 12 a.m. to 8 p.m., except Tuesdays Admission is free of charge.

Senka Ristivojević
+​381 ​11 2663 173
+​381 11 3676 288

The Salon of the Museum of Contemporary Art Belgrade
14 Pariska St.
11000 Belgrade

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Renata Poljak: Yet Another Departure

The Salon of the Museum of Contemporary Art (14 Pariska St.)
July 6 – August 20, 2018
Working hours: from 12 a.m. to 8 p.m., except Tuesdays

Renata Poljak is a prominent Croatian mid-generation artist working mostly in the media of video, film, photography and installation. Poljak's work refers to both local and global political, economic and social phenomena.

At the Salon of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Renata Poljak will present two video works, 'Partenza' (2016) and 'Yet Another Departure' (2018). 'Yet Another Departure' is a three-channel video installation that will premiere on this occasion. Since Poljak often uses documentary and archival materials for production of her works, and also particular phenomena she tries to isolate and transform into complex and intriguing motifs, these two videos are formally and symbolically concerned with the notion of island that the artist aims to examine through understanding of the ontological position of a site in relation to the rest of the world.

The video 'Partenza' (Italian for departure; the term in use in many island and coastal dialects of Croatian) and 'Yet Another Departure' are filmed on two islands in the Adriatic sea. 'Partenza' is shot at the island of Brač, and 'Yet Another Departure' on the Brioni islands, where the official summer residence of Marshal Tito was located from 1947 to 1980, well kept from the eyes of the public, and visited by almost every major world statesman of the day. In both videos one sees the same actress as a common rather symbolical than narrative thread between the two; she is there to put the stress on the main character – the sea portrayed as a site and a subject of political and emotional relevance.

Drawing on current migrants' and refugees' stories, the situations repeating throughout the history, 'Partenza' points to the human condition as a fragile and susceptible to political, economic and social changes. 'Partenza' refers to the early years of the beginning of the 20th century when the golden fever called 'Tierra del Fuego' attracted thousands of Croats from the Dalmatian islands to embark on the pursuit of happiness at the Argentinean and Chilean coastline. The work 'Yet Another Departure' is about the event that took place a hundred years later, when in 2016 an admiral ship called 'Vis', the leading and the single most important vessel of the Yugoslav Navy, was purposefully sunk down to play the part of a diving attraction.

Reexamining the historic and superficial remoteness of the sea, the pieces do not rely on a completely fixed narrative but rather unfold in shifting story that pays close attention to the articulation of space with room for contemplation. The location itself equally becomes subject matter.

Renata Poljak graduated at the School of Fine Arts in Split and gother MFA at the École Régionale des Beaux-Arts, Nantes, France. Her works have been shown at numerous national and international solo andgroup exhibitions, biennials and film festivals. She received many awards, like Golden Black Box for the best short film at Berlin Black Box Festival held in Babylon Cinema in 2006, or the T-HT award – one of the most important contemporary art awards in Croatia, in 2012.

In 2002 she was a visiting artist at San Francisco Art Institute, and in 2008 she has been selected for Art In General residency program in New York. She was also a resident in Cité des Arts and in Recollets in Paris. In 2010 Poljak screened her films in the program of 'Prospective Cinema' (Prospectif Cinéma) at the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris and in October 2012 at the Palais de Tokyo, Paris. In 2013 her solo show 'Uncertain Memories' in NYC was selected as the best in show by Village Voice. A retrospective of her work was featured in 2014 in Montreal, Canada, shaped as the two parallel solo exhibitions in the art centers Occurence and Optica. Recent group shows include exhibitions such as 'Prophetia' at the Fundazio Joan Miro in Barcelona and 'Stories from the Edge' at the Kunsthaus Graz. In 2016 she had two major museum shows in Croatia, Paris and in Danubiana Art Museum in Bratislava, featuring her newest project 'Partenza'. In 2017 her artist book entitled 'Don't Turn Your Back on Me' was published by Verlag für modern Kunst GmbH, Vienna.