LAUBA presents: Alem Korkut /About the Line // 31 January – 8 March 2014

Croatian Art Today is a series of solo exhibitions focusing on the swift presentation of contemporary Croatian artistic production. This format has become Lauba's trademark. After a number of successful exhibitions by various artists, including Zlatan Vehabović, Lovro Artuković, Ivana Franke, Kristian Kožul, Kristina Lenard, Bruno Pogačnik, Viktor Popović and Marko Tadić, the series will be continued by artist Alem Korkut's first solo exhibition in Lauba.

''Everyone leaves traces behind them. Sometimes it is the traces of wet feet, a perfume, a good mood, influence on the environment or something different. Sometimes the traces are meaningful and long-lasting, sometimes they are barely visible, and sometimes we become aware of them only after some time has passed. These traces, no matter which category they belong to, establish relations of sorts with traces left by other people. We can say that each of us has created whole complicated webs of different relations with different people. When presented graphically, they form complicated drawings of random movements in which it is difficult to recognize a system or form.'' Alem Korkut used these words to introduce his works, created between 2002 and 2014, which will be presented as a part of the exhibition entitled About the Line. The drawings included in this exhibition, metaphorically compared to life, astound by their very existence. They ask questions to which the viewer must provide answers. The exhibition space is thus turned into a polygon for the search for answers.

One of the questions that arises spontaneously when one looks at the drawings on display is this: can this chaos produce something which could take the form of a recognizable motif? Can this manner of drawing give birth to one of Michelangelo's studies, a drawing by Ingres or at least the Lascaux drawings? The author offered the following explanation: ''If the world was created from chaos, as they say, after the Big Bang and if billions of billions of particles aligned, by mere chance, in such a way that created a world this perfect, I cannot see why a landscape in sfumato or a horse at a water trough could not be drawn soon in the portable studio in my bicycle basket''.

The second question that the works present is the question of authorship. Who is the author of these works – the unpredictable forces that control the movements of the pencil which leaves lines on the paper or the screen? Or is it the person who established the relations, dictated the rules, determined the number and color of the pencils, the size and type of the paper and the way the drawings would be created? Are these drawings created with purpose or have they gone completely out of control? By exhibiting the Machine FDD (the machine for the democratization of drawings), Korkut questions the definition of drawings. We can operate the machine (the artwork) and create vertical and horizontal lines, but the content of the drawing that we are creating cannot be determined in advance.

The fact that the author provides the possibility of authorship and co-authorship to all the participants in the creation of the drawing: the visitor, the machine and himself poses a question – is this art at all, and is the intention of exhibiting an unintentional drawing of questionable authorship in a gallery reason enough for it to be seen as art? What makes it admirable and what makes it art? We cannot forget to take into account, though, the person who asks the key question – is this art? If the question is posed by the author of the exhibition, he has already given an answer to his own question. By setting up the exhibition, the gallery has already proclaimed him an artist. The same question can be answered by the public, which is made up of experts, colleagues and other artists, curators and anyone who was intrigued by the question. The audience is varied and it will offer different answers to this question.

 (Taken from the conversation between  Alem Korkut i Morana Matković)

ALEM KORKUT was born in Travnik in 1970. He enrolled at the study of sculpture in Sarajevo in 1991. He graduated from the Art Academy in Zagreb in 1997. He authored a number of public sculptures, including the sculptures Karijatida in Pazin (2002), a bicycle memorial in Koprivnica (2005), the memorial to fallen soldiers of the Homeland war in Šibenik (2006) and in Karlovac (2009). He has won a number of prizes at public competitions, including the Grand Prix of the 27th Youth Salon in Zagreb, the Croatian Association of Artists' annual award for the young artist of the year in 2004, the Grand Prix of the Split Salon in 2009 and the third prize at the exhibition T-HT award@msu.hr in 2011. His works have been exhibited in over thirty solo exhibitions and around a hundred and fifty group exhibitions in Croatia and abroad. He was a member of the Croatian Freelance Artists Association from 1998 to 2007. In 2007, he began lecturing at the Art Academy in Zagreb, where he currently works as an associate professor.

The exhibition cycle Croatian Art Today is organized with financial support provided by the City of Zagreb, the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Croatia, and the brand Astera.

Curator: Morana Matković

Translation: Helena Šintić

Visual identity: Dominik Markušić

Financial support: The Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Croatia, The City of Zagreb, Astera

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