ŽIŽIĆ/KOŽUL „UNTITLED“ // LAUBA – People and Art House, opening 14.6.2014.

The artistic duo Žižić/Kožul are Damir Žižić and Kristian Kožul. Since 2013. they have worked on artistic research and projects, as well as collaborated with interdisciplinary experts. They have been exhibiting since 2014. Their first independent project titled 0,50  was exhibited in January 2014.  in the Karas Gallery in Zagreb, and then on the T-HT exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art Zagreb in March 2014. One of the basic elements of the project 0,50 is misuse of the idea of elegance (visual sofistication) through the realization of works that follow the aesthetic determinants (qualities) present in the presentation of high fashion and luxury industry. Artists are interested in themes of contemporary art, tirelessly recycled by marketing industry, and they are questioning the possibility of inverting it through artistic activity. By using marketing industry methods they are manipulating the public which is today, without a doubt,  determined to react on a certain kind of aesthetic stimulans with strong and completely predictable emotions, no matter the content of the aestheticized object.

The ambiance in Lauba is reproducing temporary architecture elements, typical for commercial spaces. By negating logical layout and perfectionist construction of elements characteristic of consumption spaces, Žižić/Kožul are making disorienting space devoid of consumer content.  In that ambient visual elements designed to highlight the value and desirability of certain goods become basic and only content of the environment. Deprived of commercial purpose and their functionality, elements of the ambient are represented as twisted quotes of modernistic elegance.

According to Wikipedia, a glitch is a brief failure or system error. In the computer and electronics industry this term is most often used to describe malfunctions which are difficult to remove. The term glitch can also be found in video-game software, in computer operating systems, while in the culture of DIY a glitch becomes the source of creative experiments. The term is applicable to all kinds of systems, be they natural or social, so it also exists in the world of art. The art of glitch is, speaking in broad terms, the aestheticization of mistakes which appear within a system, according to Dutch artist Rosa Menkman, author of the book The Glitch Moment(um).

For instance, in the world of media art whose objects of interest include radio, film, television, telephony or the internet, a glitch – whether discovered or simulated – brings into question the idea of transparent, immediate and uninterrupted information mediation. The industrial-marketing standard of instant communication conceals every mistake, ignoring both the participants and the channel (medium) of communication, so media art can thus be interpreted as the ''re-establishment of a connection'' in which all the carriers of communication are guaranteed equal importance. In the modern society, characterized by its fast transmission of signals and the uninterrupted flow of information, merchandise, money, people and favours, artists have been drawn to the sudden moments when the flow is broken. The art of glitch bases its aesthetics on an interruption which takes an object or an occurrence out of the usual context and points to the characteristics of the interruption itself and the system in which it occurs.

Though Kožul&Žižić's recent work cannot be categorised as media art, we still find in it a great number of characteristics of glitch aesthetics, though they are applied in an entirely different medium – physical space. Kožul&Žižić simulate a glitch in the gallery, treating the exhibition area not as an empty container, but as a communication channel. The unrelated artefacts strewn across the space, unidentified subspaces, fragmented scenes, audio noises, the lack of exhibition navigation, etc – they all form a series of interruptions which add new layers of meaning to the ordinary practice of seeing an exhibition.

The exhibition is a system with its own mistakes, why not discover and use them – the artists seem to suggest. On the other hand, by simulating a glitch in the gallery space, the artists choose motives which point to a glitch in the public space of consumer culture, as if the phenomenon of shopping malls could be recreated only by distortions, interruptions and errors. The plastic bottle, which epitomizes poverty, cast in bronze: glittering advertising objects cast aside, into the corner; fragmentary scenes from marketing campaigns; crumpled photo-wallpaper; an annoying sound that makes you want to exit the exhibition space. The hidden glitch of the consumer culture, perhaps at its most visible in the architecture and urban planning of the contemporary Croatian society, is reconstructed within the exhibition space of a gallery. It ceases to be a mere artistic object which refers to a certain aspect of reality; it becomes an architectural space, a gallery ambiance which is the ideal instrument for exhibiting this kind of phenomenon. As if the clash of new content with the old architectural and urban forms could not have been resolved in any other way than by creating a mess or something that could be called passe-partout modernism in which form becomes more important than function, and the frame supersedes the painting.

According to Menkman, an error and a glitch are not the same. An error can be corrected, while a glitch lies so deep in the system that it is impossible to avoid – one can only get used to it. Or, to put it differently: 'To think about a glitch is to bridge the gap between absurdity and knowledge'. 

(Klaudio Štefančić)

Damir Žižić (Split, 1983.) graduated from Faculty of Graphic Arts and New Media Department  on  Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb, Croatia. During the study he exhibited at more group exhibitions,  Street Art Museum (Branimirova street, Zagreb, Hrvatska, 2012.), Youth Salon (HDLU, Zagreb, Croatia, 2012.), Dan D (Gredelj, Zagreb, Croatia, 2013). He's a longtime collaborator and photographer for art intitutions and groups, including The Culture of Change in Student's Centre,  UrbanFestival, Montažstroj  and Lauba – People and Art House. He collaborates with Kristian Kožul  since 2013. He is the member of Croatian Designers Society. He lives and works in Zagreb, Croatia.

Kristian Kožul (München, 1975.) graduated from the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, Germany. He exhibited on numerous group exhibitions: International Program – PS1 (New York, SAD, 2005.), Criss-Cross – Museum of Contemporary Art (Zagreb, Croatia, 2007.), Boys craft – Haifa Museum of Art  (Haifa, Israel, 2008.), Summer Camp – Exile (Berlin, Germany, 2010.), Bandits, Pirates & Outlaws – Lost Coast Culture Machine (Fort Bragg, SAD, 2010.), B-B-B-BAD – Anna Kustera Gallery (New York, USA, 2011). Significant recent solo exhibitions include spaces like Lauba – People and Art House and Museum of Contemporary Arts (Zagreb, Croatia), Center for Contemporary Arts (Celje, Slovenia), Kibla Gallery (Maribor, Slovenia), Minoriten Galerien (Graz, Austria), TZR Galerie (Düsseldorf, Germany), Anhava Gallery (Helsinki, Finland), Goff+Rosenthal and Pablo ́s Birthday galleries (New York, USA). He is the member of Croatian Association of Artists. He lives and works in Zagreb, Croatia.


Curator: Morana Matković

Text by: Klaudio Štefančić

Translation: Helena Šintić

Photo: Martina Kenji

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