Almissa

09. – 14. 08. 2019.

2011

Sensuousness

The fest­ival’s 2nd edi­tion was an attempt to revital­ize the city com­munity with a new look at the concept of art itself — as a sen­sa­tion­ally per­ceived and medi­ated order. It was based on the basic premise that sens­ory per­cep­tion can be both phys­ic­al and cul­tur­al, and that sight, hear­ing, touch, taste and smell are not just the means of cog­ni­tion but also the means of trans­fer­ring cul­tur­al val­ues. We tried to awaken the fact that we cul­tur­ally accept a cer­tain hier­archy of senses, in which visu­al stim­u­la­tion dom­in­ates other senses. In some soci­et­ies, this dom­in­ance of sight would imply that sep­ar­a­tion and objectiv­ity were the pre­dom­in­ant social val­ues, while the dom­in­ance of some other sense would imply anoth­er sys­tem of val­ues (e.g., close­ness and more sub­ject­ive approach).

The pro­gram began with an exhib­i­tion of ready-made objects, which were pro­duced by local artists through appro­pri­ation and re-con­tex­tu­al­iz­a­tion. The exhib­i­tion was the res­ult of a work­shop by aca­dem­ic artists and ama­teurs, because many local artists had no prior attempts at access­ing art through a con­cep­tu­al path­way.

The second even­ing of the fest­iv­al took place at the city beach. There was a con­cert with great altern­at­ive bands, with little audi­ence. The last even­ing and the peak of the pro­gram took place at the Mira­bela fort­ress and that very night marked the birth of the Almissa Fest­iv­al, because—the per­formers at Mirabela—became a syn­onym for all sub­sequent edi­tions of the fest­iv­al.

Željko Marović per­formed a live install­a­tion in a World War II con­crete bunker, with­in the fort­ress com­plex. For a couple of hours, the artist exposed his own bare feet, peek­ing through a crack in the ceil­ing. Expens­ive alco­hol was pour­ing down his legs, drip­ping slowly on the bunker floors.

Marko Marković, accom­pan­ied by an army drum, hung a Homeland’s Grat­it­ude medal, a real Home­land war arti­fact, on his bare chest.

Milan Brkić held an inform­al art per­form­ance, giv­ing match­boxes to vis­it­ors. Matches of the brand Europa dis­played the EU flag, and the artist inter­vened into the design, repla­cing the ‘Europa’ title with the word “Breivik”, the name of a Nor­we­gi­an mass mur­der­er who was con­victed that year, and sen­tenced to serving only 21 year of jail time, for mur­der­ing 77 people.

Božid­ar Katić has signed a con­tract with the organ­izers, which orders him to dis­con­tin­ue his art activ­ity. With this doc­u­ment, Katić has given up his author’s rights to his future works, which he claims to be non-artist a pri­ori, rid­ding him­self from his ‘artist’ title.

Vice Tomaso­vić set up an art situ­ation with pre-pubes­cent identic­al twins that played chess for a couple of hours.

Julija Tomaso­vić cooked her fam­ily’s gold in salt­water, offer­ing the so-called soup to the audi­ence. The mass selling of fam­ily jew­elry in Croa­tia came in a year after this per­form­ance.

Marin Baučić placed warn­ing signs at the area where the event was tak­ing place, mark­ing restric­ted access to the main tower of the Mira­bela com­plex.

Mar­ija Ančić chal­lenged the audi­ence to a por­trait-draw­ing duel, expect­ing that the major­ity of the audi­ence would be other artists, which is the usual prac­tice in Croa­tia’s con­tem­por­ary art exhib­i­tions.

Milan Stan­ić used a dark room in a closed part of Mira­bela’s main tower, to dis­play hun­dreds of ori­gami cranes.

Marko Mandić wore an expens­ive suit with a cyl­in­der, keep­ing a half-naked masked slave on a chained leash, phys­ic­ally molest­ing him the whole even­ing.

Vedran Urličić used a broom and a dust­pan to sweep the entire fort com­plex, explain­ing to the vis­it­ors that he did­n’t wish to evoke eco­nom­ic­al ref­er­ences, but to sym­bol­ic­ally clean and renew the rela­tion­ship between art and soci­ety.