Split Dioptre
School Gallery / SPLIT (Croatia)
16.11.2016 – 16.12.2017

The artist Luiza Margan questions the complex power structures and politics of public space by exploring the systematic acts of neglect and tension that occur within it. In the Split Dioptre exhibition she simultaneously constructs a moving imagery of existing urban atmosphere – unplanned touristic development and emigrating local population, along with commercialization and branding of cultural heritage and landscape.
The author uses the two exhibited works to oppose two thematic focuses of Split’s urban politics – the abandonment and neglect of public space for the benefit of big business and the construction of national identity through the notion of public monuments. The sculpture titled Shades (Or Heritage as a Dioptre) represents an attempt to reconstruct the architectural cultural heritage of the socialist shopping center Koteks Split. The piece came into being through the process of collecting original materials that have fallen from this late modernist building and translating them into new form. The opposing exhibited video work titled Monument Reflecting the City deals with the phenomenon of construction of national identity in postwar Croatia. The artist uses apiece of the monument erected in honor of late President Franjo Tuđman located in Split’s Riva as a starting point for the piece, i.e. the surface of its red granite block.
The new space of School Gallery, which is being inaugurated with this exhibition, is located in the vicinity of the School of Fine Arts in Split. With the planned program we aim to connect the high school population with the nearby university one, as well as include the local neighborhood and the wider public with the goal of dialogue between fields of education, contemporary artistic practice and critical theory. The new space of the Gallery is in direct communication with the public space thanks to its glass panes and show window character. The uniqueness of this exhibition space is in creating connections and spaces of dialogue between contemporary artistic practices and innovative approaches to artistic education.The School Gallery’s program is organized byartistic director Neli Ruzić.

Fotocredit Luiza Margan