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Contemporary Art Archive 4: The Horse Who Sings - Radical Art from Croatia

Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA)


13 Mar 1993 to 28 May 1993


Dimitrije Bašičević, Braco Dimitrjević, Julije Knifer, Mladen Stilinović, Goran Trbuljak, Gorgona (Dimitrije Bašičević, Miljenko Horvat, Marijan Jevšovar, Julije Knifer, Ivan Kožarić, Matko Meštrović, Radoslav Putar, Djuro Seder, Josip Vaništa), Group of Six Authors (Boris Demur, Željko Jerman, Vlado Martek, Mladen Stilinović, Sven Stilinović, Fedor Vučemilović)


Sue Cramer & Branka Stipančić

about the exhibition

This exhibition traced a history of art practice from the 1960s through to the early 1990s in the Croatian capital of Zagreb. The five individual artists and two collectives in the exhibition were united by a connecting philosophical and aesthetic attitude to do with the radicalisation of the notion of art and of artistic behaviour.

The title of the exhibition was taken from the ‘nostory’ Le Horse Qui Chante written by Dimitrije Bašičević, which collages French and Croation language to form complex and nuanced meaning. As an exhibition title, it was intended to evoke the literary and poetic mode of much of the work exhibited, its subversive play with logic, its scepticism and in some cases a sense of the absurd. Whilst an important part of the exhibition was the intellectual and artistic tradition specific to the city of Zagreb, the work of these artists also stemmed from a strongly international spirit.

The works in this exhibition comprised artist multiples, publications, small paintings and painted objects, documentation of texts, photographs, language and audio work. Such material formed an integral part of each artist’s wider practice, and conveyed a focus on ideas rather than a refined, finished product.