Artist: Kristian Kožul
Exhibition title: Forensic Folklore: The Archipelago
Venue: Bačva Gallery, Zagreb, Croatia
Date: June 20 – August 3, 2018
Photography: all images copyright and courtesy of the artist and Bačva Gallery, Zagreb
Kristian Kožul’s new installation Forensic Folklore: The Archipelago is presented in the central space of the Bačva Gallery in the home of the Croatian Association of Fine Artists. His elaborate surrealist landscape of fluid, round, elongated, and abstract structures develops into an intense examination of the subconscious and probes the realistic context of historical and contemporary Balkan folklore and idolatry.
In a direct reference to his last year’s solo exhibition Forensic Perpetuality at the Galženica Gallery, Kožul continues his forensic investigation of specific society malfunctions, translating them into the visual, in the form of a sculptural installation. With black and white elements, he creates a sculptural archipelago constructed from metal, rubber, textile and artificial leather. Although abstract and amorphous in form, the elements evoke specific connections. The floor rubber, metal elements that form hospital beds, intertwined crutches, and limblike structures form loosely interconnected islands, spreading through space and onto the wall. Central to the work is not the narrative but a disintegration of the idea, with the strongly built-in traditional culture slowly taking over the main social discourse, in which deficiency, shortcomings, sometimes even limitations are worshipped. In folklore, imagination extrudes reality; fake science becomes a fact; emotions supersedes the ratio, and history is revised. Through these structures, Kožul examines the collective subconsciousness, this time the one that leads to wondrous obsessions with damaged and missing body parts laming through the mass mind.
Kristian Kožul entered the world of contemporary art with developing structures that unify the visual with critical awareness in a rare symbiosis. Focusing on strong notions such as fetish, religion, or misled masses, he has been exploring various techniques, finding strength in uncommon material combinations and uniting oxymoronic meanings. In this exhibition, he is following the highest production standards, methods that include precise craftsmanship and appropriation of materials and elements that forge a strong dialogue between the work and the public.