NoguerasBlanchard is pleased to announce its first solo exhibition with Croatian artist David Maljkovic. Lost Cabinet sees the artist extend his investigation of the heritage of modern utopias. Following the works Lost Memories from These Days (2006) and Lost Review (2008), Maljkovic deals with the history of his native country by exploring the modernist remnants of socialist Croatia and their echoes on the present as well as their future possibilities.
At the centre of the exhibition is an architectural installation in the shape of a large display cabinet. Lost Cabinet re-creates the modernist display cabinets designed by the EXAT 51 group in the 1950`s – a Zagreb based collective responsible for the design of Yugoslav Pavilions at trade fairs and world expos. In the context of the social realism that dominated the cultural landscape of post-war Yugoslavia, the group announced their own particular vision of progress, collectivity, experimentation and freedom of expression. Lost Cabinet evolves around the potential of monuments and pavilions built during a period of optimism in former Yugoslavia but that are now lost or forgotten.
Among the works displayed in the cabinet, are collage from the project Lost Memories from These Days, which take as their point of departure the Zagreb International Fair, a symbol of successful economic exchange between East and West. These works include fragments from yearly reviews published by the fair and from other periodicals that presented the fair’s commercial success and general economic progress in 1960’s Yugoslavia. Depictions of the fair in publications from the past are juxtaposed with present images of the languishing fairgrounds.
Lost Cabinet can be associated with a historical legacy that goes back to the 16th century cabinets of curiosity, broadly recognised as the predecessors of museums and their functions of collecting, displaying and study. Here, Maljkovic’s interest with archival modes of display is not concerned with nostalgia as such, but rather with possibilities of looking into the past to reassess its potential for the present. Like an archaeologist, displaying a private archive of fragments, he explores the aftermath, the disruption and continuity with the socialist project of modernity, insofar as this heritage is realizing itself in and through our imagination.
Born in 1973 in Rijeka, Croatia, Maljkovic currently lives and works in Zagreb. Recent solo exhibitions include: Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid (2009); Kunstverein Nürnberg (2008); P.S. 1, New York (2007); Whitechapel Gallery, London (2007); Kunstverein Hamburg (2007); CAPC, Musee d’Art Contemporain, Bordeaux (2007). Recent group exhibitions include Bienal de Sao Paulo (2010), ’11th Istanbul Biennale’, Istanbul (2009, Eyes Wide Open, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (2008) and the 5th Berlin Biennial for Contemporary Art in 2008. Recent awards Premio ARCO Comunidad de Madrid (2009) and Premi Internacional d’Art Contemporani Diputació de Castello, Spain
The gallery would like to thank the collaboration of Annet Gelink Gallery, Amsterdam.