55th International Art Exhibition—Venice Biennale 2013 / Kata Mijatović

1 June–24 November 2013, Venice, Tiziano Hall

Artist: Kata Mijatović

Kata Mijatović was born on 12 June 1956 in Branjina, Croatia. In 1981, she graduated in law at the Faculty of Law in Osijek. In 1991, she began to study Painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Florence, and in 1993, she continued her studies at the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb, from which she graduated in 1997 in the class of Professor Đuro Seder. From 1988 to 1991, she was a member of an informal art group called “Močvara” (“Swamp”). Since 2005, she has been the Director of the Atelier Žitnjak Gallery in Zagreb. Since 2007, she has been a member of the PLEH art group.

Project: “Between Heaven and Earth”

Kata Mijatović is a renowned multimedia artist whose work throughout the years has been characterised by exceptional balance of quality and continuous artistic interest. The proposal titled “Between Heaven and Earth” is based on an existing long-term project of archiving dreams in which the author collects, records, and then uses for her own artistic work dreams of other people, which also exists in the form of an online database since 2003. For the purpose of her performance at the Biennale, the said network project is to be updated and placed as the logical centre of the exhibition unit, which is to include the presentation of other works from Kata Mijatović’s opus which indirectly build on the central archive of dreams. The nature of these works is primarily performative and ambient. For this occasion, they will be presented in the form of spatial installations and video films which, together with the central access to the online database, form a meaningful and suggestive setting. The project also includes a performance program.

The Dream Archive is a domain where visitors can put/archive their dreams. In the further development of the project, the Archive’s website is going to include and connect interactive content which opens communication channels towards researching the phenomenon of dreams in the fields of art, psychology, sociology, philosophy. Getting a large number of users involved will create a sort of a global “pool” of dreams, enable exploring what people dream about today, and raise questions to which we haven’t found definitive answers yet—why people dream and what the function of the unconscious is in the construction of reality. In the time that we live in, the world functions as a multiplied, agreed construction of the conscious self. This dominant model of constructing reality is a ready-made scheme that we enter by being born. The “images” of worlds that the conscious self rapidly sends out today usually just uphold or build on the existing constructions. In doing so, they do not include the knowledge of the unconscious or its power in personal unravelling of the mystery of existence on the universal level, while this internal “space” defines us far more than we want to admit it.

And while the ancient civilizations included mental energies of the conscious self and the rational in the understanding of the world—our civilization sees the sphere of the unconscious only as the sphere of repression. We literally spend almost half of our lives dreaming, in the real of unconscious, which is a fact that, for some reason, we don’t want to be aware of. Yet, the only place where we can still escape mass control systems such as political or media manipulation are dreams. Thus, the unconscious, and dreams in particular, become one of the last oases of the internal and private self which resists the “agreed” image of the world. The Dream Archive will raise awareness of the mental sphere of the unconscious, the repressed compendium of human “proto-images”.
Curator: Branko Franceschi

Branko Franceschi (Zadar, 1958) graduated in art history and philosophy at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Zagreb. He is a renowned art critic and curator. Throughout his career, Franceschi organised many individual and group exhibitions for local and foreign artists in Croatia and abroad. The most significant are the ones in New York, Budapest, and Istanbul. In Croatia, he has organised exhibitions for international artists such as Luc Tuymans, Tony Cragg, Miroslaw Balka, and Michael von Hausswolff.

Among other things, he was the national representative at biennials in Sao Paolo and Prague, a member of a curatorial team at the Biennial of Quadrilateral in Rijeka and the International Biennial of Young Artists in Bucharest, as well as the commissioner and curator of the Croatian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale. As an independent critic, he has written numerous articles for daily press, art reviews and magazines, TV, and radio shows. He has also initiated and coordinated residencies and programmes for cultural exchanges between Croatia and the US, as well as Croatia and the UK.

From 2004 to 2008, he was Director of the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Rijeka, and from 2014 to the current function, he was Head of the Gallery of Fine Arts in Split. On the art scene, he is also known as the former director and curator of the Miroslav Kraljević Gallery in Zagreb (from 1987 to 2004). He is currently Director of the National Museum of Modern Art.