Pavilion of Croatia 60th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia / Vlatka Horvat

April 20 – November 24, 2024

Artist: Vlatka Horvat

Vlatka Horvat is an artist working across a wide range of forms from sculpture, installation, drawing, collage, and photography to performance, video, writing, and publishing. Reconfiguring space and social relations at play in it, her projects often rework the relationship between bodies, objects, materials, the built environment, and landscape. She has had exhibitions at institutions such as the Museum of Contemporary Art Zagreb, PEER (London), Kunsthalle Wien (Vienna), Hessel Museum – Bard Center for Curatorial Studies (Annandale-on-Hudson, NY), and MoMA PS1 (New York City), and her work has been included in the Croatian Pavilion at the Biennale Architettura 2018 (Venice), Aichi Triennale (Nagoya), and the 11th Istanbul Biennale. Her performances have been commissioned by venues including HAU Hebbel am Ufer (Berlin), LIFT – London International Festival of Theatre, PACT Zollverein (Essen), Kaaitheater (Brussels), Fondation Cartier (Paris), and many others. Born in Croatia, she moved to the United States as a teenager and spent twenty years there. She currently lives in London, UK.

Project:  By the Means at Hand

Engaging with the theme of Adriano Pedrosa’s main exhibition for La Biennale di Venezia, “Stranieri Ovunque – Foreigners Everywhere,” Vlatka Horvat’s project for the Croatian Pavilion, curated by Antonia Majaca, will exist as an accumulative exhibition of artworks by a wide-ranging group of international artists living “as foreigners,” reflecting on questions and urgencies of the diasporic experience. Horvat will invite artists living in diaspora all over the world to engage in a series of reciprocal exchanges of artworks and other materials, all of which will be sent between Venice and other places by improvised means – via various friends, travelers, and strangers who will be enlisted as informal couriers for the project.

The title of the project – By the Means at Hand – refers to the improvised transport systems whereby individuals activate informal networks of friends, acquaintances, and even strangers to deliver letters, parcels, documents, money, and other material goods to family members and others who live in cities or countries far away. While such practices are born out of social dispersal, migration, and displacement, the networks they give rise to build effectively on wider principles of solidarity, shared struggle, mutual support, and friendship – factors that the project emphasizes as prerequisites for co-existing with others, and as key elements in the toolkit for those living “in foreign lands.”

By the Means at Hand also points to a wide range of broader themes such as alternative logistics, the spontaneous production of social relations, informal and gift economies, and the idea of trustfulness. On a subtler, yet crucial, infrastructural level, the project takes off from a recognition of the state of emergency when it comes to the climate crisis, and the substantial environmental footprint of institutionalized modes of production, transportation, and presentation of contemporary art. The project’s improvisatory system of delivering artworks to and from Venice will forgo the formal transport system, and its main installation architecture will use recycled materials.

Situated within the intimate space of Fàbrica 33 in the Cannaregio – Fondamente Nove neighborhood of Venice, the Croatian Pavilion will stage a dynamic interplay of three-dimensional structures, images, and drawings. The venue will also serve as Horvat’s temporary studio for the duration of the Biennale Arte 2024.

Curator: Antonia Majača

Antonia Majača is an art historian, curator, and writer based between Venice and Berlin, whose work incorporates art history, political theory, epistemology, and intellectual history. She was one of the curators of “Parapolitics – Cultural Freedom and the Cold War” at HKW – Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin in 2017 and is the author of the itinerant project Feminist Takes. She was the principal researcher of The Incomputable at IZK – Institute for Contemporary Art of the Graz University of Technology, and is the editor of Incomputable Earth: Digital Technologies and the Anthropocene (Bloomsbury, 2024).
The Croatian Pavilion at the 60th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia is commissioned by the Ministry of Culture and Media of the Republic of Croatia, and organized by Apoteka – Space for Contemporary Art (Vodnjan, Croatia) with the generous support of Luma Foundation. The project is supported by a research residency at Centrala, as well as in-kind support from Epson, Prostoria, and The Medea Winery. Additional support from GAEP gallery, Unstable Object, Kerschoffset and Igepa Plana.

Instagram: @croatianpavilion2024 
Facebook: @CroatianPavilionVenice

(Foto: Hrvoje Franjić / MKM)