Curator: Leila Mehulić
Assistant Curator: Doris Cvetko
Designer: Nika Pavlinek
Editors: Miro Manojlović and Leila Mehulić
Mimara Museum, 21 May – 18 June 2016
Inspired by the International Museum Day theme, ‘Cultural Landscape,’ I set up a sound installation at the Mimara Museum: Cultural Landscape of Gentlemen and Skateboarders. Located in the city centre, the museum is more than just a home to a valuable art collection and a venue for exhibitions, lectures, and concerts. Many Zagrebians use this place without any relation to its museal context, instead as the locus of their emotional and social identity. Roosevelt Square, a sort of extension to the Neo-Renaissance museum façade, is one of the hubs of the Zagreb skateboard scene. On the western side of the museum, an equally lively and vibrant activity takes place. The museum coffee house Gymnasium is regularly frequented by the former students of the First Male High School, which used to be located in this very building. The coffee house thus becomes the venue for political discussions, useful advice, nostalgia. Members of this ‘wartime generation’ celebrated the 65th graduation anniversary on 21 May 2016.
The founder of cultural studies, Raymond Williams, perceived everyday space as a cultural landscape, which different social groups see differently. It is easy to assume that the vision of the cultural landscape for senior citizens gathering at the Mimara coffee house is very different from that of the skateboarder subculture in Roosevelt Square. Their testimonies, however, reveal mutual similarities: adventurism, individualism, and a love of sports.
Their narratives challenged the current function of the location and raised the question of how much a publicly funded institution communicates with its local community.
I thank the former pupils of I Gymnasium in Zagreb Željko Horvatić Volta, Josip Mucko, Franjo Podvalej i Petar Vignjević Viga and the skaters Helena Benc, Helena Janečić, Filip Kisin Fio, Vlatko Pavišić i Antonio Peković Peks.