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For his first solo show at our gallery, David Maljković is presenting two 16mm films titled Images With Their Own Shadows and Retired Form, in addition to a series of collages.

Maljković’s work focuses on the concepts of historical and cultural heritage, particularly as they relate to his own country, Croatia, which was once part of Yugoslavia. Since its independence in 1991, Croatia has undergone many changes, not only in geopolitical terms, but above all, in a conceptual and cultural sense. Specifically, Maljković is interested in analyzing architectural sites and monuments that only a few decades ago had a well-established historic and symbolic value, and which are now decayed, abandoned spaces. The artist tries to give these places new potential, transforming them, through his projects—drawings and collages—into alternative spaces that recover a forgotten legacy.

The film Images With Their Own Shadows (2008) was shot in the museum dedicated to Vjenceslav Richter, an architect, artist, and member of the EXAT-51 group that was active in Zagreb from 1950 to 1956. The video alternates completely black images, accompanied by sound clips from an interview with Richter in which the architect talks about the collective’s avant-garde ideas (defying the vision of art dictated by the Socialist regime), with footage taken inside the museum. Inside the building, the camera lingers on details of metal sculptures in movement and on close-ups of young people—members of the artist’s own generation—with detached expressions, enveloped in an abstract, geometric setting (a reference to the artistic movement supported by EXAT-51).

The second film, Retired Form (2009), which lends the show its title, is set at Memorial Park in Zagreb, the site of a monument to World War II victims designed by Vojin Bakic in 1968. Though this landmark was once well-known and drew many visitors, in the ’90s it lost its importance and has fallen into a state of total neglect. Once again, the artist captures the decay of a monument, reappraising it, reinterpreting it and presenting it to the public in a new light.