15. – 17.12.2023.
Luana Lojić and Nina Kurtela, Negative Capability
Visual NOVAci 2023

Luana Lojić and Nina Kurtela

Teuta Gatolin

POGON, Trnjanska struga 34, Zagreb
15/12/2023 –17/12/2023
Artist talk with Luana Lojić
Friday, 15th of December 2023, 19 h

Artist talk with Nina Kurtela
Saturday, 16th of December 2023, 19 h
Exhibition working hours:
Friday– Sunday 16–20h

Additional program
workshop with artist Neža Knez
9-10/12, 12-16h

The exhibition Negative Capability is the result of the NOVAci project, created in collaboration between WHW and Pogon.  In its third edition this year, the program is based on a public call and is designed to provide young curators at the beginning of their careers with the necessary infrastructural, organizational, and mentoring support to realize their first independent curatorial projects. NOVAci thus acts as a knowledge-building support platform in the field of contemporary art, with a focus on practical experience in the field of curatorial practices, which often cannot be acquired during formal studies. For five months, as part of the project, curators Ana Kovačić and Lea Vene mentored the curator in becoming Teuta Gatolin on how to prepare an exhibition: from developing the concept, meetings with artists, theorists, and practitioners to selecting the works, designing the exhibition layout, and project reporting.

The program Negative Capability focuses on artistic research aimed at exploring contemporary perceptions of time, particularly the concept of geologic deep time – a term used to denote significant changes in the history of our planet, with events unfolding over timescales much greater than our usual anthropocentric understanding of time.

To develop a form of ecological thinking that is necessary for a sustainable future, we need a paradigm shift in terms of how we perceive the various natural entities we share this planet with, as well as a more familiar and detailed awareness of what Earth’s deep history holds. Thus, this program aims to foster a space for artistic experimentation and the construction of poetics capable of encompassing and reflecting on such large swathes of time. The program is organized as a three-week artistic residency, with the presentation of works-in-progress taking place at Pogon Jedinstvo from the 15th to the 17th of December.

As part of her interdisciplinary art research Plutonizmi, Luana Lojić works on connecting elements of deep time to the sensorium of the human body, utilizing mica minerals and silicate sand – both raw materials used in everyday objects such as cosmetics or glass – as physical anchors for shaping factual and allegoric links that can embody the Earth’s extended lifespan.

Nina Kurtela‘s work approaches time by condensing it to its physical form, observing the subtle traces that it leaves behind, and the way that past events sink into their physical constraints of rooms, walls, materials and objects, but sometimes also bodies. Her project “Jagoda” focuses on the space of an atelier formerly used by Yugoslav artist and actress Jagoda Kaloper, now used by Kurtela as her studio. Tracing the similarities and differences between their two art practices, and the importance of a “room of one’s own” in women’s intellectual and artistic pursuits, “Jagoda” focuses on what makes a space distinctive, and how its past is inherited – in the body, in a culture, in a place.

As an additional event to the main program, a workshop on artistic approaches to weather phenomena will be held by artist Neža Knez. The workshop is open to the general public, with sessions on the 9th and 10th of December from 12h to 16h at Pogon Jedinstvo.

Applications for the workshop can be sent by email to teuta.gatolin@hotmail.com until the 7th of December.
Entrance to all events of the program, including the workshop, is free of charge.

Teuta Gatolin (1993, Zagreb) is an intermedia artist based in Croatia, currently interested in storytelling ecology, the ways narratives about nature are constructed, the subversive potential of mythological tricksters, and considering technology as one of the companion species to humans. Her work is often process-oriented, spawning iterations of itself that are then realized with other fabulators. She studied New Media Arts at the Fine Art Academy, and Journalism/Media Studies at the Faculty of Political Sciences, both in Zagreb, Croatia.
She has had eight solo exhibitions in Croatia and participated in many group shows and collaborative projects.

Neža Knez (1990, Ljubljana) graduated from the Department of Sculpture at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design, University of Ljubljana; in 2017 and obtained her master’s from the same institution under the mentorship of prof. Jože Barši. She works across a range of media, such as audio, video, photography, with her own body, or with bodies of others, drawings and classical sculpture. She has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions in Slovenia and abroad. Selected exhibitions: Square, P74 Gallery, Ljubljana (2019), Talking about Images, Kunsthalle Graz, Graz, Austria (2018); the exhibition of nominees for the OHO Group Award, P74 Gallery, Ljubljana (2018, 2016), Let’s Roll Our Sleeves Up, Likovni salon, Celje (2018), Mediterranea 18 Young Artists Biennale, Tirana, Albania (2017), ALUO Crossing: Embodiment, Equrna Gallery, Ljubljana (2017), DIS-communication, Sira Gallery, Zagreb (2017), Personal, Škuc Gallery, Ljubljana (2016). She has received several awards, including the UL ALUO Recognition (2012) and UL ALUO Award (2014) for exceptional student achievements, the award for an innovative approach to graphic arts (2015), the Prešeren Student Award of the University of Ljubljana (2015) and the OHO Group Award (2018). She received the highest recognition Summa Cum Laude for her master’s thesis (2017).

Nina Kurtela (1981, Zagreb) is a visual artist and dance artist who works with choreographic and site-specific practices. She studied Dance, Context, and Choreography at the HZT, UdK Berlin and holds a diploma (MFA) in visual arts and art education from The Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb. Her work has been presented in a variety of contexts: museums and galleries, theatre and dance festivals as well as public spaces: KW Berlin; MUMOK Vienna; Transmediale, Berlin; Survival Kit, Riga; Tanz Im August, Berlin; X-border Art Biennial, Sweden; MSU Zagreb; HKW Berlin; Tokyo Opera City Gallery; 104 Paris; MMOMA Moscow; Ars Aevi Sarajevo. She received the Japanese Media Arts New Face Award in Tokyo 2017 and was shortlisted for Berlin Art Prize in 2018. Through her performance and time-based art practice, she works with methodologies of endurance, perseverance, and daily practice, all while questioning the notions of labor, identity, place and belonging, and the position of women in art and society.
She is a founder of the Zagreb-based art organization Jagoda – a practice and research-based platform for opening up new fields of communication and exchange through innovative art practices.

Luana Lojić (1991, Pula) graduated in 2016 from the Department of New Media at Zagreb Academy of Fine Arts. She is a member of the art collective Ljubavnice (Mistresses), whose practice focuses on an interdisciplinary integration of science and art, and the informal art collective M28. Lojić is interested in applied cosmophilia and digital nomadism. Seeking to understand the natural processes outside and within the concept of the senses, Lojić’s artistic pursuits range from poetry for stones to live installations, videos, film, voiceover and live art that thematize the relationship of humans and the systems, perceptions and materialities that surround us, As part of the aforementioned collectives, and through continuous collaboration with scientists and experts, she explores the possibilities of entwining different poetics and examines hybrid media solutions. In 2020, she received special recognition for her work What is Sound? 2.0_Alpha blending at the 35th Youth Salon. The work was shown dozens of times in Croatia, as well as abroad, e.g. at the Ars Electronica Festival in Linz and Recontres Monde(s) Multiple(s) in Bourges, and it was cited as an example of experimental methodology at the University of Technology, Sydney. At the 27th Slavonian Biennale, she was awarded a special recognition for her work Bits of Real: For Development Purposes Only. Lojić also received the third prize for experimental film Neptunism at the Croatian Filmmaking Festival in 2014 in Vukovar. From October 2021 to January 2022, she was an artist-in-residence at the Akademie Schloss Solitude.

The exhibition is an integral part of the program implemented by Communities of Learning, a platform consisting of six organizations: What, How and for Whom (WHW) and Živi Atelje DK (Zagreb), kuda.org, (Novi Sad), Neue Nachbarschaft / Moabit e.V. (Berlin), State of Concept Athens, and Crvena Association for Culture and Art (Sarajevo), dedicated to the exchange of independent and contemporary artistic programs that emphasize informal artistic education.

The program is supported by:
City Office for Culture and Civil Society
Ministry of Culture and Media of the Republic of Croatia
Kultura Nova Foundation