C24 Gallery (New York) is pleased to present Split Archives, a solo exhibition by artist Viktor Popović marking his inaugural exhibition with the gallery and in the United States. Split Archives brings together over thirty works created in the last three years, which explore the Modernist heritage of former Yugoslavia in the 1960s. Using strategies of appropriation, and the application of archival research methods, Popović investigates the history and collective social memory through his installations. Split Archives will be on view from March 6 through April 21, 2018, at 560 West 24th Street, with an opening reception on Tuesday, March 6 from 6 – 8 pm.
The postwar architecture of former Yugoslavia was a direct response to the demands and influences of its time. Forward-thinking in its approach, modern architectural design not only solved the issue of expansion but preserved the identity of the area - it provided a way forward. In Split Archives, Popović focuses on the city archives of his hometown in Split, Croatia, where the developmental projects became a paradigmatic example of the exceptional urban planning and architectural practices during this time. Through the utilization of found objects and raw industrial materials such as fluorescent light tubes and color correction filters, Popović’s hybrid light installations probe the relationship between artwork and object, audience, history, and environment. The artist’s interventions on enlarged archival photographs of architectural models (Untitled Archive ST3), and the interiors of the fully realized Military Hospital (Untitled Archive ST3: Military Hospital), re-contextualize the imagery and form a connection between new materials, and the original processes and states of the depicted architecture. The finished artwork questions the position of personal and social memory, in relation to the tradition of socialist, modernist architecture.
Positioned in the gallery’s atrium is the spatially dominant highlight of the exhibition: an installation made of reclaimed iron hospital beds that had once been used in the original military hospital depicted in the photographs. The structure itself is representative of the elements innately associated with Modern architecture - simple, clean lines, basic geometric forms, and rectangular shapes. The discarded hospital beds carry traces of use, and in a sense act as carriers of memory.
The buildings and projects produced during this time are a clear reflection of the social and cultural context of the socialist period in this area. The former lack of representation in architectural history is brought to the forefront and reconsidered through the lens of Popovic’s installations. Fueled by personal experience and memory, the installations dematerialize the original functions of the objects and represented places, and ask the viewer to consider not just the materials and artworks themselves but also the lost utopian projects of the time, and their forgotten values.
C24 Gallery, New York, NY, USA March 6 – April 20, 2018
curator: Meghan Schaetzle
1 Untitled (Archive ST3: Military Hospital), 2017 digital print on paper, fluorescent light tubes, electrical fittings, 300 x 340 x 5 cm archival photograph: City Museum of Split, Collection of Photographs (photographer: Ante Roca)
2-9 Untitled (Archive ST3: Military Hospital), 2018 archival prints on paper mounted on aluminum boards, color correction filters, and aluminum profiles, each print 75 cm wide archival photographs: City Museum of Split, Collection of Photographs (photographer: Ante Roca)
10-19 Untitled (Archive ST3: Military Hospital), 2017 archival prints on paper mounted on aluminum boards, fluorescent light tubes, electrical fittings, color correction filters each print 120 x 120 cm archival photographs: City Museum of Split, Collection of Photographs (photographer: Ante Roca)
20 Untitled (Archive ST3: Military Hospital), 2017 used hospital beds, fluorescent light tubes height 585 cm
21-28 Untitled (Archive ST3), 2015 8 digital prints on paper, graphite sticks 445 x 445 x 20 mm each 1 digital print on paper, dimensions variable archival photographs: Photo archive of Institute for Urban Planning of Dalmatia – Split, Croatia (photographer unknown); Department of Architecture of the Museum of Architecture and Design, Ljubljana, Slovenia, architect Vladimir Braco Mušič's Archive (photographer unknown)