Retired Compositions, 2008

Photo: Courtesy the artist | Metro Pictures, New York

Collage on paper
70 x 100 cm

David Maljković’s work skilfully references the avant-garde aura of Yugoslavia in the 1960s and 70s - a time when a successful economic and cultural dialogue was enjoyed between former Yugoslavia and the West. Committed to the eventful history of his country, his work reflects the hopeful, forward-looking spirit of a different era - a promise that has gone unfulfilled and can be physically viewed in the melancholic ruins of abandoned architectures and sculptures. Here, Maljković turns his eye to the work of Vojin Bakić, a sculptor and collaborator in the experimental EXAT 51 group of artists and architects, who sought to obtain legitimacy for all visual art. Interweaving past, future, and present, Retired Compositions, looks to sculptural monuments dedicated to the thousands of minorities imprisoned and executed in Yugoslavia between 1941-1945 in the Memorial Park Dotršcina.
The central form in Maljković small-scale collage is an image of Bakić Times of In this large-scale collage, Maljković uses an image of one of Bakić’s sculptures in the park’s Valley of Graves. Presented without context or commentary, it almost seems as though the artist is attempting to make sense of the meaning behind history – and these monuments in particular. Referencing significant protagonists in social modernism, Maljković recycles and realigns the imagery to tie together history and memory. – Alicia Reuter

*1973 in Rijeka, Croatia | Living and working in Zagreb, Croatia