Retired Compositions, 2008

Photo: Courtesy the artist | Metro Pictures, New York

Collage on paper
22.5 x 30 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 Martyrdom (1968), an austere sculpture in the memorial park. In combining the historical weight of this monument with the imagery of two small children and a sprouting tree, Maljković creates a consequentially fragmented narrative of loss, hope, and ultimately, abandon. – Alicia Reuter

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