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David Maljković

David Maljkovic, Images with their Own Shadows, 2008
Within the context of Contour 2009 - the 4th Biennial of moving image in Mechelen, under the title 'Hidden In Remembrance Is The Silent Memory Of Our Future', David Maljkovic presents the film Images with their own shadows. In this film he tries to capture the idealism present at the beginning of the 1950s, but also stresses the need to come to terms with history in order to be able to start on the future.
David Maljkovic's films, collages, sculptures and installations explore the historic, cultural and ideological legacy of modernist projects in Croatia, at the time that it was still part of Yugoslavia. The artist examines the current meanings of forgotten monuments, cultures and ideologies, and how these change from one era to the next. He relies on the iconography and the history of the modernist project to create works that apply to the present while tendering thoughts about a possible future.
Images with their own shadows was shot in the museum of Vienceslav Richter, architect, artist and founding member of EXAT-51, and it makes use of sound fragments from the last interview with Richter: "I received my first great opportunity when I designed the pavilion for Expo 58 in Brussels. My proposal won first prize. There was really only one key concept: foundations in the air. It was accepted as an idea, but numerous factors were at play, so I had to revert to a more or less 'normal building', which was also very successful."
EXAT 51 - an abbreviation of Experimental Atelier - was a Croatian avant-garde group in Zagreb from 1950 to 1956, which campaigned to preserve the legitimacy of abstract art and experimental art practices, practices contrary to the officially recognised socialist realism.
Maljkovic's film strives to grasp the idealism of the period and to formulate considerations regarding the controversial story of socialist modernism. At the same time he questions the relationship between the so-called 'international' modernism and 'peripheral' modernism that took root in a local context and were often used for different purposes. He questions the possible legacy of these idealistic models and offers as a diagnosis the impossibility of re-stimulating the longing for utopian aspirations that comprise the core of the modernist project.
David Maljkovic's work transports us into a dimension in which past and future enter into dialogue with one another and where the modernist project is not treated as a closed chapter, but as a model that offers possibilities for future development: "As long as there are artists' studios that experiment, EXAT continues to live and work."