Ida Blažičko is one of the more interesting sculptresses of the younger generation on the Croatian art scene. Her recognizable style in forming the perfectly finished objects, markedly large in size, is inspired by nature and living organisms. This exhibition in the Museum of Fine Arts is the logical continuation of her earlier reflections. But there are some novelties or, more to the point, certain tenets that could already be glimpsed at previously staged exhibitions have become more prominent. In this case, specifically, the multimedia aspect is considerably more pronounced than before. Her collaboration with the multimedia artist Alex Brajković resulted in elegant fragile gossamer-like structures, now enhanced with special lighting and a musical composition that he developed specifically for this work by Ida. Interestingly, regardless of sound, the sculptures already carry withing them musical associations. They are full of rhythm and melody. Still, the diffusion of sound through space heightens the awareness of space, but also brings the sculptures into correlation with space. Ida Blažičko’s delicacy, sophistication, light and the feeling of space are rare in contemporary art. The floating sculptures’ fragile structure is illuminated with tender cross-fading light beams, which also contributes to and enhances the experience of volume and the feeling of space itself. The end result is an extraordinary interpenetration of the sculpture’s interior space and the Museum of Fine Arts’ exhibition space, i.e. its atrium, which provides the visitor with a singular visual pleasure of playing with the way the work is viewed. Actually, the space literally transforms in front of the viewer’s eyes. With prolonged observation, all of her works appear fluid, reminiscent of an active organism in perpetual motion. The element of wind is felt in her sculptures – they seem to carry, in their movement, this mechanical energy of nature. Creating structures of delicate material, Blažičko relies on currents, vibrations, air flutters which add to the impression of mutability and immateriality. With airflow these fragile materials create shadows and awaken the feeling of lasting change. Simple, clean and ethereal sculptural organisms akin to minimal art are in fact extremely delicate kinetic interventions in space and peculiar modulators of space. This exhibition, and Ida Blažičko’s works in general, are an excellent example of how artists, if their idea has quality, do not need modern technology or special availability of design materials, for the result to exude originality and creativity.
We can say that this artist’s main driving force is an interest in space, as well as drawing attention towards the observer, and his relationship to the work and the surrounding space. Owing to the logic behind the display, unobtrusiveness and legibility are fundamental characteristics of this space. It does not fatigue or confuse the visitor, but offers him different movement options, gradual discovery and experience and it arouses curiosity. The artist thus invites the visitors to start exploring the space on their own, and in so doing opens the possibility of communication with the observer, who directly influences, with his movement, the gentle cross-fading of light effects and the generative multichannel musical composition of Alex Brajković. And this is precisely where we come to the unquestionable specificity of Ida Blažičko’s creative work. With each artwork, she simultaneously offers the possibility, if not also an invitation, for the necessary participation of the observer, uncompromisingly relying on their contribution in the realization of the work. Only the observers’ complicity, active and direct, actualizes and changes space, because every human action is a new experience of space – different viewpoints create different perceptions – but also the testing of possibilities and the responsibility for one’s own actions.
In order to experience Ida’s works, to be able to open our eyes to them, to allow the energy they create to carry us away, we have to stop thinking. Perhaps that is why her work possesses almost therapeutic properties. Should this energy enfold us, the discriminatory view that separates and isolates phenomena from each other is replaced with a view that embraces the whole, recognizes the interconnectedness of all things, their mutual production of – form and space, full and empty, light and darkness, open and closed, inner and outer, body and mind.
Ida Blažičko graduated in sculpture from the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb in 2007. As a student, she resided at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Ida has previously created a series of site-specific sculptures inspired by her primary research interests that include what happens in overlapping areas where we can blur the boundaries and use biomimetics as an artistic tool and provide solutions to environmental problems. She received a doctoral degree in biomimetics from the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb in 2016 (Biomimetics in the Service of Art). She also received a doctoral degree from the China Academy of Art in Hangzhou in 2012, with the dissertation on Sustainable Public Art: Re-creating Urban Environment, and is a visiting professor at the same academy. She created sculptures made of steel in public spaces, namely Wind (Shanghai, 2011), Wind II (Hangzhou, 2012) and Deep silence – the shrill of cicadas seeps into rock (San Vito al Tagliamento, 2017). In 2017, she took part in the artist-in-residence program at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris, where she exhibited an ambient sculpture Blossoms in urban public space. In 2018, her sculpture Wave was included in the collection of the Ado Furlan Foundation (Pordenone, Italy). In July and August 2018, she participated in the Contextile – Contemporary Textile Art Biennial and resided in the Portuguese city of Guimarães where she realized the site-specific sculpture Traces of Time based on the rich cultural, historical and ethnographic heritage in the contemporary context. In connection with the project “Around”, dedicated to the artistic exploration of Zagreb through artistic interventions in the very fabric of the city that revive urban spaces, she collaborates with Alex Brajković in the design, realization and display of the ambient acoustic-light installation Singing Forest in Bela IV Park. She is an assistant professor at the Academy of Fine Arts, and vice president of the Croatian Association of Artists (HDLU) in Zagreb.
Alex Brajković is a multimedia artist from Poreč. He graduated cum laude in jazz drums from the Arrigo Pedrollo Conservatory in Vicenza, Italy. In 2018, he received a master’s degree from the Conservatory in Amsterdam in Live-Electronics. He performs solo multi-instrumental electro-acoustic and multimedia installations in public space. He is a member of different ensembles: Amsterdam Modern Orchestra (AM.OK), Ochre River (with Marcel Wierckx) and a duo with STEIM’s Frank Balde (Studio Voor Electro-Instrumentale Muziek, Amsterdam, Netherlands). He created film music / multimedia performance (Fritz Lang’s “Metropolis”) with the Israeli sound designer Tomer Baruch. He gave a guest lecture at the Conservatory in Amsterdam on “Controlling live electronics while playing the drum set”. He is the member of the Croatian Musicians Union (HGU) and the Croatian Association of Artists (HDLU) in Zagreb.