Toni Meštrović

Video selection by Alen Floričić, Mali salon Gallery, Rijeka, Croatia, 2007

Non-profit culture association “A3” was established in Rijeka in mid 2006. “A3” aims at presenting new views on video and film art and is intent on informing the public about the previously unknown authors and cultural trends. “A3” introduces a project programme IDI VIDI in which three authors-selectors get to be presented in two-months cycles.
The IDI VIDI project is financed by Cultural Department of the City of Rijeka (2006). Project’s realization support is provided by the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MMSU) Rijeka.

TONI MEŠTROVIĆ (CROATIA) (total ca: 17′)
1. ABYSSOS, 2004 installation documentation; video/sound , 4:3, color, stereo, 5′
2. A BLUE NOTE, 2003 installation documentation; video/sound, 4:3, color, stereo, 1’30”
3. THE STATE OF MIND, 2002 video, 16:9, color, stereo, 1’30”
4. CHANGING THE STATE OF MATTER IN STEREO, 2002/2003, installation documentation, video/sound , 4:3, color, stereo, 2′
5. ESCAPE, 2000 video, 4:3, color, stereo, 3’30”
6. ILLEGAL OPERATION, 2000/2006 installation documentation, video/sound, 16:9, color, stereo, 3′

JOHANNA BILLING (SWEDEN) (total ca: 25′)
1. PROJECT FOR A REVOLUTION, 2000 video, 3’14”, loop
2. MISSING OUT, 2001 video, 4’40”, loop
3. MAGIC & LOSS, 2005 16 mm film transferred to DVD, 16’52”, loop

FERHAT OZGUR (TURKEY) (total ca: 17′)
1. I’M LIKE THIS 7 DAYS OF WEEK, 2005 video, 1’20”
2. MONSIEUR, THIS IS ANKARA CASTLE, 2005 video, 15’20”

In his work, Toni Meštrović uses medium of video and its possibilities for manipulation and installation contextualization (in multi-channel works) as a means of perception and creative reflection on his native, islander’s locus that appears as a metaphor of separateness and isolation (“Escape”) but also of the author’s belonging and unbreakable links to a place where sea is observed as a barrier but also as an unfathomable primary medium. His images and sounds use technology to construct a virtual reality built of both actuality and hints, allusions and unconscious impulses from which each observer again (re)creates his own feeling of blue infinity – his own “Abyssos”.

In her video works which, as a rule, function as gallery lops, Johanna Billing brings to the fore a young man immersed into present time, one characterised by a loss of both firm and convincing social cohesion and of a clear action plan. This is especially visible in her works such as “Project for the Revolution” and “Missing Out ” which, inside their narrative whole, use laments and quotes typical of revolutionary modernist ideology. She abolishes them by using a formative vocabulary – loop and lack of dramaturgical catharsis. Her work “Magic and Loss” goes even further. Customarily, it brings no solution, and even more, the very imbroglio is but hinted due to its absence, which puts to the limelight both nothingness and monotony of the raw present.

Ferhat Ozgur takes a view, analyses, and problematizes contemporary Turkish social reality and especially the artists’ position within it, and he does it not only through is video opus, but also in his paintings, photographs and installations His video works, in spite of their acute attitude and analytical grasp into significant, though at the first sight trivial themes (like a group of children at work in “Monsieur, this is Ankara Castle”) do not lack humour and obvious emotional attachment, which elevates those works above the usual violent and formal engagement so typical of a large part of contemporary Western art.

Toni Meštrović: born 1973 in Split. Lives in Kašteli and works as a senior assistant at the Art Academy in Split. He graduated in 1999 from the Graphical Department of the Fine Arts Academy in Zagreb. In 1997 he studied video/digital imaging at International Sommerakademie für Bildende Kunst in Salzburg. In 2004 he completed postgraduate study in Medienkunst at Kunsthochschule für Medien. Since 1992 he has been actively engaged at group and solo exhibitions and video festivals in Croatia and abroad.

Johanna Billing: born 1973 in Jonkoping, lives and works in Stockholm, Sweden. She graduated from Konstfack, International College for Arts, Crafts and Design in Stockholm. She exhibited in a series of exhibitions amongst which we single out: Nordic Art Biennial (2006), PS1- New York (2006), The 9th Istanbul Biennial (2005), Moscow Biennial (2005), Frieze Art Fair (2003), Venice Biennial (2003).

Ferhat Ozgur: born 1965 in Ankara, lives and works in Ankara. Graduated from the Gaza University’s Department for Painting and Decorative Arts in 1989. He’s into artwork (video, photography, painting, installations) and has authored numerous theoretical and critical texts in magazines. He has exhibited at a whole series of exhibitions from which we single out: The 1st Biennial in Tirana, The 8th International Biennial in Cairo, The 10th International Asia Art Biennial.