LUIZA MARGAN – Movement for Space


spatial interventions, Franjo Tuđman Square and Square of the French Republic, during the festival
performance of the Concert for a Sewing Machine and a Tree, Franjo Tuđman Square, 9 October, 6:00 p.m., tone recorded by Milan Čekić

Movement for Space is a project consisting of a number of info-panels set in public space – on Franjo Tuđman Square and Square of the French Republic. The panels are situated on various localities in the park, containing brief textual explanations in which certain aspects of public space are treated as a “threatened species”, thus problematizing the gentrification process and the repurposing of public places. The artist draws attention to the threatened democracy of public space and encourages the users to take a critical stance towards their own role in it. The project proposes a series of subversive actions, engaged laziness, and self-organization as methods of resistance against the disappearance of public urban spaces and for the deconstruction of the schizophrenic spaces of neoliberalism.

Concert for a Sewing Machine and a Tree is conceived as a part of Movement for Space, its starting point being the recently devastated Kamensko factory and the protest of its workers. The project of repurposing the land plot of the factory into a business and commercial area marks the onset of gentrification in that part of the city, whereby several questions should be raised: Who defines public space and for whom? How can we achieve the choreography of democratization? What role should the citizens play? Concert for a Sewing Machine and a Tree is a composition of sounds from manual and machine work, recoded in one of the still existing textile factories in Zagreb, and at the same time it is an intro to a radio drama for an emerging public space.

Luiza Margan’s (1983, HR) projects are research based works spanning a range of media including video, drawing, photography, text, sound and spatial interventions. In her recent work, the artist explores the relation of artistic engagement to a wider social context. In her video and audio works, real and fictive subjects inhabit and slip out of the prescribed social roles,  thus enabling space for critical reflection of the history and value of the work. The physical presence of the body in relation to static social structures (Moving Pillar), as well as speech, is a repeated motivation in her exploration of silenced histories, codes of oppression and the capacity for subversive action through art (Anatomy of the Bow, 2012, Melting Ground, 2009).

Margan studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Ljubljana (graduated 2006) and Vienna. She has exhibited in various solo and group exhibitions in Croatia and across Europe, such as a solo exhibition Outside the Role at the SC Gallery in Zagreb, Croatia, 2011 and Ground Work, at the Vaska Emanoilova-Sofia Art Gallery, Bulgaria, 2009, and in group exhibitions such as Recalling the Past, the Poreč Annals, 2012, Andere Blicke Andere Räume, Passagegalerie- Kunstlerhaus, Vienna, 2012, Extreme, Kunstraum Niederoesterreich, Vienna, 2011, Iron Applause, a group exhibition in the National Gallery in Bratislava, and others. In 2012, she took part at a residency program in Changdong National Art Studio, Seoul, South Korea. In 2012, Margan won the purchase prize T-HT/MSU Art Award organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art in Croatia. Margan lives and works in Croatia and Austria.