Previous editions of UrbanFestival: 2001 | 2002 | 2003 | 2004 | 2005 | 2006 | 2007


students of ALU / Laboratory exercises 1
Wed 7 May at 6pm / Park ALU, Ilica 85

Opovoempé / Out of Key(s)
Thu 8 May at 6pm / summer theatre Tuskanac

Andreja Kuluncic / I'm sorry... I'm not sorry
Fri 9 May at 2.30pm / 88.1 MHz - Radio Sljeme

Sagadin & Hieslmair / The rate of return
Fri 9 May at 6pm / People's Open University, Vukovarska 68

Martin Krenn / Monument for a just city
Sat 10 May at 12am / Marshal Tito Square

Stefan Rummel / Underground ghosts
Mon 12 May at 11am / Bana J. Jelacica Square, by the ex public toilet

Vered Dror / Hidden city
Tue 13 May at 11am / Britanski trg, post office

Barbara Blasin / Endangered particle
Wed 14 May at 11am / Booksa, Marticeva 14d



This poet is unsatisfied, even melancholic. But his melancholy arises from routine. Because to fall into routine means to sacrifice one's idiosyncrasies, to give up the gift of rejecting. This is precisely what makes us melancholic... And there is no greater routine than the irony which raises the dough of private thinking like yeast.

This is how Walter Benjamin wrote about Kästner in his essay on the melancholy of the left. Today, more than ever, it appears that this phenomenon is omnipresent and decisive. In any case, the losses in our time are manifold and numerous: the downfall of socialist projects, of the society as a whole, as a project, the disappearance of work and class, the loss of a viable alternative to the political economy of capitalism... On the wave of these losses, others also float: today we have no feeling for an international, or even local, community, no belief in the truth of the social order. Thus, we suffer with a feeling not only of a lost historical moment, not only of lost theoretical and empirical attunement, but also with a feeling of a lost way of life and of a lost direction of pursuit.

The melancholic person is devoted to the "world of things", which suggests a certain logic of fetishism that is contained in the logic of melancholy. Thus we have more love for our passions and reasons, for our analyses and beliefs, than for the existing world that we are purportedly trying to change. Because all too often we are tied more to a certain political analysis or ideal - or even to the failure or collapse of this ideal - than to grabbing the opportunity for a radical change in the present. Melancholy doesn't help us to cope with the future, but a creative melancholy may uncover some of the fantasies of the epoch, and in these fantasies a possible future is also born.

When we circulated this sort of a call for participation on the UrbanFestival, we were interested, among other things also because of the anniversary we are marking, to open this issue in the art field, that is, in the domain of imagination, where feelings of loss aren't tied to the real world, but where imagination's creative spring is renewed, where we are allowed to think unburdened by these losses. Chosen artists have made research visits to Zagreb, and the works that have resulted from this are their insights into the local millieu, its regrets, losses, roundabout routes and possible directions.

Vesna Vukovic

organized by: [BLOK] - Local base for culture refreshment is a non-profit and non-governmental organisation that produces and organizes innovative artistic events, woks on widening and changing public spaces through inspiring citizens participation, hybrid artistic research project focused on rethinking social phenomena and urban structure. [BLOK] works on creating and preserving continuum of artistic effect in the public space.