Damir Ocko to represent Croatia at the 56th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia.

Croatian Pavilion at the 56th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia

Damir Očko

Studies on Shivering: The Third Degree

May 9–November 22, 2015

Palazzo Zorzi

Curator: Marc Bembekoff

The project conceived for the Croatian pavilion in Venice will expand the durational scheme that the artist has been developing over past few years with the new film production and new works presented alongside his recent film TK, further exploring the context and the ideas behind his artistic intentions.

The space in which Damir Očko’s artistic practice enfolds is a space of junction between poetical and political. The questions of the human body and the exploration of the physical realities of the body as a social or political subject have been the core of his recent oeuvre. The violence inherent in his works mirrors issues brought by instability between the apparent state of tranquility and the underlying violence of today’s globalized world. Damir Očko’s poems and films embody a latent form of violence, which is linked to a trauma inherent by the evolution from socialism to capitalism. His works intertwine elements that rightly and poetically translate the social constraints imposed to our bodies, evoking moments of passage and transition zones.

This tension between poetics and politics—the “bigger picture” and personal space—makes the work of Damir Očko relevant and inscribed in issues similar to those developed by Okwui Enwezor for the next Venice biennale.

The artist
Damir Očko (b. 1977, lives and works in Zagreb) is one of the most prominent Croatian artist of his generation. His videos, films,  poetry and works on paper have been exhibited recently in Temple Bar Gallery in Dublin (2014), KM – Künstlerhaus Halle für Kunst & Medien in Graz (2014),  Yvon Lambert gallery in Paris (2013), Palais de Tokyo in Paris (2012), Galleria Tiziana Di Caro in Salerno (2012), and Kunsthalle Dusseldorf (2011). He participated in numerous collective exhibitions with institutions such as MUDAM, Luxembourg, FRAC Le Plateau in Paris, Kunsthalle Wien, and Museum of Contemporary Art in Zagreb among others. His works are part of many public and private collections  around the world.

The curator
Marc Bembekoff is currently Director of Centre d’art contemporain La Halle des bouchers in Vienne (Isère, France). He previously served as curator at Palais de Tokyo (2011–13) and Musée Rodin (2009–10), assistant curator at Frac Champagne-Ardenne (2007–09) and film assistant curator at Centre Pompidou (1999–2003). As an independent curator, he organized numerous exhibitions including projects with the collective Le Bureau/. He has contributed to several monographic publications and exhibition catalogues. Since 2013, he’s been part of the artistic Board of Flag-France Foundation (Paris).

Image: Damir Očko, Untitled, 2014. Collage, 104 x 70.6 cm. Courtesy the artist and Tiziana Di Caro, Naples.

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