The Forest Unbowed and Radovan Ivšić

time: 24.09.2015. - 22.10.2015.
place: Zagreb
organiser: MSU
The Forest Unbowed exhibition opens on 24 September at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Zagreb.The Forest Unbowed exhibition is dedicated to Radovan Ivšić, a prominent Croatian surrealist poet and playwright.

In his oeuvre, in particular in the poem Narcis (Narcissus) (1942), in his best known and most influential play Gordogan (1943) and in later works – the collections of poetry Bunar u kuli (Well in the Tower) and Crno (Black) (1974) – Ivšić thematises the forest as a multi-layered and ambiguous space profuse with fascinating mental and visual messages. "Radovan Ivšić learned early on that everything revolves and will continue to revolve within and around the forest, although this does not actually reference a return to a mythical forest, but rather the survival of life itself, in and around us; the survival of a forest that has become the world's theatre insofar as it is the meeting place of all existential challenges – political, erotic, poetic…" writes French poet Annie Le Brun in her foreword to the exhibition catalogue.

The exhibition is conceived as five thematic cycles: The Devastated Forest, Imagination Menaced; A Forest of Endless Beginning; Point of Dislocation; A Forest of Transformations and A Forest of Signs and Lighting. Based on the ideas and inspiration of the exhibition authors the first thematic cycle presents the issue of the destruction and neglect of forests and of a dearth of ecological awareness of the need for preservation and development. The second thematic cycle offers a very symbolic take on the primordial origins of the forest, while the third cycle looks at the forest as the dominant motif of composition – as powerful, mysterious and disconcerting… The fourth thematic cycle is shot through with the connections between the dark powers of the forest and old customs and leads to the fifth in which the topic of the forest is drawn closer to a coupling of love, humanity and poetry, the convergence of the conscious and unconscious, the permanent and transient, the real and imagined, truth and delusion.

The thematic circles will unite just under two hundred works from the 17th century to the present day, and include drawings, prints, oils, gouaches, lithographs, photographs, mixed media, ink prints, videos and many other media. On show are: Lovro ARTUKOVIĆ, Jean BENOÎT, Jacques BIOULIÈS, Jan BRUEGHEL ML., Boris BUĆAN, Jean-Désiré-Gustave COURBET, Tošo DABAC, Sebastijan DRAČIĆ, Max ERNST, Vladimir FILAKOVAC, Eugène GABRITCHEVSKY, Ivan GENERALIĆ, Drago HAVRANEK, Jindrich HEISLER, Hugo Conrad HÖTZENDORF, Victor HUGO, Carlos IRIJALBA, Radovan IVŠIĆ, Franz JASCHKE, Eva JOSPIN, Melita KALEZIĆ KRAUS, Zlatko KESER, Carl Wilhelm KOLBE, Slavko KOPAČ, Ivan KOŽARIĆ, Izidor KRŠNJAVI, Hans KUPELWIESER, Ivan LACKOVIĆ, Wifredo LAM, Raphaël LONNÉ, André MASSON, Henri MATISSE, Joan MIRÓ, Anton MIROU, Constant MONTALD, Alfred PAL, Ivan PICELJ, Laure PIGEON, Henri PRIVAT-LIVEMONT, Vanja RADAUŠ, Piero RAMBAUDI, Félicien ROPS, Friedrich SCHRÖDER-SONNENSTERN, Matija SKURJENI, Yves TANGUY, TOYEN, Félix VALLOTTON, Sandra VITALJIĆ, Mirjana VODOPIJA, Adolf WALDINGER, Scottie WILSON, Josip ZANKI, Andrej ZDRAVIČ, Anna ZEMANKOVAThe exhibition will present ethnographic, natural science and literary material in following the concept of entwining real, natural and imaginary forests.

Exhibition concept: Annie Le Brun, Snježana Pintarić

(Source: msu)

(D.H., 22.07.2015)