'His Supporting Hand - Curating the Curator: Davor Maticevic' opened at Museum of Contemporary Art

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'His Supporting Hand - Curating the Curator: Davor Maticevic' opened at Museum of Contemporary Art
'His Supporting Hand - Curating the Curator: Davor Maticevic', Leri Ahel, Željko Luketić, Tihomir Milovac. Foto Srećko Budek.

ZAGREB.- The exhibition "His Supporting Hand - Curating the Curator: Davor Maticevic" opened at the Museum Of Contemporary Art Zagreb. The exhibition is part of the "Triggers" cycle, in which MCA invites artists, curators and curatorial collectives to critically reflect on, or react to, the museum fund and documentation. The Rijeka-Zagreb platform for audio-visual research Yesterday Today Tomorrow (JDS / YTT), led by independent curators and publishers Leri Ahel and Zeljko Luketic, at the invitation of curator Leila Topic, offered the concept of a new reading of the curatorial work of Davor Maticevic (Split, 5 August 1945 - Zagreb, 13 May 1994). The authors of this exhibition wishes to reinterpret Davor Maticevic's museum and spiritual heritage by focusing on his professional oeuvre as an exceptional contribution to different communities, observing him as one of the first curators who was able to understand the legacy of curatorial discourse and its unstructured complexity, while at the same time playing with different and often controversial incentives.

Davor Maticevic was remembered by the general public as D. M. - the first public victim of AIDS in Croatia, which for artists of the younger generation, art critics or art historians, included him in the queer history of art without additional knowledge of how and in what ways it is manifested in his context and work. Furthermore, since the second half of the 80s, the AIDS crisis in developed democracies served as a kind of catalyst for new alliances. However, our local environment, which is represented by the segment of documentation that follows the media reactions to Maticevic's illness and death, collapsed into intolerance and criminalization of AIDS through media haranguing, further marginalizing the rights of sexual minorities. Exhibitions that seek to explore sexuality easily collapse into mere explorations of differences, which we try to avoid here. We consider them primarily desirable precisely because they are so rarely seen in a museum context, and it is undeniable that Maticevic himself wanted to deconstruct such an approach to emphasizing differences.

Exhibition "His Supporting Hand - Curating the Curator: Davor Maticevic ", includes a selection of works by authors whom Maticevic supported (Hans Haacke, Robert Mapplethorpe, Bill Vazan, Marina Abramovic and more), private documentation of photos, including catalogs, letters and agreements. Detailed timetable of his exhibitions is present as a visual passage through his curatorial history at the former Gallery of Contemporary Art. Thanks to the cooperation with the national TV archives HRT, the banned and never broadcasted documentary film "Akt-Art" from 1982, directed by Slobodan Praljak is screened. In the banned film, Tomislav Gotovac, Davor Maticevic, Vlasta Delimar, Sven Stilinovic and other artists of the Zagreb art scene of the 1980s appear.

The platform for audio-visual research JDS/YTT, led by Leri Ahel and Zeljko Luketic, is in the status of an independent curatorial collective guided by the idea of accessibility and reinterpretation of archives. It has so far authored numerous and exceptionally visited exhibitions. The exhibition about the phenomenon of the animated series "Professor Balthazar" in the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Rijeka under the title "51000 BalthazarTown" as part of the European Capital of Culture Rijeka2020 was seen by 12,000 visitors. Ahel and Luketic are also the authors of a series of exhibitions at the Croatian Design Society and its HDD Gallery, where, among other things, they dealt with the phenomenon of record cover design in the context of propaganda and music at the exhibition "Utilitarian Design of Singing Socialism 1947 - 1990", as well as the first retrospective of Jugoton graphic designer Ivan Ivezic. For Gallery Klovicevi dvori in 2015 they created the first in a series of exhibitions on the phenomenon of disco music in Yugoslavia, "The Other Side of Saturday Night Fever: Socialist Disco Culture 1977-1983". They are the owners and chief editors of the record label Fox & His Friends, which publishes rare and unreleased music by well-known domestic and foreign authors.

The exhibition "His Supporting Hand - Curating the Curator: Davor Maticevic" is open until January 31, 2024 in Museum Of Contemporary Art Zagreb.

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