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Igor Grubić

Igor Grubić began his career as an anonymous artist with the action Black Peristyle (Crni Peristil), exactly 30 years after the famous public space intervention by the group Red Peristyle (Crveni Peristil), who in 1968 applied red paint to the pavement of the Roman peristyle in Split. Grubić’s big round blotch that appeared in the same spot was both an act of homage to his predecessors and “a magic mirror, reflecting the state of social consciousness,” as he stated in the message he left there. After taking responsibility for his work, he was interrogated by the police at the Department for Counterterrorism and War Crimes—from which he was soon released. Grubić is disobedient, radical, and his works challenged the society of the Tuđman era, an era of war profiteering, privatization and corruption. For him, the Black Dot (Crna točka) is a “stain on the soul of every individual who could contribute to a different reality but doesn’t do anything about it.” He has agitated for the better functioning of municipal institutions (the Student Centre and the movie theatre Kinoteka); he gathered together artists to take action against the introduction of a value added tax on books (Book and Society/Knjiga i društvo, 1998); he works with prison inmates by listening attentively to their childhood stories and visions, also researching what pop-cultural heroes they used to admire (Velvet Underground, 2003); he infiltrates the ranks of the miners of Golubara as an “artist-healer” (Angels with Sooty Faces/Anđeli garava lica, 2006); he supports the rights of sexual minorities (East Side Story, 2008); and he performs 366 Liberation Rituals (366 rituala oslobađanja) (2008–2009) – an annual project of smaller-scale actions and interventions around the city. As Ivana Bago and Antonija Majača describe, Grubić uses the strategies of conceptual art, intertextuality, pop culture, shamanism, illegal guerrilla actions, direct action on the street, performativity, civil disobedience and poetic terrorism to hone his disobedience skills and spread his message to others. Grubić opposes indifference and passivity, and he demands change.

 

B.S.

 

1969, Zagreb / HR, at that time Jugoslavija

Please follow this link for a selected bibliography available at the ERSTE Foundation Library
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