“Remember life”: Print portfolio by Vlado Martek in memory of Boris Demur

Objavljeno 5.4.2016.

Wishing to pay homage to an outstanding Croatian conceptual artist Boris Demur, the National and University Library in Zagreb and Zagreb Academy of Fine Arts published Remember life, a special print portfolio authored by Vlado Martek which will be presented on Thursday, 7 April 2016, in the Library’s side lobby, at 12.00.

Apart from the author, the portfolio will also be presented by Leonida Kovač, a lecturer at the Zagreb Academy of Fine Arts, and Mikica Maštrović, Head of the Library’s Print Collection.

Boris Demur (1951 – 2014) graduated from the Zagreb Academy of Fine Arts. After initially being active in conceptual art, Demur chose minimalist painting as a medium best suiting his art, and throughout his work he also authored a number of works in the field of photography, performance, activist, video and installation arts. From 1983 until the end of his path, both as a human being and an artist, Demur’s entire artistic expression was shaped based on his absolute devotion to the motif of the spiral, for him the truest symbol of the fluidity, elusiveness, immeasurability and inexhaustibility of everything that surrounds us – nature, human activity, art, life itself.

Born in the same year as Demur, Vlado Martek is a prolific poet, conceptual artist, painter and essayist. Upon his graduation from the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Zagreb, where he majored in literature and philosophy, he briefly wrote visual and concrete poetry, after which, apart from continuing to write poetry, he also started being active in a wide variety of other arts and artistic genres, ranging from conceptualism and action art, through painting, sculpting, printmaking and land art, to texts and treatises on various visual art practices.

Strongly linked by multiple personal and artistic bonds, Demur and Martek worked together particularly closely as members of the so-called Group of Six Artists (1975 – 1981), a famous Zagreb-based group of artists whose activities openly challenged and directly subverted the principles of the accepted “official” art and, even more important, the attitudes, perceptions and social relations creating conditions conducive to such art.

“Down this life all alone and as one of two; single parents to art when love so requires.
Two life mandates acted out close to each other, sometimes blending at their borders.
Let’s say, mostly golden moms and mostly black fathers, way too sufficient for the discord of grief, the well of all subsequent action.
Lucky were the topics we shared, such as idealizing girls /like after chancing, at the Temple of Augustus, upon Lili and Vesna, our platonic sweethearts/.
Then the topic of laughter that left its mark on us during childhood and for long after. Snow and twilight downtown, the multiplying by themselves of poetics yet to come.
Oh how plenteous is the extra meaning borne in the say-ing: art buddies. They were neighbours to wealth buried deep in the wings of the eyes.
There’s no hope for hopelessness, as our presentiment proved right. A life of likeness through the pairing of the wild and mild, airy and earthy, halfhungry and full.
Words and images, from symbiosis to a mannerist doom and freedom, always visiting and welcoming likeness and difference.
Teenage auras of urban melancholy, durable as the tragicomedy of flags.”

An excerpt from Remember life by Vlado Martek