Partenza – Renata Poljak

Exhibition from April 2 to May 14, 2016

Wednesday –  Saturday,  2 –  7 pm
and by appointment until July 2

At the beginning of the 20th century, men from Croatian islands frequently migrated to South America escaping hunger and looking for a better life. The women stayed at home waiting for them to come back. This series of works is inspired by the life story of the artist’s grandma who lived on the island of Brac and whose husband left for Chile in search of opportunities. Just like many of the other men, he never returned.

Entitled Partenza (in the Croatian dialect spoken on the islands, the same Italian world is used for departure), the video installation connects two emigrant stories: the one Croatian, from the beginning of the last century, and the African one, from the beginning of this century.

Born in 1974, Renata Poljak grew up and graduated from the School of Fine Arts in Split and later spent a year in post-graduation (international post diplome) at the Ecole Régionale des Beaux-Arts in Nantes, France. Her body of work is composed of different media: videos, film, drawings, installations and photos. In 2002, she was invited as a visiting artist at the San Francisco Art Institute and, in 2008, at Art In General, New York and in the International Residence Recollet in Paris in 2013. Renata’s work has been exhibited widely, on solo or group shows, biennales and film festivals. She received several awards among which The Golden Black Box Award at the Black Box Festival in Berlin in 2006 and the T-HT competition award 2012, the most important contemporary art award in Croatia.

In the spring of 2010 her films were shown in Prospectif Cinéma (Prospective Cinema) at the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris. More films and videos were shown in the Palais de Tokyo in November 2012. In 2013, her solo show Uncertain Memories at Stoyanov Gallery in NYC was selected as best in show by the Village Voice.

Her first major solo exhibition in Croatia will open this April in her home town’s Fine Art Museum in Split.