Vlatka Horvat


Vlatka Horvat

“In my recent work, which spans a range of media – from sculpture, installation, collage, and drawing to performance, photography, and projects with text – I have been interested in the question of presence and in the possibilities and problematics of occupying space. Often involving gestures of rearranging and reconfiguring both the space itself and the spatial and social relations at play in it, the work tends to probe the precarious and often contentious relationship between bodies, objects, materials, the built environment, and landscape.

My investigation into the constraints and possibilities of physical and representational frames is enacted at different scales and in different forms: from images and 2-and-3-dimensional wall-based objects to larger scale projects in the form of room-based installations. At the center of these installations are diverse-but-related sculptural arrangements made of found and commonplace materials – the detritus of urban and industrial life, as well as leftovers and remnants of my own previous projects. These installations tend to enact discrete interventions upon elements of the built environment by attempting to mirror, echo, or repeat particular features of the space they occupy, using decidedly inadequate, cheap materials such as cardboard, paper, sponge, scrap wood, string, and tape.

Using simple gestures such as cutting and folding, dismantling and repairing, stacking, leaning, and layering, the work frequently focuses on re-drawing borders and frames, bringing to the fore the dynamic relation between the center of a space, object, or an image on the one side, and its edges or peripheral areas on the other. Turning the viewer’s attention to the possibilities of peripheral action and to the edges of referential codes, my projects often propose not only a reconfiguration of particular images and objects within a field of activity, but a reconfiguration of the very frames and contexts within which these images and objects might be read.

Many of my projects are organized around a set of self-imposed restrictions, a rule-based framework of sorts within which an activity takes place. The work is often articulated as a series of attempts to circumvent or deal with restrictions at hand, to find solutions inside this provisional framework. The seemingly endless and unresolved nature of the multiple options proposed for each problem reveals these propositions as a series of examples, a taxonomy of possibilities, a catalogue of the multiple ways to do the same thing. Often manifested as ‘versions’, the body, objects, and materials in my work tend to be treated as vulnerable propositions, caught in the dynamic processes of their own multiplication and fragmentation.”


Born in 1974, in Čakovec (HR), lives and works in London (UK)


BA in Liberal Arts, Columbia College, Chicago (USA)

MA in Performance Studies, Northwestern University, Evanston (USA)

PhD in Performance and Visual Culture, Roehampton University, London (UK)


Recent solo shows


‘Same River Twice’ (with Tim Etchells), Renata Fabbri, Milan (IT)

‘Drawn Close’, Phoinix, Bratislava (SK)


‘By Hand, on Foot’, PEER, London (UK)

‘Artistic Ecologies Every Day’ (with Marina Naprushkina), Galerija Nova, Zagreb (HR)


‘Resilience Test: Vlatka Horvat’, online exhibition, Gaep, gaepgallery.com


‘Buducnost’, project commissioned for a public site billboard project, Zagreb (HR)


‘Supporting Objects’, Gaep (formerly EASTWARDS PROSPECTUS), Bucharest (RO)

‘Cloud Pergola: Architecture of Hospitality’, Pavilion of Croatia at the 16th International Architecture Exhibition, Venice (IT)

‘Extensions’, Museum of Contemporary Art, Zagreb (HR) (cat.)


‘Means and Ends’, Wilfried Lentz, Rotterdam (NL)

‘In Suspension’, CAPRI Raum, Dusseldorf (DE)

See more


‘Don’t Stop’, AAA: Art Altstetten Albisrieden, Art in the Public Space, Zurich (CH) (cat.)

‘Immeasurables’, Zak | Branicka Gallery, Berlin (DE)


‘Excavations and Other Claims’, Disjecta Contemporary Art Center, Portland (USA) (cat.)

‘Fault Lands’, annex14, Zurich (CH) 

Recent group shows


‘The Signs for Somewhere and Elsewhere and Here and Now’, Gaep, Bucharest (RO)


‘The Domino Effect 3’, Gaep, Bucharest (RO)


‘The Domino Effect 2’, Gaep, Bucharest (RO)


‘…of bread, wine, cars, security and peace’, Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna (AT) (cat.)

‘The Domino Effect’, Gaep, Bucharest (RO)


‘Words Are Very Unnecessary’, ARTER / Vehbi Koç Foundation, Istanbul (TU)

‘What Time Is It?’, ARTER / Vehbi Koç Foundation, Istanbul (TU)

‘Recent Acquisitions: No Contextual Information’, Museums Sheffield, Graves Gallery, Sheffield (UK)


‘On the Shoulders of Fallen Giants’, the 2nd Industrial Art Biennial, Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Rijeka (HR) (cat.)

‘Cut: Collage in Central and Eastern European Practices’, Museum of Contemporary Art, Zagreb (HR)


‘Everything we see could also be otherwise (My sweet little lamb…)’, The Showroom, London (UK)

Drawing Biennial, The Drawing Room, London (UK)


‘Cut, Folded, Pressed & Other Actions’, David Zwirner Gallery, New York (USA)

‘Your Country Does Not Exist’, MKC – Multimedia Centre, Split (HR)

‘We Are the Center…Phase I’, Hessel Museum of Art/Bard CCS, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York (USA)



‘Beginnings Marathon’, part of ‘Brussels – City of Stories’, KANAL – Centre Pompidou, Brussels (BE)


‘Third Hand’, Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts/Chicago Cultural Center, Chicago (USA) 


‘Who Come to Stand’, 3. Maj shipyard, Rijeka – The 2nd Industrial Art Biennial, Labin|Rasa|Pula|Rijeka (HR)

‘This Here and That There – Herrenhäuser Quartet’, KunstFestSpiele Herrenhausen festival, Hannover (DE)


‘15th Extraordinary Congress’, Black Box Theatre, Oslo (NO)/Tanzquartier Wien, Vienna (AT)/Frascati, Amsterdam (NL)/Theatre Garonne, Toulouse (FR)/Fondation Cartier & Théâtre de la Ville, Paris (FR)


‘15th Extraordinary Congress’, METEOR Festival, BIT Teatergarasjen, Bergen (NO)/Teatro Maria Matos@Espaço Alkantara, Lisbon (PT)/Malta Festival, Poznan (PL)/HAU – Hebbel am Uffer, Berlin (DE)/Kaai Studios, Brussels (BE)


‘15th Extraordinary Congress’, co-commissioned by LIFT & 1418 Projects, UK

See more


‘Unhinged’, Alkantara festival, Lisbon (PT)/Tanz im August, Berlin (DE)/Biennale Bern (CH)/Internationale Keuze, Rotterdam (NL)


‘This Here and That There (Los Angeles)’, Outpost for Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (USA)

‘Unhinged’, commission for House Without a Maid, premiered at Kunstenfestivaldesarts, Brussels (BE)  


‘Once Over’, commission for The Kitchen, New York (USA)


‘This Here and That There (Berlin)’, commissioned for nomadic new york festival@HKW – The Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin (DE)


“My project for Venice, titled By the Means at Hand, is structured as a framework into which I’m inviting other people. Specifically, I have invited a large group of artist friends – from different countries around the world, based in different countries – who are all “foreigners” in places where they live (as am I), to contribute an artwork which reflects in some way on their diaspora experience. In exchange, I will send them a new work of mine produced in the pavilion, which doubles as my studio for the duration of the biennale. A key aspect of this artist exchange is that we don’t use the postal service or shipping companies, but instead, we try to piggyback on existing journeys by asking friends and acquaintances – curators, other artists, writers, technicians, etc. – who are already going to Venice for their own purposes to become informal couriers.”
“Ever since my first sculpturally focused show at the Kitchen in New York City in 2009, the presence of the viewer in the space and in the proximity to my constructions has been extremely important,” the artist said for this article. “The viewers activate a set of questions the works pose – by being invited to position and reposition themselves in relation to my sculptural propositions. In Balance Beam, for example, (…) the presence of the viewer becomes crucial to keeping (or not keeping) these objects balanced. If you come too close, bump into the structure, or even just stir the air around these objects a bit too much with your motion – all these actions and accidents can unsettle this extremely temporary state of stability and cause an object to fall. And once one object falls, other ones may follow!” Horvat sees her construction as a system in which the state of equilibrium depends on a relation between all the elements – “a mutually affecting economy” –, including the visitor, who also becomes, through their mere presence, responsible for maintaining the precarious state of affairs and able to influence the way things will go. If they fall, the objects will be put back, the artist says with a smile in the explanatory video, and that characteristic mix of humor and melancholy sizzles like an effervescent tablet. But the need for complicity and care remains. We are all responsible.
“The poetic gestures in Vlatka Horvat’s exhibition Supporting Objects made visible the traces of the absent artist’s body while responding to the elegant interior of Eastwards Prospectus, a gallery set in a nineteenth-century villa that strikes a sumptuous, bourgeois note far from a white-cube or industrial ambience. The gallery’s three rooms each featured an installation incorporating one or more wooden tables, or parts thereof, many rescued from Bucharest flea markets and bearing marks of their previous use; several had been patched together out of different kinds of wood, witness to alterations or recycling. (…) Safe, clean, and stylish, the gallery was transformed through Horvat’s hands and visions: The building became a shell that seemed to require rethinking or recomposition, even a sort of regrowth, of its discursive content.”


Viewing Rooms