Ištvan Išt Huzjan at Richter Collection

27 January 2021

On view at Museum of Contemporary Art Zagreb – Richter Collection (21 January – 1 April 2021), Ištvan Išt Huzjan’s exhibition From Top to Bottom presents a performance rooted both in the artist’s family history and the recent circumstances in Zagreb: the coronavirus outbreak, a strong earthquake and severe floods. 

On the roof of Richter Collection, a group of performers invited by the artist and the curator Vesna Meštrić unconsciously formed various sculptures with their bodies, that were recorded in aerial photographs. While the building provided a temporary feeling of security and protection, the participants’ stances evoked the acrobatics performed on the tower of the Zagreb Cathedral in the 1930s by a local legend: the firefighter Matija Juričić, a relative of Huzjan.

As the museum explains, Ištvan Išt Huzjan began two years ago “to develop an art project in order to perform Juričić’s ‘sculptures’ on the roof of the Richter Collection, but in 2020, when his performance was scheduled to take place, the COVID-19 pandemic spread. Moreover, Zagreb was hit by a catastrophic earthquake and a few months later the city was flooded during heavy rain. Many people were left homeless after the earthquake and numerous historical buildings in the centre of Zagreb were damaged, including the symbol of the city, the cathedral. Huzjan’s artistic work began to change in the new circumstances, as he reacted to the effects of chaotic everyday life.”