Saturday, 5 December 2020

"Kulturno Uzdizanje"/ "Cultural Upliftment"


I was invited to the city of Zadar to paint a mural on this abandoned building which is connected to another old, devastated, and much bigger building. That bigger one is currently in the process of renovation and hopefully, next year will be completed and turned into a cultural center for youth. Parallel to the painted wall, you can find an indoor skatepark-Menza that is a part of a squat named Neverland. I decided to use the name of the squat as an inspiration or the main theme and connect that with the current events (regarding cultural centers and culture in general) in Croatia. I believe that all cultural centers/platforms/places are in their own way the Neverland-place where youth is eternal. Picasso once said that every child is an artist, but the problem is how to remain one once you grow up. I think you remain one by going more often to theaters, art shows, concerts, by reading books instead of toxic comments on the internet, by learning to play some instrument, or trying out some dance classes. But to be able to do any of that, you need that magical place that nurtures those cultures. In my home town of Zagreb there is less and less of this type of places, and also much more abandoned buildings wasting away. In the past few years, but especially in this one, Zagreb lost some of the most popular and historical places where many of our music icons started to grow. Maybe what I'm trying to say is "Kudos to Zadar" for building something more useful than fountains or some overpriced gondola lifts.

As I was painting this mural, I had some people asking me why am I painting people like they are hanged or high on drugs. I hope that with the text above I managed to explain what I wanted to say with the mural. Thinking about some of those comments and interpretations I guess it's safe to conclude that without culture, your youth might end up the way some of the folks saw it..wasted youth.