Thursday, 19 May 2016

Split Log 8

Two artists doing very different but very good work here in Split are (Kino Klub tech person) Marin Tudor and Hrvoje Cokarić.

Tudor is inspiring for his irrepressible enthusiasm for everything. Introduced to me as an 'actor', all this really seems to mean is that he studied acting and now uses his body as tool, object and subject for a range of freely associative and rarely completed projects - inhabiting an abandoned display case outside Split's United Colours of Benetton, sitting Stylites-style half-way up a wall, creating suites of furniture from discarded plastic coffee spoons, tinkering with this or that to see what it could really do. In some ways he reminds me of Richard Widmark's existentially-stranded Harry Fabian in Night & The City, the description of whom as an 'artist without an art' I return to again and again; except that Tudor is an artist with too much art, a co-puppy frustrated by his inability to get things finished, because there's always something else to do, and never a good reason to apply the brakes. I toast you, Marin Tudor (Marin, tu dor!). He is also more than adept with a projector, creating living slides from chemicals and whatever else he finds; he will come on board as projectionist and smoketographer for my forthcoming video shoot.

Cokarić, he of the robotic Dalmation donkeys, is doing his bit for donkey preservation: meeting him on a tour of the mostly (thankfully) defunct local zoo, up in the Marjan hills, he explains that the particular lineage of asses in this part of Croatia has a noble history but faces its end having been out-evolved by the motor car. With a depth of artistic and ecological insight that is surely not lost on these wise creatures themselves (reader, you are encouraged to delve further hereabouts), Mr Cokarić is working on developing the surviving donkeys - and, hopefully, their manifold descendants - into a super-breed of mountain-climbing video edit suites, generating their own power in the unconnected wilderness, and carrying all a nomadic filmmaker requires to produce artist's moving image on the go (one of the donkeys is named “Marina Abramović”). The Chthulucene will be televised! It would be wonderful to establish an itinerant art residency on a donkey's back, it's only a shame I don't have the time - as my Kino Klub residency draws towards its end - to further explore the blurry lines between amateur, industrial and avant-garde in the context of these gloomy cyborg editing stations.

Hrvoje Cokarić: the carrot and the memory stick.

Kino Klub's Sunčica Fradelić horsing around with a 16mm Bolex.

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