R-lab Zagreb: Collapse on hold

The POGON, PTL photo

ZAGREB – Gallerija Mocvara + R LAB – DEC 12 to 14, 2019

14 December: Mapping Limbo: the Walkmap on the Sava River. Marvels and Catastrophes at the POGON. Zagreb.

Walkmap Sava River. Photo J. Malpel

Entrance to Walkmap. Photo PTL
9 man Morris. Photo J. Malpel
Pogon walk map and local objects. Photo J. Malpel

MAPPING THE LIMBO, the Walk.

 (soundscape, blue tape, object, lights)

On December 12, 1pm, a temporary collective set out on a walk along the river Sava, Zagreb. Made up of locals and visitors, the group explored the river bank between the two bridges Most Slobode and Most Mladosti. 

Near the  starting point of Gallery Močvara the group first stopped next to at a sign describing the history, present and future of Močvara (in Croatian meaning swamp). Since it was written in Croatian, the local participants took on the role of translators and guides to the area and its development. This immediately established an equal relationship that carried through the rest of the walk, as it  unfolded. It was a spontaneous walk, driven by curiosity as well as moments of sharing stories and creating new ones. On a first glance, the area along the river appeared empty, solely programmed as a flood buffer. As we walked the riverside gave way to a rich offering of places, spaces, details, artefacts, and a source of stories and associations. We put it all together as we walked.

Walk along Sava River Photo J. Malpel

THOUGHTS

The river is in the middle of the city. There is no reflection on the water. No humans, no traffic, no city lights.

Ground mapping. – Human presence defines the nature. As you walk the ground evolves. Further you go, the loneliness flows and nature grows.  Wilderness trying to reclaim its shape.”

The river bed feels like a cradle. Who takes care of it?

photo team M&C

It doesn’t matter how far we walk. Impressions were shared, stories were made up. Unspoken decisions were made as to when to stop, when to start walking, how long the moments of repose and conversations should be. The drifting movement of the explorers had organic dynamics. Alternately moving closely together, or apart, creating a weaving pattern. Certain objects and structures that were encountered during the walk initiated the sharing of stories and memories, personal and collective. If there was none to be told, the explorers tackled the curious objects and structures by making up an explanation. Everything became sources of wonder. Wander. Making up for surreal compositions of objects and stories. 

photo team M&C

Upon leaving the riverside, going back up to the top of the embankment, we cleaned our shoes when entering the stairs. A rite of passage of sorts. A significant moment when stepping out of temporary space.

photo team M&C

It doesn’t matter how far we walk. Impressions from the walk became the tools of investigation for the space inside Pogon. An empty space, as well as the first impression of the riverside. Infinite possibilities, infinite floor.

Everyone’s  paths, everyone’s stories. Fill it as you go.

Walk along Sava River. Photo J. Malpel

COLLECTIONS FROM THE WALK

(collected objects, various material)

Caps:

Teenagers drinking sky cola, workers drinking sky cola, opening a silicon bottle, throwing it. 

Hook:

I found a steal hook under the bridge and it reminded me of the shape of a christmas candy cane. I made it for the teenagers underneath the bridge, for us on the way when we need sugar. It was also about what is not happening here by the river and what is happening over there in the city.

photo team M&C

Lucky horseshoe:

It reminds me of a horseshoe, the one you put over the entrance to give luck. It’s a part of the Most Mladosti.

Berlin wall brick:

It popped out on the grey-brown ground. Next to the bottle of cola cut in two pieces. The blue color was the same as the bridge and it brought a memory of the Berlin wall. I remember when it fell, the barrier, I was six. Sava is also a barrier when walking, it is long between the bridges.

photo team M&C

Broken stones:

At first I spotted a very defined crack into this smooth stone. How could that fissure be so perfect and regular? When I grabbed the stone, it came apart in two pieces. I decided to keep it.  

Mirror:

There is no reflection on the river’s water, it is very shallow and moves fast. On the contrary, a water pond formed itself naturally by the construction work. 

Pastel:

The pastel tones are very special and precious. They are to be found as we drifted away from the regular path. They are displayed as natural pattern.  

photo A Risell

Fabric:

I thought it was beautiful when it was hanging from the tower, just like someone wanted to dry it, or mark this place with it. She thought the spots looked like the paw-traces in the sand. When it entered this space it was full with spiders. 

Urban waste:

The cycle of garbage. Trash is everywhere on the banks. Don’t worry. The flood will take everything away.

Red pipes:

Pipes connects the whole city underground, like a mycelium. They were thrown from the bridge. We found them. We threw them into the space. This was how they landed. 

Paper objects:

The first one was a shopping receipt, printed in a nearby city. It was made a few days ago, but despite recent heavy rains, the paper remained whole and the text readable. Paper firecrackers container was disposed by some kids a moment ago. Paper is a fragile waste, and all related memories will soon disappear.

diagram of the City of Zagreb.

IMAGES FROM THE WORKSHOP AND INSTALLATION AT THE POGON.

PTL photo
photo team M&C
photo PTL
photo PTL
photo PTL
photo PTL
photo PTL
photo PTL
photo PTL
photo PTL
photo PTL
photo PTL
photo PTL
Detail. Photo Martej Jurcevic
photo PTL
photo PTL
photo PTL
Photo Martej Jurcevic
Photo Martej Jurcevic
R-lab team, Photo Martej Jurcevic
FLOATING LEXICON OF MARVELS AND CATASTROPHES is a new iteration of workshop started within the course R-Lab at Royal Institute of Art, Sweden. It is focused on exploring the kind of surprises we can expect if and when the unpredictable happens. Not a guide to disaster survival, but a manual for creativity and poetry in the face of uncertain odds.

see the LINK for the latest updates:

~ What is Marvels and Catastrophes? 

Disasters expose human helplessness in confronting the full force of nature, but these tragic events can also bring out the best in human compassion and collective action. Marvels and Catastrophes moves through historic and contemporary landscapes, reflects on societies past and present and engages with the people who are or will be most affected by the forces of nature, and climatic reversals. 

FLOATING LEXICON OF MARVELS AND CATASTROPHES is a new iteration of workshop started within the course R-Lab at Royal Institute of Art, Sweden. It is focused on exploring the kind of surprises we can expect if and when the unpredictable happens. Not a guide to disaster survival, but a manual for creativity and poetry in the face of uncertain odds.

~ How does the workshop work?

DAY ONE 12/12 1-4 pm

Fieldwork exploration around the river Sava will guide us in our research of the connection between natural forces in the waterfronts, uncovering human relations to river flows, occurring floods and possible waterways. We will be collecting objects, materials, evidence that will create a base for our collaborative floating lexicon.

DAY TWO – 13/12 4-8pm

Participants are kindly asked to bring with them objects, things or ideas that they want to take with them into the ever changing present! The R-Lab group will sort out their stuff and categorize, document and then will arrange it with all the other creations. We imagine you might already have something perfect in your living room or closet. An amulet to keep away evil spirits, a horse-shoe to bring good luck, a flashlight that works on human power, a chunk of clay you want to mould, or maybe an idea you have that you would want to make with the help of the R-Lab team.

DAY THREE 14/12 11am-7 pm

Collective editing of the DIY lexicon in print and physical space of Pogon based on the material collected in the first two days. Evening is open for the public to see the results of the workshop (7-9 pm).

Disasters expose human helplessness in confronting the full force of nature, but these tragic events can also bring out the best in human compassion and collective action. Marvels and Catastrophes moves through historic and contemporary landscapes, reflects on societies past and present and engages with the people who are or will be most affected by the forces of nature, and climatic reversals. 

~ How does the workshop work?

DAY ONE – 12/12 4-8pm

you are kindly asked to bring with you–  objects, things or ideas that you want to take with you into the ever changing present! The R-Lab group will sort out your stuff and categorize, document and then will arrange it with all the other creations. We imagine you might already have something perfect in your living room or closet. An amulet to keep away evil spirits, a horse-shoe to bring good luck, a flashlight that works on human power, a chunk of clay you want to mould, or maybe an idea you have that you would want to make with the help of the R-Lab team.

DAY TWO 13/12 1-4 pm

fieldwork exploration around the river Sava will guide us in further exploration of the connection between natural forces in the waterfronts, uncovering human relations to river flows, occurring floods and possible waterways.

DAY THREE 14/12 11am-7 pm

Collective editing of the DIY lexicon in print and physical space of Pogon based on the material collected in the first two days. Evening is open for the public to see the results of the workshop (7-9 pm)

GALLERY MOČVARA (ZAGREB, CROATIA) IS RUNNING A THEMED YEAR LONG PROGRAM IN 2019 ENTITLED “COLLAPSE ON HOLD” ELABORATING THE IDEA
OF A CATASTROPHE.
This topic is not approached as necessarily dark and futuristic, but is situated in the midst, between present and future. Fiction remains on par with reality, marked by tensions, transformations, and new hierarchies. Surviving in these times demands from the individuals to revise their own attitudes, form new alliances, and overall act critically and reflexively in relation to their past practices. This approach does not force the complete renunciation of all that is known, but rather articulates curiosity in the search for alternatives, reconciliation or salvation.
Destruction of one’s identity, awe for the power of nature, or giving up on social polarization are just some of the tactics that attempt to prevent catastrophe. Alternative scenarios that take into account local specificities initiate a dialogue between local and foreign artists, revealing their mutual inter-connections in times of change and uncertainty. There are no final solutions, but merely attempts to address problems that currently create optimism and a sense of security. This dialogue is situated in the realm of the spiritual, virtual or speculative.
BETWEEN THE 10TH AND 16TH OF DECEMBER 2019 CURATOR LEA VENE TOGETHER WITH R-LAB WILL TAKE OVER THE SPACES OF GALLERY MOČVARA.
In the gallery and the surrounding suburban landscape defined by the river Sava, they will put the collapse “on hold” and rethink new possibilities for the coexistence of humans and architecture with nature, ecology and other species.
http://www.g-mk.hr