My partner Madeleine Preston met Austrian artist Marko Lulić at the 2014 Sydney Biennale when he exhibited his video, ’Space Girl Dance’. Through their meeting I started a communication with Marko. Our two families originate from the same region of Croatia. Early this year Marko sent me a link to his latest video work ‘Kosmaj Monument’ (2015). The video was part of a two-person exhibition at the MAK Center in Los Angeles. The exhibition ‘Spomenici revolucije’ – was a collaboration with LA artist, Sam Durant.

Spomenici revolucije was the title from a Yugoslavian sticker album from the 1970s, produced for children who were encouraged to buy stickers of anti-fascist modernist monuments to fill up their albums. The first school with all the students’ albums completed would win a trip to the most important monuments, second place winning a color TV set.

Lulić’s video features interpretive dance in conjunction with the Kosmaj monument located in present-day Serbia. Lulić juxtaposes the flux of bodies in movement with the static and imposing aspects of modernist monuments. The six 40 metre high free standing structures comprising the monument, commemorates the 5,000 partisans killed fighting against the German occupation in Southern Serbia during WWII.

Dancers are shown creating contact through improvisation, while trying to establish a dialogue with the shapes of this specific icon. The video was shot at a cultural center in nearby Belgrade, an area with state-owned student homes built during the same era as the monument— both sites employed raw concrete to represent their respective utopian period.

Lulić has created a number of videos in the last few years with dancers interacting with public sculptures, seeing those works as both performances and expanded sculptural pieces that analyze and grasp the historic and socio-politcal essence of the objects they explore.

Marko Lulić is a Vienna-based artist, whose work is concerned with the intersection of architectural modernism, ideology, and aesthetics. Lulić has remade a number of modernist monuments, as well as reactivated them in some form by using those public sculptures as reference and/or location of his performances. He has exhibited extensively nationally and internationally at the Storefront for Art and Architecture, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, Belgrade; Oldenburger Kunstverein, MAK, Vienna; Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam; Kunsthalle Vienna; Museum of Contemporary Art, Zagreb; Migros Museum of Contemporary Art, Zurich; 21er Haus / Belvedere, Vienna; Lentos Kunstmuseum Linz, Kunstverein Heilbronn, Grazer Kunstverein, Kunsthalle St. Gallen and Frankfurter Kunstverein. His work was included in The Biennale of Sydney; the 12th Swiss Sculpture Exhibition, Biel / Bienne; the October Salon, Belgrade, and the Chicago Architecture Biennial. In recent years he has also curated several exhibitions at the Secession, Vienna; Siemens Arts Program, and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Belgrade. He won several awards such as the Kardinal König Kunstpreis, the Award of the Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach Foundation, and the Erich Hauser Foundation Award. For the last five years he has taught at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. Lulić is represented by Gabriele Senn Gallery.

A still from Marko Lulić's 2010 film, Jasenovac - image courtesy of Gabriele Senn Gallery and the artist.
A still from Marko Lulić’s 2010 film, Jasenovac – image courtesy of Gabriele Senn Gallery and the artist.