Željka Blakšić aka Gita Blak
City ............................. Zagreb, New York (USA)
Category .................... Media Art, Visual Art
Recommended by BMEIA
Period of stay ............ Nov 17 - Dec 17
Her inspiration often stems from the subculture of the 1990s era in Croatia, when punk, anarcho, and eco movements were undergoing renewal where resistance manifested through the cooperation and gathering of different alternative social groups. This experimental environment became a university of rebellion–a key force, giving voice to new expressions of democracy, justice, common values, and free speech. Blakšić has developed a research-based and socially engaged approach to art making; current work reflects long-term collaborations with various collectives, groups and choirs often placed in non¬traditional spaces. She works across multiple disciplines but the constants in her practice are 16mm film, installation, video, and performance.
Recent exhibitions and commissions include: Framer Framed in Amsterdam; El Museo de Los Sures, NY; 2016 Recess Gallery, NY; Museum of Modern Art- PopRally, NY; Artizen Cluj, Romania; BRIC Contemporary Art Gallery, NY; Herzlyia Museum, Israel; Gallery Augusta, Helsinki; District Kunst- und Kulturförderung, Berlin; AIR Gallery, NY; Active Space, NY; Urban Festival in Croatia; Gallery of SESI, Sao Paolo, Brazil; The Kitchen, NY and The Khyber Centre for the Arts in Canada.
She was a recipient of the Residency Unlimited residency program in collaboration with the National Endowment for the Arts in New York (2017), Cittadellarte - Fondazione Pistoletto Residency in Italy (2017), Recess Sessions in NY (2016), A.I.R. Gallery Fellowship Program for emerging women artists (2014), The District Kunst Award in Berlin (2013); New York Foundation for the Arts Residency (2012), Paula Rhodes Award in New York City (2010) and numerous grants in Croatia and abroad.
During the residency I would create a short experimental 16mm film -at the end presented in a form of an installation piece, or a talk with the screening. Creation of the film goes through few different phases. Initial film would be shoot around the industrial areas of Vienna; I am specifically interested in the urban setting of Simmering neighborhood. After the shoot I would develop the film and invite public to participate in a direct film-making workshop. Participants would learn the basic techniques of direct 16mm film animation which includes collage, scratching, drawing directly onto film strip; but they would also actively participate in my film making process by distorting mechanically and chemically film rolls I shot at the location. By combining and taping these pieces, which were manipulated by each participant, we would together create the final film. At the end, processed rolls I shot at the location are radically altered but still bear visible traces of its previous form; and that concept directly correlates to the surrounding architecture where old structures meet and break through contemporary ones creating distinctive urban scenery.