biennale arte 2013

il palazzo enciclopedico


55. ma esposizione internazionale d'arte



Kata Mijatović


Storia Nazionale/Narrazione celebrativa


di Tina Modrusan

galleria fotografica

Kata Mijatović|Between the Sky and the Earth


I'm walking alongside the sunny Zattere. I can feel the Sun on my feet. I didn't put the sunscreen on them this morning, so I'm running away from that tingling feeling in one of the chiostros, a typical Venetian courtyard that oozes with so much intimacy and is in total contrast with the strolling crowd I'm leaving behind by entering that shade-bathed space.

The colonnade gallerie leads me to the pavilion. Passing through the gallery, there she is - the White Gondola. Unrealistic white, atypical for Venice. Her modest decorations now show in all their plastic. But maybe, perhaps only now, I notice them for the first time. This one White Gondola - and gondolas are usualy black - is like one white swan amongst ducks. She continues to float on the green, neatly mowed grass. The scene is almost surrealistic. Dali couldn't, if he would have returned from the other side, resist to lay one of his pocket watches on her whiteness. Mrs. Venice and Mr. Heat would gladly contribute to his work, by helping the clock to melt.

An amazing video of the White Gondola traveling along Venetian canals in an early morning is right in front of me. Sala Tiziano is to the right, Sala Piccardo to the left. I choose left. There are photos of some previous works of the artist Kata Mijatović. Documentation of a performance. Parts of her portfolio that hang in that small room introduces us to the artist.


Unconscious: Canal Grande, 2013
video, 45'

Directed by Marco Agostinelli, Edited by Andrea Liuzza

The welcome photo in the Sala Piccardo is a direct connection of her previous work with the work in Sala Tiziano. Placed there are the same components previously used in her performances and installations. 750 kg of coal, the overturned wheelbarrow, and a black metal cage.

Coal from the Unconscious, 1999.
C-print mounted on Dubond

Photo by Zoran Pavelić

Kata says: "The installation is composed of a metal cage with a pile of coal and overturned wheelbarrow on top of it. This is the materialization of my dream about bringing out coal form the mine: I go down to the abandoned mine where a heap of coal and a wheelbarrow waits for me. I load coal into the wheel-barrow and bring it out into daylight."


The photo that occupies my attention is the one of an endless corridor with heavily stacked beds in it. The scene looks like a refugee tent, filled with countless beds that are just waiting to provide welcome to the military wounded. This whiteness is stunning. It has no wounded, no blood, no staff in white uniforms. Nobody is alive in there. There is nothing in there, except whiteness. Everything is so clean. I can feel the scent of freshly washed sheets.  The sheets that cover each and every one of us every single night to improve our daily rest, and which one are our protection from the weather conditions that can interfere with our dreams.


Selected Dreams - More real than reality, 2004.
C-print mounted on Dubond

Photo by Zoran Pavelić

Selected Dreams - More Real Than Reality, 2004., installation, Karas Gallery, Zagreb


Kata says: "Drying racks loaded with wet laundry: sheets, pillows, blankets..., are installed between two opposed mirrors at the ground floor of Karas Gallery. Two rows of chairs on which visitors can sit and listen to the audio recordings of twenty three selected dreams (recounted by my friends and colleagues), are installed between two opposed mirrors on the gallery's first floor."


Children gather around the other photo. They find it the most interactive and are curious where the object that appears on the photo is. Because, if the artist got into it, it probably means that they can do it also. They'd think "Yeah! Here is something for me! ". But that's just photos and videos of the performance which the artist made lying in the sculpture called "The shape of the space XIII" made by Ivan Kožarić. Her sleeping inside was documented, as most of the other artist's performances and installations are, by Zoran Pavelić, very much in the way the children would asked their parents to photograph them as they would move up the sculpture and squirm within The Shape, somewhere between the Heaven and the Earth.


Sleeping between the Sky and the Earth, 2010
C-print mounted on Dubond


Kata says: "I've slept in it from the midnight of August 20th until the next morning. The performance is inspired by Kožarić's statement, according which the sculpture represents the relationship between the Sky and the Earth. Starting from this interpretation and the claim that our existence evolves between these two basic physical and metaphysical elements - sleeping in Kožarić's sculpture exceeds the physical dimension of the performance and makes the privileged stay in immaterial, universal space of his art for its principal goal. The choice of sleeping as a form of staying in The Shape of the Space was inspired by my works with dreams in which, to put it simply, the life functions like a dream between the Sky and the Earth, while the sleeping within this context represents the 'shape' of our stay on Earth."


I'm entering the Sala Tiziano. I stop in front of each set of eight monitors. Reading dreams from Kata's friends. They are touching. They are talking about the fear of Death. Fear of transiency, fear of what awaits for us. Fear of anonymity. The fear of life there, as here, under these conditions within which we live and that we can not always control. From these deep thoughts I'm awakend by a children scream, coming from another screen. The children's honesty, the joy, the exuberance, overrides the fears and insecurities of adults, and that brings the smile on my face. I thank them. The Children, Luka and Matej.


Luka and Matej from Branjin Vrh, 2009.
video, 6 '


Kata says: "The video is recorded by a photographic camera, in a home video style. Two boys (my nephews from Baranja region) are screaming in front of the camera in their unrestrained childish exuberance. I consider these screams as the pure joy of being, completely opposite to the iconic 1895. Scream by Edvard Munch, which is universally interpreted as reflection of human suffering and anxiety. It is important to mention that boys were born after the last war in Croatia. Luke and Matthew are new humans who did not experience the war. They are looking to place themselves in the world. In their Biblical names, in their screaming - they are heralds of the new."


On the monitor next to Luka and Matej there's a documentation of my favorite performance. I think it has no need for additional representation, at least not by me.


Graffiti from Florence, 2009.
performance-installation, Temple exhibition, Ring Gallery, Artists, Zagreb


Kata says: "During the entire duration of the exhibition, every day I would rewrite the sentence Il  Dio c'e / The God exists, on the freestanding wall in the Gallery with paintbrush dipped in water. The sentence remained visible on the wall for a certain interval of time, and then slowly evaporated. The work is interpretation of the graphite statement Il Dio c'e written on the dwelling house façade in Florence, which I faced almost every day during my stay in the city between 1991. and 1993. Water, here the material of the execution, in comparison with the air we breathe, signifies the other state of consciousness, the one which can not be lived in, but only visited, just like the sea depths are visited by divers. At the same time water appears wherever and whenever there is life. To write Il Dio c'e everyday with water aims to confirm that same statement, everyday and at the same time, only to stage its' repeated disappearing."


Then, the central part of the exhibition, named by the location in Venice. The layout for the Biennale project Between the Sky and the Earth comprises the possibility of accessing the Dream Archive as a part of the installation Coal from the Unconscious: Zattere.



Dreams are our strange scenery that we create during our essential daily rest. When we are most relaxed and committed to ourselfs. Kata took care of our dreams, by giving them a true value. She gave us the possibility to write them down. You can do the Archives of dreams, a sort of online databases and open source Kata Mijatović intends to make available to all those who are concerned with the study of the unconscious. In this role of 'social sculpture', placed in an iron cage suspended in the air and surrounded by artistic projects side, the installation encourages reflection on the role of the dream as a medium between the conscious and unconscious and the social function of art.


As she said: "In the end, it is all about being free. When we dream we all become artists."

Artist: Kata Mijatović I Commissioner/Curator: Branko Franceschi I Open: Saturday, 01 June 2013 I Close: Sunday, 24 November 2013 I Opening hour: 10am – 6 pm (closed Mondays) I Adress: Sala Tiziano, Opera don Orione Artiginaelli, Dorsoduro, Fondamenta delle Zattere ai Gesuiti 919 I Web:


sito ufficiale



biennale arte 2013

il palazzo enciclopedico
01 giugno > 24 novembre 2013