On Friday, 10 March 2017, the Museum of Contemporary Art Zagreb opened the jubilee exhibition HT award for Croatian contemporary art, which, for the tenth year in a row, offers an overview of new artistic production. The exhibition shows 26 selected works and three works of invited artists. The winner of the HT award MSU competition will be pronounced on 7 April.
Davor Tomašković, President of the HT Management Board, Snježana Pintarić, Director of the Museum of Contemporary Art, and Milan Bandić, Mayor of Zagreb
This awards exhibition grants the greatest and simultaneously also one of the most important awards for contemporary visual artworks in Croatia, as shown by the figures. It is the result of co-operation between the Museum of Contemporary Art and Hrvatski Telekom.
This year’s exhibition marks the 10th anniversary of successful co-operation between Hrvatski Telekom and the Museum of Contemporary Art, within which HT invested over HRK 12.5 million in the arts project entitled HT award – MSU Zagreb. The jubilee partnership anniversary was marked also by the launch of the first digital museum in Croatia: artt.hr, a web platform that integrates the best artworks created during the last ten years by contemporary artists who applied for the HT award – MSU Zagreb competition.
Out of 243 artworks submitted this year for HT award for Croatian contemporary art, which is the largest number of applications on record during the last five years, 29 artworks were selected for the jubilee exhibition. Concerning the media of artistic expression, this year’s exhibition has also seen the largest number of installations – six of them, which were followed by multimedia installations, video-works and films, three photography series, whereas the remainder comprised of paintings, drawings, objects, an ambient work, and a work for Media façade. A broad range of topics was addressed, as usual, yet, as a member of the exhibition committee of HT award, Katrin Bucher Trantow, a senior custodian at the Kunsthaus Graz, noted: “In general, it can be noted that the artworks are permeated and filled with a certain gloomy despondency. Perhaps that is the result of the particular reaction of the committee to the abysses of human development against the backdrop of this turbulent world or because artistic creation has been permeated by a certain Weltschmerz caused by crises on both the political and the global scene. Still, many of these extremely up-to-date artworks are not focused on giving up, but rather on detailed observation of the world and the country governed by economic rather than moral principles and an intense expression of power rather than preparedness for a dialogue. The voices of resistance always find their way through artworks. In addition to severe criticism, there is also a wish for simplicity and activist solutions that overcome accusations and suggest reactive identification of solutions in their own strength of enlightened views and independent action. The artworks could be divided into three chapters: Departure from Utopias, Theatrum mundi and Resistance. These chapters mutually complement each other and point to each other. Some artworks are static and poetic, whilst others are provocative and activist, as opposed to yet some others that are absurd or visionary.”
Snježana Pintarić, President of the Expert Committee of the exhibition and Director of the Museum of Contemporary Art, expressed her gratitude to all the artists who submitted their works for the competition, the associates, and primarily Hrvatski Telekom, as the major partner of the Museum of Contemporary Art which significantly contributed to the development of the Croatian art. She pointed out that the joint project by the Museum of Contemporary Art and HT showed that culture can be contemplated jointly with the economy in a new and a largely productive way. Moreover, she emphasised that this year’s exhibition is particularly interesting and exciting due to the new interactive works and media, and hence she believes that the visitors will be truly enjoying themselves during the next four weeks.
During the opening ceremony Davor Tomašković, President of the Management Board of Hrvatski Telekom, stressed that Hrvatski Telekom, as a leading technology company, has been investing for years in the creation and strengthening of the Croatian artistic and cultural scene.
“During the last 10 years, the value of investment we implemented has exceeded HRK 30 million, with over HRK 12.5 million invested only in the HT award – MSU Zagreb project. Furthermore, artt.hr, the first digital museum of contemporary art in Croatia, was presented to mark the 10th anniversary of our co-operation with the Museum of Contemporary Art. Moreover, artt.hr exhibits artworks created during the last decade of existence of this exhibition, and it is primarily intended to make the Croatian contemporary art more available and accessible to a wider range of people”, noted Tomašković.
The exhibition was opened by Milan Bandić, the Mayor of Zagreb, who congratulated all the artists and wished them continued success in their future work.
“It is fantastic when co-operation between different sectors results in such great and exciting projects. Congratulations to both the Museum of Contemporary Art and Hrvatski Telekom. The audiences yearning for new artistic sensations will be most delighted to enjoy the results of their efforts”, pointed out the Mayor Milan Bandić.
The audience will be given the opportunity to visit the exhibition until 9 April 2017, and the entrance is traditionally free. Throughout the duration of the exhibition, the international expert committee will select 3 out of 29 excellent artworks: the value of the first prize stands at HRK 75,000, the second prize is worth HRK 45,000 and the third HRK 40,000. The purchased artworks will become an integral part of the holdings of the Museum of Contemporary Art and included in the HT Award Collection – MSU Zagreb. Nevertheless, this is an exhibition in which the audience will play the major role in decision-making. The fourth prize – Audience Prize, worth HRK 10,000, will be awarded upon the closure of the exhibition to the artwork that has collected the largest number of votes by the visitors, whilst the most fortunate visitor will win a special prize – Samsung Galaxy Tab4 8" LTE 16GB.