News | Renata Poljak

Solo exhibition

Glerija Dešković, 15 July 2016

Solo exhibition

Museum of Contemporary Art of Istira
opening: 8 July 2016

Stories from the Edge

Kunsthaus Graz, 16 June 2016

Stories from the Edge

MLZ Art Dep, Trieste
opening: 14 April 2016
Fri, 15/04/2016 to Sat, 28/05/2016

The project, curated by Francesca Lazzarini and The Daily Rhythms Collective (Nayari Castillo and Kate Howlett-Jones)investigates the identity of tourist resorts along the coast of Friuli Venezia Giulia, Slovenia and the Istrian Croatian coast during the low season. Serving as an itinerant osmizza*, the van will serve as a point of encounter, hospitality and production, a place of artistic research that does more than simply provide food. Following in the tradition of osmizze – rustic inns which by Josef II of Austria’s decree had permission to open just eight days a year (the word osmizza comes from the Slovenian osem, meaning eight) – the van  sets up in eight different places. Six of these are in situ along the coast, with two final ones in Trieste, Italy and Graz, Austria. Exhibitions will also be held here presenting the works created from the project.

Renata Poljak — An Ordinary Life

Opening, 8 April 2016 at 8:00 p.m.

The exhibition develops around a central project Partenza and the theme of migration connecting artist’s personal life and family history with socio-political phenomenon that in recent years deconstructs concept and principles of the human foundations of the contemporary European community and its world views. The central event of the exhibition is Croatia’s premiere of the video installation Partenza (filmed in 2015, on Zlatni rat in the city of Bol on the island Brač); which demarcate a century of migration linking memories of the emigration of local inhabitants from the early 20th century with the tragedy of today’s migrant wave from the regions of Africa and Middle East. According to her multimedia art practice, Renata Poljak also develops the exhibition theme through a series of drawings and photo-collages. Family history becomes the metaphor of fragility of human existence caught in the grindstone of social and natural forces that shape it. A selection of artist’s earlier work dealing with her personal migrations, accompany central project thus also marking the 20th anniversary of her first video I, the housewife.

Acknowledgments: FACE Croatia

More info:


Contexts Gallery, Paris, April 2 – May 14, 2016

Renata Poljak’s film and photo collages titled Partenza (Italian for departure, as used in many of Croatia’s coastal dialects) express the global insecurity of contemporary society and the fragility of human existence. Metaphorically, they address a story about departure, anticipation and separation, dictated by migrations. In the early 20th century, it was usual yet traumatic for men to leave Croatian islands due to poverty and hunger. One of these tragic stories is weaved into the artist’s own family history; this series of works is inspired by the life story of Renata’s great-grandmother who lived on the island of Brač and whose husband went to Chile looking for work in order to secure his family’s future. Like many of the island’s women, she waited for her husband who, like many of those men, never returned.

Partenza is simultaneously the homage to the contemporary tragedies of migrants at sea. The author uses this phenomenon as a connecting thread and a reminder that not so long ago, and even nowadays, we are in the same boat. Therefore, Poljak links two stories about migration – the one of Croatia from the early 20th century and today’s plight of African and Asian refugees. The work utilizes migrant and refugee stories that constantly repeat throughout history. It powerfully and suggestively points to the human condition as fragile and susceptible to political, economic and social changes.


Prostor za sodobno umetnost Monfort — Portorož, Slovenia, 2. 4. — 27. 5. 2015.

Nika Autor, Igor Grubic, Irwin, Valerio Rocco Orlando, Renata Poljak, Gian Maria Tosatti


Fundació Joan Miró, Barcelona, 13. 3. — 7. 06. 2015

Prophetia comprises works by twenty-five artists who have followed and addressed the formation of the European Community. The point of departure for the exhibition is a video by the Albanian artist Anri Sala, dating from 2002, that portrays the moment when the dream of Europe was still intact in some of the countries aspiring to enter the European Union. All the other works on exhibit are more recent and reflect the current sense of uncertainty concerning the European project.

The diverse origins of the artists featured in the show lead to a confluence of very different points of view and sensibilities. As a whole, the Prophetia exhibition invites us to reflect upon the history and evolution of the European Union, with a special emphasis on the latest developments.

Prophetia is structured around three concepts that are closely linked to the philosophical and ideological foundations of Europe: rape, correspondence and reciprocity, and responsibility. These three concepts also provide the backbone for the exhibition catalogue, which includes essays by Bojana Kunst, Ingrid Guardiola, Cécile Bourne Farrell, José Luis Corazón, Srecko Horvat, and Piedad Solans.

Plameni pozdravi: reprezentativni portret detinjstva u socijalističkoj Jugoslaviji

Museum of Yugoslav History, Belgrade 28. 2. — 19. 4. 2015.

Izložba Plameni pozdravi predlaže novo promišljanje socijalističke Jugoslavije – njene strukture, karaktera i nasleđa – kroz istraživanje reprezentativne slike detinjstva. Istražujući zvanične arhive i prikazujući ih kroz intervencije savremenih umetnika poreklom iz nekadašnje Jugoslavije, kao i postavljanjem arhivskog materijala u aktivni dijalog sa umetničkim radovima koji se u širem smislu bave nekadašnjom Jugoslavijom, projekat preispituje i mogućnost kolektivnog sećanja na zemlju koja više ne postoji kao i status arhiva ovakve zemlje u novonastalim nacionalnim državama.