Trip to the Toolbox exhibition in Zagreb

Wednesday, 1st February, 8:00 o’clock in the morning – we are making our way to Zagreb, curious to see what our partner museum has created under the name of “Exhibition in Progress”.

It’s a very stressful time of the year – especially for us students – but nevertheless a few of us could manage to drive to Zagreb and visit the MSU (Muzej Suvremene Umjetnosti Zagreb) which was established 1954 and is since 2009 located in a new building in Novi Zagreb designed by the Croatian architect Igor Franić.

After our arrival, we meet up with Ana who is amongst other things responsible for the youth group and who gives us some basic information on how the youth group works etc.

Afterwards, one member of the youth group takes his time to guide us through the exhibition. I think it is really great  that the participants of the youth group are taking turns in “supervising” the exhibition in terms of being there at a certain time in the week and answering questions from the visitors. That is a great opportunity for the visitors not only to get an explanation on how the different artworks a related to each other and why they are shown together, but also to get insight on the process of creating this exhibition.

The five works of the participating artists are all accompanied by works from the collection of the MSU which allows them to become more diverse and to reveal new aspects. There is enough space for every artwork to unfold but they are close enough together to appear as a unity.

Furthermore, it’s the first time – at least for Ramona and me – to see the Museum as Toolbox catalogue and the accompanying booklet for the exhibition in Zagreb.

What I like most about the exhibition are the parts which animate the visitors to participate like e.g. the APP where you have to answer a question to each artwork or the board games located at the beginning of the exhibition room. We get told that they also have events accompanying the exhibition, like workshops or even a disco night!

About noon, we meet up for lunch with OAZA – the designer collective we know from the residency in Graz – to discuss how their project is going to develop and how it’s going to be shown in our exhibition.

Before driving back home, we have the pleasure to get a short but very interesting tour through the whole museum by Ana – which was great since I have only been there once and it’s a big museum with a great collection. She points out the most important things about the shown Croatian and foreign artists.

Unfortunately, we already have to leave around noon but I think I speak for all of us, when I say that it was a great experience to visit the exhibition put together by the MSU – not only to see what our partner had done, but also to see how the five projects can be realised and shown, since we are currently in the middle of planning our own exhibition which will open on 7 September.

With the great impressions from Zagreb still in mind, I can’t wait to develop our own exhibition further!

Jasmin, member of the Youth club Kunsthaus Graz

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