Blockbuster show aiming at nothing less than a complete visual history of Zagreb from World War II to the present day
What is it that gives Zagreb its distinct cultural profile, and makes it different from other cities in the region? A cheeky line in conceptual art? A healthy dose of modern design? A punk-rock heritage? Or maybe its tradition of animated films? It’s a question partly answered by ‘Iconography of the City II’, a veritable feast of an exhibition that aims to squeeze all of the city’s artistic achievements into one building. Five years in the making, this blockbuster of an exhibition is the follow up the first ‘Iconography of the City’ exhibition of 2010, which told the history of Zagreb in the first half of the 20th century through the visual arts. Taking up the story in the 1950s and continuing into the present day, part II is even more ambitious, using art, photography, architecture film, literature and popular culture to build up a complex portrait of the city. The exhibition makes good use of video screens, wall projections, sound collages and even holograms to deliver urban history with maximum contemporary impact. The main aim of the show is to map the city’s urban culture, putting contemporary art, new-wave music, popular TV dramas and edgy fashion into their social, modern-metropolis context. Set to travel to Ljubljana, Prague and other European cities, the exhibition is organised in a way that’s designed to appeal to foreign audiences as well as those local residents who already know the story. Judging by the stunning, inspirational success of part one five years ago, part two already has ‘Exhibition of the Year’ written all over it.