Zagreb traditionally used to ease back on cultural happenings in August, as locals took time away from the city and headed to the beach. These days, although summer frivolity is still at the fore, the city is full of events which aim to appeal to the huge amount of visitors dropping by. Here are the best things to do in Zagreb this month.
RECOMMENDED: more great things to do in Zagreb.
Starting as a playfully ironic art installation and subsequently an international touring exhibition, the Museum of Broken Relationships has become one of Zagreb's most unusual and most popular museum attractions since opening in 2010. Housed in one of the Upper Town's finest Baroque mansions, the thematic display takes visitors through a series of different emotions associated with a break-up, illustrated by objects donated by members of the public. An electric toaster donated by a jilted American is accompanied by the laconic comment: ‘When I moved out, and across the country, I took the toaster. That'll show you. How are you going to toast anything now?’ Many exhibits are captioned with the kind of surreal narratives that frequently flow from fraught emotional states. Funny, tragic, fascinating, it was named 'most innovative museum' at the European Museum Awards of 2011.
Zlatko Keser is a member of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts, an academic and an artist. He graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb in 1967 and has been teaching there since 1982. He was admitted to the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts in 2004 and in his formative years was partially mentored in the workshop of renowned Croatian naive artist Krsto Hegedušić. He is a painter of imaginative, colourful scenes and is sometimes associated with a purposefully infantile inclusion of handwriting, sharply contrasting colour schemes and, at times, erotic references. In addition to his painting, he works in graphics, book illustrations and on public murals, two of which can be seen in Koprivnica and Zagreb. In 2015 he was the recipient of the Vladimir Nazor Lifetime Achievement Award.
Pre-dating grunge music, American rock and punk-inspired band Pixies are the godfathers of a scene that propelled bands like Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Alice In Chains and Smashing Pumpkins onto the world stage. Alongside Sonic Youth, Butthole Surfers and others, Pixies laid the foundations for such bands to supplant heavy metal as the most popular and relevant rock sound of the day. During their initial tenure, Pixies recorded several classic albums and EPs for the 4AD label, including 'Come On Pilgrim' (1987), 'Surfer Rosa' (1988), 'Doolittle' (1989), 'Bossanova' (1990) and 'Trompe le Monde' (1991), their songs etched into annuals of classic alternative rock ever since. The band broke up in 1993, but ten years later they reconvened and have been active on the live circuit ever since, a far greater tenure than their first. Expect to hear all the classics on this runaround Zagreb Fair.
Esteemed NYC-based DJ and producer, as one half of the Masters At Work and Nuyorican Soul duos, Kenny Dope's place in the history of dance music is assured. These duos have produced more memorable songs, shaken more dancefloors with their underground tracks and thrilled more dancers than almost anyone in the business. Longstanding, prolific and almost always on-point, Kenny Dope also has a solo career as a label manager of imprints like Dope Wax and Dopebrother, a mix compiler and as DJ and producer just as comfortable operating in the genres of funk, disco and broken beat as he is within the house music and hip hop for which he's best known.
British indie-folk trio Daughter hold their premiere Croatian performance in Zagreb. With a repertoire of several albums and EP releases, and new material announced for this year, Daughter will be playing major European festivals this summer, combining the summer run with smaller club gigs such as these where the atmosphere will be electric. Tickets go on sale Thursday 20 February at 9am.
With every album she makes, American singer-songwriter Angel Olsen raises her ambitions. Her latest 'All Mirrors' is the most elaborate yet and sees Olsen backed by an orchestra on songs which take in alternative rock, contemporary folk and heartfelt ballads. She has previously collaborated with Bonnie 'Prince' Billy, Cass McCombs, members of Wilco and Mark Ronson. Expect a theatrical and stylised show, with the orchestra replaced by violin and cello arrangments.
Just arrived in Zagreb by plane and wondering what all those wonderful pictures are hanging in the baggage claim area? Well, it's an exhibition entitled 'Croatia, full of colour' by well-travelled, Zagreb-based writer and photographer Davor Rostuhar. Welcome!