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Željko Beljan: Buže

Željko Beljan: Buže

On Saturday, July 1, 2023. at 9pm next to the Monade gallery there will be the opening of a site-specific spatial installation by Željko Beljan called “Buže” within the framework of Jelsa Art Biennial 2023. 

“Buže” will remain available for viewing during the entirety of the biennial, until August 30 2023.

While walking along kala for the first time, we can easily fall into a dazed state of saturated senses, coming from signs to this museum or that restaurant, through changing spots of shadow and sunlight on stone textures, to capers growing nonchalantly from the cracks in walls. And there, among the layers of architecture and life, every now and then – buža. Buže, on some islands known as “ears of windows” or probužoni kamik (perforated stone) in the dialect of Hvar, are stone protrusions with a circular hole in the middle, usually located at the height of two thirds of the window frame.

It is assumed, because buže mostly live in pairs, that a beam was passed through them, but their function is the subject of various theories: that they were used for drying clothes, or colored Venetian cloths, animal skins and furs, hanging wet and damp sheets, as protection from the sun and “air conditioning” of the living spaces, as well as for placing festive flags, tapestries and cloths with family coats of arms during important celebrations. What is certain is the multitude of personal truths and stories of the people to whom they belong to and who live with them every day. It is precisely this openness in interpretation that gives a wide space for play.

With this site-specific installation in the kala of Jelsa, Željko Beljan brings buže to life, following their historic connections with textile, with a simple gesture “reminding” visitors of their existence and inviting further intertwined interpretations.


Željko Beljan (b. 1984, Vukovar) received his MA from the Department of Animated Film and New Media, Academy of Fine Arts, Zagreb, Croatia in 2021. Interested in craft, folk art, outsider art, traditional handicraft techniques, and their position and perception in the contemporary art world, in his last works he has been exploring connection between (amateur) sport and handicraft and playing with gender clichés.  

Organization in co-production of: LAB852, Sustainable Island association

Support: EU program Creative Europe, Magic Carpets, Ministry of Culture and media of the Republic of Croatia, Split-Dalmatia county, Municipality of Jelsa, Jelsa Tourist Board.

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