You are currently viewing Anja Leko, Andrej Beštak, Paula Płavniece: Imagining Gardens

Anja Leko, Andrej Beštak, Paula Płavniece: Imagining Gardens

Imagining Gardens is a contemporary performative multidisciplinary production, curated by Anja Leko, Andrej Beštak from Croatia and Paula Płavniece from Latvia. It is to be presented as a moving performative piece, in collaboration with the local choir of St. Cecily. The anchor point of the performance is the research by Anatomy of Islands, who explored the lives of locals living in a narrow street in Jelsa called kala, and whose gardens, usually closed off to the public, will take center stage as the setup for the performance. The piece will be expanded on and elaborated during a 10 day residency in Jelsa, with the participating artists being: Hugo Baranger, Rebecca Merlić, Robert Fenrich, Sunčica Bandić and Dora Brkarić. Imagining Gardens is a journey through the hidden, shaded part of Jelsa, rediscovering near-forgotten ancient knowledge and perceiving the growth and renewal of animal and plant matter as a portal to an alternate reality.


“There’s something about hidden places that we find irresistibly alluring. Perhaps it’s the mystery, the sense of the unknown that draws us in. Or maybe it’s the feeling of exclusivity, the sense that we are accessing something that others cannot. A reminder that there was always more to discover, more to learn, more to experience. And in that reminder lay the true allure of hidden places: the promise of a world that is vast, complex, and endlessly fascinating, just waiting to be explored. Looking at the top of the palm trees or ivy leafs that found their way through the cracks triggers our curiosity and the urge to peek inside.
The Garden represents nature but also it represents a set of controlled conditions for plants to grow. It is taken care of, nourished and selected with the idea of development and the purpose of keeping human existence alive. It is a meeting point of nature and technology. The garden offers a conscious decision of what to keep and what to leave behind. Constant transformation of existing forms in order to accumulate new ones, constant mutation of species to the point of non recognition. It shows us the ever moving world and its traditions and constantly challenges us in the question of what would be the information we want to preserve.”


Anja Leko & Andrej Beštak (CRO)
Andrej Beštak and Anja Leko are an artist duo born in Zagreb, Croatia currently living in Reykjavik, Iceland. Their artistic practice includes installation, performance, and video works. They mostly consider themselves storytellers in spaces using visual language and sounds rather than words to create an emotional dialog between artwork and audience.

Paula Płavniece (LV)
Paula Plavniece is a Latvian theatre maker who is working in nongovernmental and state theatre projects since 2014, mainly working as a stage director. In her artistic practices main fields of interest are socially and politically active topics and new drama, focusing on such aspects as inclusion, ecology, integration etc. Her works often involves working with local communities and making site specific art projects.



Sunčica Bandić (CRO)
Sunčica Bandić started her dance journey in Ballet studio of HNK Split where she started performing in its repertoire. She graduated from contemporary dance and dance pedagogy at Academy of drama arts in Zagreb.

Dora Brkarić (CRO)
Dora Brkarić is a mover, choreographer and visual artist who is always seeking for the binding of dance, noise, video, theatre and emotions. With a big curiosity for the possibilities of how to strip down the identity, she is exploring ways of bending time and space while attempting to transform the body in other outside- self states.

Hugo Baranger (FR)
Born in 1992 in Niort (France), Baranger grew up in the heart of the Green Venice, in the Marais Poitevin (France). His field of interest is closely related to sound art, performance and digital art, combining sound recordings with technology developed to create sounds out of nature.

Rebecca Merlić (CRO/AT)
Rebecca Merlic (1989) is a European digital artist and architect, experimental filmmaker, and university assistant in the core team of Experimental Game Cultures at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna. Her work is strongly influenced by alternative societies and transgressions of socioeconomic conventions as well as by new forms of artistic and architectural production employing new technologies.

Robert Fenrich (CRO)
Robert Fenrich is a multidisciplinary artist born in 1995 in Zagreb.
In his artistic work he deals with interdisciplinary research, experimental and multimedia practices with an emphasis on ambiental works, which is how he researches the crossing of pictures, ambience and sound.


Organization in co-production with: LAB852, Sustainable Island association, Kružok association.
Support: EU Program Creative Europe, Magic Carpets, Ministry of Culture and Media of the Republic of Croatia, Jelsa Municipality, Jelsa tourist board.

Leave a Reply