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Juraj Šantorić: Digesting

Jelsa Art Biennial 2023: Dekubator

Juraj Šantorić

Jelsa Art Bennial invites you to the opening of the performative installation Digesting by Juraj Šantorić on Friday, August 25 at Monade Gallery at 8:30 p.m.

Juraj Šantorić is an artist, a student of philosophy, ethnology and anthropology. With Anatomy of Islands, he was part of the research Anatomy of Kala. Residents of the Jelsa kala, a street in the grid of the Mediterranean city, participated in the research, and with their stories and memories from the kala inspired a series of artistic interventions, including Šantorić’s Digesting.
The performative installation Digesting looks at the increasingly pronounced problem of sea level rise, which directly affects the island’s inhabitants.
A summer house, a place kept under safe human hands or Eden under a glass bell, is today an exposed utopia of apparent security. The sea rises without knocking. A small green rectangle, a window from the street into a hidden oasis behind the stone walls that offers tranquility. Only salad thrives, while the tides come from the north and south. The embossed green surface and abstract light reflection are the materialization of anthropocentric poetics dominated by misunderstanding and unknowns. To spend days in a summer house, put your feet up in the air and immerse yourself in the environment without suspecting that the environment also plunges into us?… Only a bitter taste remains in the mouth as the salt in digestion corrodes the mucous membrane of the pharynx.

“I’m sitting in a garden that exudes the atmosphere of a summer house of an ancient ruler, nature under protection of the human hand. I listen, observe the colors and smells, immerse myself in the environment. Slowly, I sip a glass of sea water. With this, I try to digest the force that is knocking on the door and flooding the street more and more often. The saltiness of the sea brings with it the pain of failure, which warns us that man still has not tamed nature’s greatest resource – the sea. A small green rectangle, a window from the street into a hidden oasis behind the stone walls.
The green rectangle is a repeating figure, a reference to a large green wall several meters away. However, instead of the creeping plant as a metonym comes the lettuce sourced from land, a passive harbinger of the rising tide in the north. The moment of drinking the sea is projected over a small rectangle of lettuce. The embossed green surface prevents clear recognition of the projected content. The abstract light reflection on the leaves gives an outline of anthropocentric poetics. Misunderstanding beyond the limits of human hands.
Only a bitter taste remains in the mouth while the remaining salt eats away at the throat. The water rises above the street.”
– Juraj Šantorić

Juraj Šantorić was born in 1997 in Zagreb. He is a third-year student of philosophy and ethnology and anthropology at the University of Zadar. He is the winner of the rector’s award at the undergraduate level in the academic year 2021/2022. As part of the Ceepus student mobility, he spent the semester at the Faculty of Philosophy in Belgrade, and at the same time went on a student internship at the Center for Cultural Decontamination (CZKD). He is the author of several performances that problematize the issues of identity, belonging, the academic world and the conception of the city, and he performed them at the University of Zadar, the International Festival of Contemporary Theater Zadar and the ValOm Festival. He considers performance art as a possible anthropological method. In 2022, he organized the cultural and artistic ValOm festival on the island of Krk. In his work, he tries to create an authentic expression in which he will connect scientific and artistic discourses.

Co-production partners: LAB852, Sustainable Island
Program partners: Anatomy of the Island
The project is supported by the Ministry of Culture and Media of the Republic of Croatia, Municipality of Jelsa, Municipality of Brdovec, TZ Jelsa

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