International Cooperation on Display in Zagreb’s French Pavilion

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After two New York editions, Coupé International is now open in Zagreb.

Coupé International is a platform from Vienna that promotes international cooperation among young artists through the organization of joint exhibition projects. The exhibitions take place in the cities where the invited artists live and work, in order to explore common practices and the creation of favourable conditions for future cooperation. After two presentations in New York, Coupé International is organised in Zagreb for the first time, in collaboration with the Nomad Association established by the curator and cultural manager Vanja Žanko, reports on June 17, 2016.

For the “Coupé International’s VOL.THREE”, Žanko and the Austrian curator Michael Strasser have invited the artists Eva Engelbert (Austria) and Maja Marković (Croatia), who often work on intriguing locations and share the interest for the exhibiting situations outside of the traditional gallery premises. For this occasion, the two of them are investigating the history of the French Pavilion, the pearl of Zagreb’s architecture, with the goal to develop new creations in the Pavilion’s specific context and display them there. In September, the exhibition project will be presented at the fair Parallel Vienna 2016 in Vienna, and in November the visitors of the Fine Arts Museum in Osijek will be able to see it during the 7th edition of the Days of Austrian Culture.

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The French Pavilion was built in 1936 and 1937. It was designed by architect Robert Camelot with an aim to present the French automotive and aircraft industry at the Zagreb Fair. Because of its atypical appearance and demanding maintenance, the structure fell into oblivion and it was not used for decades. After a recent renovation, different “site-“ and “context-specific” projects in the field of contemporary art, architecture, design and music have been organised there.

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The works of Eve Engelbert and Maja Marković are revolving around the French Pavilion as a place of presentation of exceptional architectural and engineering achievements. With her creations, Eva Engelbert is inciting us to think about the historical, social and economic factors surrounding the Pavilion, instead of seeing it in the context of promotion of industrial achievements. Meanwhile, Maja Marković touches on the same topic using brittle materials – her work acts as a support structure that has the potential to become an impressive exhibition decor or discarded exhibition material in an abandoned warehouse at the same time. The exhibition will be open until 24 June.


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