Photograph on Baryta paper
Acquisition in 2016
Slaven Tolj in 1964 in Dubrovnik (Croatia), lives and works in Dubrovnik and Rijeka (Croatia).
Slaven Tolj’s work takes the form of performance art, including its photographic and video documentation, as well as photographs and multimedia installations. Dealing with the Croatian situation on both a social and political level, his work explores his country’s position within contemporary history following the end of communism, the Balkan Wars and the break-up of the former Yugoslavia, but also the transformation of the country in tune with today’s globalized world. The artist’s work is based on personal experience, all the while incorporating a certain universality, vacillating between individual and collective memory. It explores the current conditions and limits of a political art through a symbolic or metaphorical approach. The ensemble Citius, Altius, Fortius was born from a civic gesture wherein the artist challenges the project of transforming a historic area of Dubrovnik into a golf course. Each piece in the series comprises a diptych, made up of a photograph of a classical work of art housed in this area of the town. Placed in each photograph is a visual reference to the political arguments used to defend an urban transformation likely to benefit only the privileged members of society. This comparative approach makes a mockery of the political discourse and denounces the bureaucratic muddle of cultural policy, revealing how money often holds greater sway than the common good.