Art Organization, Gallery
David Lušičić – organizacija, voditelj galerije
Smiljan Tolj – selekcija izložbenih programa
Nikola Njavro – vodstvo popratnih programa
+385 (0)91 222 0810 (David)
+385 (0)91 225 4513 (Smiljan)
email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.greta.hr
Working hours: 17:00-20:00, Openings: 20:00-23:00
"We primarily wanted to launch a new kind of presentation platform. We decided to call it a gallery, but work within that term on redefining what it means and what it can represent."
Oaza: How much has the choice of the location influenced the work of the organization in relation to activities from previous years? How did you even find yourself in Ilica?
David Lušičić: We found the space through a friend, by chance, and settled here in 2011. The size of the space was suitable, but we were not sure what we could expect. The location of the gallery is amazing: at the very intersection of Ilica and Kačićeva Street, right next to Britanac, in the immediate vicinity of the Academy of Fine Arts, the Faculty of Architecture, the School of Design and the cult hangout Sedmica – a hub, in the real sense of the word, for authors and the audience from the creative sector.
The Zebra Creative Network – the official founder of Greta, was previously primarily focused on organizing workshops, new media and projects related to 3D mapping. The idea of the full potential of the location only crystallized later on and in some way determined the program changes within our activities.
We primarily wanted to launch a new kind of presentation platform. We decided to call it a gallery, but work within that term on redefining what it means and what it can represent. Personally, I never imagined myself as a gallery manager, but through systematic program development and the formation of a broader advisory team for the program selection, the gallery's operation became unquestionable.
Oaza: What is your specific way of approaching the program selection?
DL: We do not operate as a classic curator gallery. We are flexible when it comes to choosing outside associates and are open to all types of art. As a platform, we are trying to provide an opportunity for presentation to everyone, without an institutional or generational barrier. The core team is composed of Smiljan, Nikola Njavro, Jelena Bando, Zvonimir Marčić, Mihael Giba (digital materials), Sven Klobučar, Jurana Hraste (photo) and myself, although it is continually changing.
When the team was joined by Smiljan Tolj at the very beginning, a kind of advisory body was formed that puts together the program based on suggestions by our outside associates (professors from the Academy of Fine Arts, Boris Cvjetanović, Ana Hušman, Denis Krašković, Alan Korkut, and others). Accompanying events, administration, organization and program promotion are currently covered by me, with the help of Nikola Njavro, Zvonimir Marčić, Mihael Giba (digital materials), Sven Klobučar, Jurana Hraste (photo), and other passing associates.
As far as production activities go, we work closely with the authors or teams of authors, who are fully in charge of the conceptualization and execution of an exhibit – this kind of collaboration is specific to Greta, where the type of presentation is not conditioned by the gallery.
We are currently in the process of institutionalizing Greta. We want it to function as an independent legal entity, an association or something like that. Perhaps Zebra will even rename itself to Greta. We will also hire new people, most probably art history students, for professional training. For a recently opened position we received 600 applications!
Oaza: The space itself is suitable for a number of activities (exhibits, film showings, performances, promotions, workshops, smaller concerts) and has managed to create a broad audience in its first five years. How does your work model function?
DL: There are three basic activities or courses that we are developing in parallel: production, education, and of course, exhibits. The first is focused on implementing audiovisual programs (various experimental and feature-length films). The second deals with organizing workshops, mostly open to students and young professionals, and functions on the principles of networking. Exhibit activities are the most frequent in this space – on a weekly basis. The intensity of the program is such that Mondays are reserved for presenting new works and Saturdays for different kinds of promotions, discussions and similar events. We also have plans for introducing a new program for short film showings (a "small cinema" for experimental, documentary or animated film).
We like Booksa's work model, which is alive the entire day. Greta's active business hours are strictly from 17:00-20:00, with the exception of Mondays when the openings are held. There is room for including some sort of partner or parallel business that would use the space in the first half of the day.
Oaza: What did Greta's activity look like in the last year and how do you imagine the further development of the gallery program?
DL: In 2015 we have realized 75 events, of which 45 were exhibits. We draw in up to 100 people per event. We are planning on introducing new programs, like themed showings, etc. Because of our tight schedule, we cannot afford the production of printed materials, but we are working on developing some sort of yearbooks. We want to activate an online gallery, with all the photographic documentation from the openings collected so far, as well as the making-of videos. We are still not narrowly focused on only one aspect of art and are open to different ages, media, subjects and participants.