Marko Tadić: may you live in interesting times

Marko Tadić: may you live in interesting times

Marko Tadić was born in 1979 in Sisak (Croatia) and he studied painting in Florence. He is a very experimental artist who uses many different ways of expressions, from visual to sound, and I’m very thankful to him because he taught me the motto “Everything can be made with everythingby Levi-Strauss, that became a real Mantra to me. In his practice Tadić insists on the idea that the concept comes first, and then everything is molded according to necessities. I decided to meet him to know how he is fronting the pandemic emergency in Croatia and what’s working on in this period.

Lucrezia Costa: How the pandemic situation evolved in Zagreb and how are you experiencing this extraordinary situation personally speaking?
Marko Tadić: There were two huge earthquakes in Croatia, the first one in March while the second one in December. Both of them brought lots of general confusion because on one side mass media told everybody to stay safe at home for the global emergency, but on the other side they recommended to stay outside in order to avoid possible walls collapses due to earthquakes. During those days everything really stopped and none could work or just live the routine, it felt like going back to war. Everybody observed the situation and solutions to survive and go on with life. May you live in interesting times makes a new sense now.

You studied painting and then you evolved trying animations, drawings, sculptures, and also radical and innovative forms such as radio-drama. What’s you relationship with the visual aspect of art? And what about sound?
I grew up with the motto “medium doesn’t matter, the idea is important” and since I studied philosophy before choosing the academic path, this was my natural way of proceeding. I work with a process that find a material way to realize my ideas so that it is the best choice in every singular situation. In this sense the medium is always secondary and this is the reason why I often change it to give importance to the production process. I like to challenge myself and most of the time the result is much more interesting. However, if we talk about medium, my comfort zone are animations and radio-dramas, because they give me the possibility to experiment in many ways. This doesn’t mean that I abandon other modalities of expressions like writing, sculpture, photography, VR and so on. Sperimental radio-drama is a medium that puts in place all the things that are important to me in art, and I’m talking about ideas and concepts about reception theories, the form of bricolage by Levi-Strauss and the Rhythmanalysis work by Henri Lefebvre. When we listen or produce a radio-drama having in mind these conceptual filters we can reach important and interesting solutions personally and collectively speaking.

What did representing Croatia at the Venice Biennale in 2017 mean to you and how did you work to realize the exhibited work?
That was a really particular moment for me. At that time I lost the studio where I used to work for the Biennale project. I had to move to another place to finish the movie I was producing but I have to admit that the final result was very satisfactory. One year before Biennale I found in a flea market an envelope full of personal pictures of a famous architect from Split and when I analyzed those images I understood that some of them were part of utopian projects. There were photographies of some circular buildings that had to float on the sea. At this point I started my personal project by thinking how is it possible that precious materials like that one would be abandoned in a second hand market. When I started to work physically in the space in order to realize the display, everything worked correctly except for some little problems concerning the space and how to place everything. Anyway, staying in Venice for a month it has been such a dream to me.

How did your studies and practice changed with the global emergency?
If we talk about the production of animations and other works I am working on, nothing really changed because I like to work in my studio, in a personal space, so I kept studying and experimenting. But if we consider all the world involved in exhibitions and displays, I suffered a lot because the way of exhibit has radically changed with Covid-19. All the shows have been cancelled or postponed indefinitely so everything is suspended. So I decided to start a process of healing and I used the time to produce works of art I didn’t have the occasion to realize before, such as experimental radio-dramas, some models and drawings for new projects.

Which projects are you bringing on in this period? Which will be the output?
For example I started two animations that were suspended and that now I can deepen giving them the right importance by studying important aspects to me, such as research and production. At this point I would like also to experiment with VR, that I see as a new dimension in which the artist can get in, with his ideas, and exploring the infinite space inside.

Other projects for the post-pandemic future?
Travel as I’ve never done before!

Lucrezia Costa


Marko Tadić on the occasion of the presentation of his project “Horizon of Expectations” for the Croatian pavilion of the Venice Biennale, 2017 edition. Ph courtesy Sisak Info News

View of the “Horizon of Expectations” installation created in the Arsenale space, Venice Biennale, 2017, ph courtesy of the artist

View of the “Horizon of Expectations” installation created in the Arsenale space, Venice Biennale, 2017, ph courtesy of the artist

Frame of the animation “Until a Breath of Air” 2015, ph courtesy of the artist

Frame of the animation “Moving Elements” 2016, ph courtesy of the artist


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