Landscapes of Desire, 4th Industrial Art Biennale, Paula, Rasa, Labin, Rijeka, HRV (Croaria)                    

Landscapes of Desire, 4th Industrial Art Biennale, Paula, Rasa, Labin, Rijeka, HRV (Croaria)                    

Christian Jankowski will be part in the 4th Industrial Art Biennale 2023 / May 14th – June 30, 2023

The Industrial Art Biennial (IAB) is an international exhibition of contemporary art. The project was initiated in 2016 by the activist collective Labin Art Express. The Biennial is conceived as an experimental laboratory. Its starting point passes from the industrial topography of Istria, and reflects the phenomenas which shaped the social and cultural landscape of the region. The 4th IAB will focus on the specific context of the three cities: Pula, Raša and Labin, with a satellite in Rijeka. The Industrial Revolution was not only followed by profound economic and social changes. It also led to a radical change in our understanding of art: Modernism, Futurism, Expressionism, and Impressionism are artistic reactions to the mechanisation of the world. New modes of expression were needed to understand the radical transformation of society. The 4th IAB reflects how the Istrian Peninsula, Raša, was particularly including the cities of Rijeka, Pula, Labin, and influenced in many ways by these processes and was home to an impressive number of pioneering personalities and initiatives – attempting to turn utopian ideas into reality. Even today, many testimonies of visionary projects are visible and tangible in Istria.

The civilizing achievement of the Pax Augusta (from 27 BC) manifests itself in the almost completely preserved Temple of Augustus in Pula, which is also described by Andrea Palladio in his architectural textbooks (“I quattro libri dell architectura”) as an ideal, perfect building. The mining town of Raša, designed by the Jewish architect Gustavo Pulitzer-Finali on behalf of the Italian fascists, is a unique urbanistic ensemble from the period of Italian rationalism. In the neighboring mining town of Labin, also rich in industrial-historical buildings, the Republic of Labin was proclaimed from March 2 to April 8, 1921 – a republic self-governed by miners and peasants during a strike, a participative project avant-la-lettre. The occupation of Rijeka by the Italian writer Gabriele D’Annunzio heralded a turbulent period of diverse political and nationalist visions after World War I, which manifested itself in a wild succession of government models in the Free City of Fiume. With the leading feminist and reform pedagogue Giuseppina Martinuzzi

(1844-1925) and the space explorer Herman Potočnik Noordung (1892-1929), Istria has produced two other personalities whose visionary viewpoints and researches still impress today. The 4th IAB focuses on the exploration of those “Landscapes of Desire”, in Istria and beyond. With this narrative in mind, artists with different backgrounds will be invited to develop on-site interventions, to undertake intensive field studies, and to research on specific utopian sources in a beautiful and rich territory. The exhibition-project is an innovative tribute to the utopian energy of the Istrian peninsula, with a focus on today’s social, cultural, and economical challenges.

The 4th IAB is a discursive field of artistic experiences, and spans a colourful rainbow over the landscape of utopias. Pula based writer Tatjana Gromača, who was a sparring-partner for the curators, states, that people have to look for new and utopian landscapes, because this longing is something that helps to survive: “I have a very nice feeling with the word ‘landscape‘, and I see how beautiful and different perspectives appear in our imagination.”