Schleifmühlgasse 18 - 1040 Vienna 
+43-699-19207778 -

26.01.2023 - 05.03.2023
Bologna, Italy

Performance: Saturday 04.02.23 7pm & Sunday 05.02.23 11am
Where: Palazzo d'Accursio o Comunale, Piazza Maggiore, 6, 40121 Bologna , Italy
Curated by Daniele Capra

galerie michaela stock is honoured to collaborate with the exhibition of the Croatian artist Slaven Tolj in Bologna on the occasion of our participation in Arte Fiera. The exhibition Craquelure. Pavo and me will be held by Collezioni Comunali d'Arte at Palazzo d'Accursio at the Sala Urbana. The show is part of the intriguing ART CITY Bologna program, directed by Lorenzo Balbi.

Slaven Tolj
Craquelure. Pavo and me
curated by Daniele Capra

Collezioni Comunali d'Arte
Palazzo d'Accursio, Piazza Maggiore 6, Bologna

Exhibition: 26 January – 5 March 2023

4 February 2023 7 pm  & 5 February 2023 11 am

Closing event & guided tour
5 March 2023 5 pm




On the occasion of ART CITY Bologna 2023, the Collezioni Comunali d'Arte (Municipal Art Collection) is happy to host Craquelure. Pavo and me, solo show by Slaven Tolj. The exhibition, curated by Daniele Capra, consists of some fifteen sculptural and documentary artworks and the performance Bologna, February 2023, especially created for the Bologna museum, which will take place on Saturday 4 February 4 at 7 pm and Sunday 5 February at 11 am. The project is Tolj's first solo exhibition at an Italian public museum.

Craquelure. Pavo and me – whose works range from sculpture to photography, from performance to the site-specific intervention created for the Sala Urbana – takes a bird's-eye view of the Croatian artist's journey, highlighting his ability to position himself as an interstitial element between inner, interpersonal and political dynamics. Body art and conceptual art are at the core of Tolj's research, whose work is fuelled by a persistent interaction with human and professional events experienced firsthand. The artist has remained true to his practice, from his beginnings in the late 1980s to recent works attesting to the events following a stroke that undermined his linguistic abilities. The exhibition, which takes the form of a condensed retrospective, is an intimate narrative unfolded through the personal and historical events that marked Tolj's life, beginning with the tragic breakup of Yugoslavia. The show is dedicated to photographer Pavo Urban, a friend of the artist who died in the war in Dubrovnik on 6 December 1991 – two photographs by Urban, documenting a performance by Tolj, are part of the exhibition.

In A tattoo of the logo of Rijeka's Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art Rijeka (2013), the artist gets the museum's logo tattooed on his shoulders – an action performed right after being appointed director of the MMSU museum. This is both an intimate and political work: the artist demonstrates his personal dedication to his new institutional role, yet, being an artist himself, this performative action also aims to highlight how museums can turn into a brand and a yardstick of value of one's work.
In Community Spirit in Action (1998) Tolj performs in a Zagreb peep show together with a stripper, presenting his own body lying completely defenceless, covered by a cloth. The work sheds light on a somewhat paradoxical situation: the presence of a body-artist's body goes almost unnoticed, while a woman's body – although exploited and sexually objectified – is the subject sought and desired by the viewers' gaze.
The photograph Untitled (1997) bears witness to a historical event that occurred during the war in former Yugoslavia: the majestic chandeliers of St. Ignatius Church in Dubrovnik were removed to prevent them from falling on people due to bombing. The objects were thus replaced with simple industrial bulbs with no identity.
In the performance Dubrovnik-Valencia-Dubrovnik (2003) Tolj remains shirtless after removing a dozen garments, each of which has a black button symbolizing a friend lost in the war. He then tears off one of the buttons and decides to sew it onto his own skin with needle and thread – as if it were a medal to be pinned to his chest. However, this gesture becomes a sign of mourning instead, a pain that leaves one naked, and from which one can no longer free oneself.

In Tolj's poetics the artwork is an element of mediation and relationship between the artist, his body and the context in which it originated. Through his own presence, by means of minimal actions conducted with his own body and by displacing small objects, Tolj highlights the cracks and breaks that life and history inflict on the fabric of our existence – like the craquelure that appears on the surface of oil paintings as time passes. Without rhetoric, with a scarce yet much needed language, the artist interrogates the viewer and invests him with an intense emotional charge, revealing with his works the immense rawness of reality.

Kontakt Collection is an independent non-profit association based in Vienna. Its purpose is the support and promotion of Central, Eastern, and Southeastern European Art.

The artistic practice of Slaven Tolj (Dubrovnik, HR, 1964) is the result of a deep inner excavation, in which elements of personal life and a lucid analysis of the socio-political context are fused. His works, characterized by essential interventions, span from performance to photography, from installation to sculpture made from found objects. Tolj has combined artistic activity with active work as a museum and institution director. He has exhibited and realized performances in museums and festivals such as:
MSU Museum of Contemporary Art, Zagreb (HR), MUMOK, Vienna (A), Ludwig Museum of Contemporary Art, Budapest (H), Museum of Modern Art Ljubljana, Ljubljana (SLO), 15. Biennale di Architecture, Venice, Museum of Modern Art Dubrovnik, Dubrovnik (HR), Museum of Contemporary Art Metelkova, Ljubljana (SLO), Documenta X, Kassel (D), Moderna Museet, Stockholm (S), ZAZ Festival of Performance Art in Motion, Tel Aviv (IL), MMSU, Rijeka (HR), Ernst Museum, Budapest (H), Performa, New York (USA). Tolj lives and works in Dubrovnik and Rijeka.

artworks on view:

A project in cooperation with galerie michaela stock.
Friendly supported by Kontakt Collection / Erste Foundation in Vienna.
In collaboration with Art Radionica Lazareti in Dubrovnik and Bologna Musei Civici d'Arte Antica.
The event takes place as part of Art City Bologna and ARTEFIERA.

Thanks going out:


Gallery News

Go to top