The joint project of Animafest Zagreb and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Animation Goes MSU!, has become a traditional introduction into the central programme of the World Festival of Animated Film. This year as well, for this fifth time around, Museum of Contemporary Art’s media façade is giving the public a chance to see a selection of the international site-specific animations between 24 May and 11 June.
Fourteen this year’s works were selected via an open call by Animafest’s artistic director Daniel Šuljić and senior curator at MSU Vesna Meštrić. Most of these are premieres, and mutually differ in terms of creative approach – from narrative and figuration to experiment and abstraction, arriving from Germany, China, Estonia, Slovenia, USA, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia.
A first-timer with Zagreb’s audience is the emerging New York-based Taiwanese author, Po-Yen Wang, whose work Xeroxed Destinations Series focuses on the consequences of mass tourism of urban landscapes and global cultural heritage, which lost its original meaning with aggressive exploitation in tourism. In this three-channel site-specific animation the author connects 3D animation and photography using the images of famous tourist sites in America, Europe and Asia, as a small part of rotating tourism machinery.
Maja Kalogjera, introduced last year with Dear Cloud, in her new work Watching TV in Paris, interestingly presents a layered animation in whose top layer the artist connects TV signal glitches with an impressionist-style brushstroke.
Award-winning German artist Melanie Beisswenger will enchant the media façade with dance and movement, American artist Tracy Miller Robbins (also known to Zagreb audience) is presenting herself with a three-channel site-specific animation, poetically portraying the state of female mind, and young Estonian artist Terje Henk presents her world with particular simplicity in a piece called From Here to There.
Meteor Sonata by Chinese author Ding Shiwei connects animation and photography, documenting the life cycle and referring to life’s transience. Director and animator Ranko Anđelić, who splits his time between London and Sarajevo, takes us to his imaginary world of sideways through typography in his piece Stutter.
In the experimentation sphere, one piece that particularly stands out is Exquisite Glitch by a group of authors. It is a changing collective consisting of artists, programmers, associates, moderators and bots gathering around the idea of the Exquisite Corpse game, in which every player creates a fragment of the final, collaborative work, without an insight into the whole.
Their E/G#9 : loop is an animation and social experiment, based on Tony Sarg’s animation (part one of The First Circus, 1921). The experiment of E/G#9 included 50 authors, each reinterpreting linear sequences of animation through a static two-dimensional digital image format, without being familiar with the rest of the film or the techniques of their colleagues.
Following up on the 3D animation technique, artist Slobodan Tomić in his piece The Rise of Fascism takes a series of animated sequences to portray architectural space in interaction with puppet-robotic figures of soldiers and civilians. The scenes are minimalistic, reduced, exchanging in different rhythms of stark black and white contrast, accentuating a sense of loneliness and an anxious presage of fascist terror.
On the other hand, Split-based artist Goran Radošević creates an imaginary city filled with nondescript people, questioning the consequences of contemporary lifestyle, and Ivan Renić and his Mesh_5 focus on alienation caused by dramatic progress.
After a recent participation at Light City festival in Baltimore, our audience will get a chance to see the latest work by America artist Corrie Francis Park, who often exhibits in public spaces. Her piece Bay Bingo, made together with Kelley Bell, portrays underwater plant and animal worlds.
You probably cannot find a person in the world who has not played Tetris at least once. Damir Grbanović and Lea Vučko are the authors of a funny and witty story called Petris, about two dogs spending time playing this iconic computer game.
A particularly interesting and dynamic narrative piece Lunatic by Boris Hergešić is a universal tale of human behaviour when there is a full moon. The protagonist Stickman is a citizen of a metropolis, on a night on the town to reduce the unfavourable impact of the full moon, also a response to stress caused by the ruthless pace of consumer society and strict codes of conduct.
After all this, it is hard not to stop before the MSU media façade and enjoy half an hour of best site-specific animations brought to you by this year’s edition of Animation Goes MSU!
More on pieces you can read HERE.