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Hrvoslava Brkušić: First Residency at Latitudo, Rome 2018

HrvoslavaBrkusic_669_comReport by: Benedetta Carpi and Giulia Pardini
Photo credits: Luis Do Rosario
Translation: Rachel Moland

Hrvoslava Brkušić (1982) holds a master’s degree in Film and TV Editing (Academy of Dramatic Art, Zagreb) and a master’s degree in new media art (Academy of Fine Arts Zagreb). Her artistic practice takes shape in a variety of media – sound installations, live performances, film and video. The main idea and interest in her artistic approach is to explore the behaviour of sound through experimentation with frequencies and waves in general (especially radio waves, like short waves, UKV, mysterious radio signals, EME communication). She is also interested in the exploration of different media possibilities and materials (16 mm film, DV techniques, digital media). Each one of her works is based on specific cultural artefacts from our society and environment, which she uses as basic materials. Many of her works explore the invisible space around us and liminality of certain phenomena, like the practice of ham operators, satellite and moon bouncing, ideas of remote spaces and landscapes.

She is cofounder of the artist collective Lovers. She has exhibited in Croatia, Serbia, Slovenia, Poland, England, Spain, France. She has collaborated in several European Projects, such as Corners of Europe, Gazing and dancing. As a film editor, she has contributed to a series of documentaries, features and experimental films.

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The theme for the first year of Magic Carpets – Italy residencies is dedicated to the Other, the foreigner, to those we often define as “different”.

During her residence at Latitudo, in Rome, Hrvoslava Brkušić carried out a research project in which she mainly focused on the knowledge of this city in its various forms and layers, and its social fabric.

Starting from the history of Colonialism, the artist went looking for the traces it left behind: reflecting on the past, aided by such a diversified urban architecture, she captured sounds and images of Rome, present and past. This city has become a colourful melting pot of cultures and people, often distant and in conflict with one another, who have characterised certain city neighbourhoods for decades. Pursuing the theme of migration and the immigrant who, forcibly or by choice, lives in Rome, the artist, assisted in her research by Latitudo staff, interacted with FOCUS – Casa dei diritti sociali and with the young people that are part of their theatre group. The FOCUS volunteer association has been committed to the defence of social rights for over thirty years: integration, defence of vulnerable people, the right to study, an Italian school for foreigners and medical-legal assistance are at the heart of their daily activity.

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In a workshop held on 16 April, Hrvoslava engaged the FOCUS Theatre Group, made up of young people from various nations (Brazil, Peru, Guinea, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Morocco, Georgia). She invited them to share an experience connected to the exploration of sound and vibrations, to “listen” to sounds around them and to remember the sounds and noises of their homelands.

HrvoslavaBrkusic_429_comThe project aimed for the involvement of communities that often live on the margins of the city. Constructing unifying identitarian discourses, based on representative selections of a society, therefore, lead to the exploitation of the other. We should therefore rethink the question of the foreigner, starting from ourselves. This would allow for the development of social thought based on tolerance and peaceful coexistence. In a large city like Rome, where the noise and din are constant, we have great difficulty listening to the other and even to ourselves. Hrvoslava’s work is focused on understanding the other, setting up a dialogue that can cross language barriers. When one person enters into a relationship with another, with others, these relational aspects are used, and we must be aware of this. It is within this complexity that we must ask the question: how do we pursue a pathway of coming together? With the workshop, Hrvoslava tried to establish this contact, starting with sound itself and dialogue, which are at the base of interpersonal relationships starting from childhood.

What sound reminds you of home? What sound do you identify with the soundtrack of your city? What sound would you like whispered in your ear? The artist is developing the final project of her residence based on these questions.

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