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Still image from “Zagreb Confidential - Imaginary Futures” of Darko Fritz © Darko Fritz

Darko Fritz: Zagreb Confidential - Imaginary Futures

Dortmunder U | 3rd Floor

In the series HMKV Video of the Month, HMKV presents current video works by international artists for the duration of one month each. In October we are presenting “Zagreb Confidential - Imaginary Futures” of Darko Fritz.

Darko Fritz
Zagreb Confidential - Imaginary Futures
Experimental short film (original title: Novi Južni Zagreb), video, 2015, 13:30 min.

Abstract: By using innovative editing techniques partially based on a computer algorithm, the film traces 50 years of urban development of a Zagreb neighborhood that was built in the 1960s. The heritage of modernism and utopian urbanism are placed in today’s context marked by transition and lack of urban planning.

Zagreb Confidential - Imaginary Futures explores visions of the future depicted through urban development. The film, in its essence, can be regarded as a form of a time structure and as such it questions not only the vision of future on a realistic example of New Zagreb but it also questions the structure of film as such.

„Less tragic than ambiguously elegiac is Darko Fritz’s Zagreb Confidential—Imaginary Futures (Croatia 2015); flickering through archival footage, models, old photographs, and computer animation, it recreates the expansion of the Croatian capital in the 1960s and 1970s with a mixture of wistfulness and irony. It laments the replacement of peasant dwellings and small orchards with rectilinear avenues and apartment buildings as well as the failure of modernization to provide a stable polity; the failure of modernization is foreshadowed in the footage of performances carried out in the 1970s by artist Tomislav Gotovac in the Utrina Market of the New Zagreb satirizing the illusory comforts of modernity.“

(Excerpt from: Juan A Suárez, „The Politics of ‘the Tiniest Things’: Oberhausen Short Film Festival 2016. Festival Report“, 2016)

Darko Fritz, *1966 in Croatia, is an artist and an independent curator and researcher who lives and works in Zagreb, Croatia. He studied architecture at the University of Zagreb (1986-1989) and media art at the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam (1990-1992). He has worked with video since 1988 and created his first computer-generated environment in 1988 (Cathedral). He is using the Internet as artistic medium since 1994. He presents his works in different contexts and environments: galleries, museums, Internet, broadcast media and public spaces. Fritz was a founding member of the artist collectives Cathedral (1988), Imitation of Life Studio (1987-1990), Young Croatian Electronic Films (1991), The Future State of Balkania (1999) and the association and gallery gray) (area - space of contemporary and media art in Korčula (since 2006). He has curated numerous exhibitions and edited exhibition catalogues – see