ArtClue reviews Viktor Popović site specific installation at Lauba, People and Art House

Lauba, People and Art House, Zagreb: site specific art by Viktor Popovic


Viktor Popović is an artist who, in choosing his works and reflecting on how to exhibit them, always thoroughly thinks through the character of the exhibition space itself. The special treatment of architectural elements, extremely interesting and challenging in Lauba’s case, discreetly intertwines with the historical layers of the space, creating a truly intriguing exhibition unit.

The building of Lauba was constructed by Emil Eisner and Adolf Ehrlich, the leading construction company in Zagreb, in 1910. They designed the Austro-Hungarian Cavalry Barracks and the Lauba building was riding arena. Later, the complex was transformed into factory halls for the national textile industry and the riding arena was transformed into a weaving mill. 

Today, Lauba, People and Art House is unique hybrid of the Filip Trade company and the Filip Trade Collection activities. Works by the younger and middle generation of Croatian artists that have been systematically purchased by the Filip Trade Collection, but also served as a laboratory for art experiments and a place of cultural innovation.

"Untitled“ is Viktor Popović’s first solo exhibition in our space and we made selection of the works produced in the last two years, but also produced new works for this exhibition. Exhibition opening was on February 15 and the exhibition stays open to public until March 28.

In this work, light as a result of using neon tubes becomes a structural element and brings the installations to the verge of creating a spatial ambient. Space, in fact, is an essential component in his work. 

Viktor exhibited gigantic installation of neon tubes shaped like a spider’s web. Three captions are written out in neon tubes mounted on a wall: emerging artist, mid-career artist and established artist. On that same wall is a earlier work by Popović – a lead curtain that is now part of the Filip Trade Collection.

Also, Popović exhibited usable objects associated with the past use of Lauba’s space and the time when the current gallery space housed the Zagreb Textile Mill. He uses identical pieces of rubber to cover up the machinery that was used in the time of the textile factory. Using rubber as the means to turn a usable object into an artistic object, he creates a visually and conceptually intriguing work. 

By selecting specific materials (lead, rubber, neon) that are visually somewhat close to a non-artistic object (a curtain or a spider’s web), the artist provokes a shift in the viewer’s perception. 

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