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Heimo Zobernig – Split

Matt Mullican – Feeling Pictures – Zagreb

Lana Stojićević


10. 11. 2023. – 10. 02. 2024.

The topic of the artistic exploration that is Neo-ornament is the stratification of locations along the west coast of the port of Split where, since the 1860s, there had been a cement factory, followed by the modernist Marjan Hotel that replaced it a century later and which was built according to the architectural project of Lovro Perković. After being privatized, the hotel was expanded and various interventions and damages were carried out on it, but the renovation project was not completed. The hotel is being demolished at this very moment, and its new owners have announced that their building will be an interpretation of the original project. The cement factory is simultaneously perceived as an insufficiently investigated part of the industrial history of the area but also as a symbolic cause of the prevalence of concrete. Under the name Gilardi and Bettiza, this factory also produced the concrete decorations that are not uncommonly seen in such a poor state today, which is why their owners sometimes creatively and inadequately restore them. In the current phase of this multi-year project, the authentic architectural decoration from the façade of the Dujmović-Stock building in Split was digitized using a 3D scanner and then machine-replicated at a 1:1 scale, evoking factory-style serial production. Although the image of the terrified face from the decoration is repeated, its fate remains unchanged due to various interventions resulting from the exploration of the rough construction (Rohbau) and makeshift aesthetics (as seen only recently on the Marjan Hotel), amateurish restorations of the original decorations as well as the aesthetics of devastation. Contemporary interpretations of architectural decorations are adapted to the visual-architectural phenomena with which we are surrounded, whereby they depict the contemporary relationship towards our industrial and architectural heritage.