Emptied Frames, Missing Contents, 1994
Antun Maračić is a versatile artist and cultural professional. Although he had a long and distinctive career as an artist, he is perhaps best known to the general public for his longstanding management of the Museum of Modern Art in Dubrovnik, the Zvonimir Gallery and the Forum Gallery in Zagreb. He started his career within the New Art Practice movement, a specific variant of Conceptual Art in Croatia, with photography having been one of his interests since the very beginning. In 1994, he started photographing the Emptied Frames, Missing Contents series of photographs. These are emptied frames on the facades of buildings in which advertising or noticeboards normally stand. Maračić would mount his name and the name of the photography series on these frames and – now that they were slightly modified – photograph them. In the process, he not only captured a specific moment in social history, but was also attracted by emptiness and the potential of new content, of which he says the following: The energy of emptiness is incredibly strong because it involves many possibilities – it includes the possibility of the existence of an idea of what no longer exists, as well as the idea of what could possibly exist in that space. Despite its blankness, emptiness is a dynamic state because it includes that which is potential, that which is possible.
Antun Maračić was born on 12th December 1950 in Nova Gradiška. He graduated in painting from the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb in 1976. As a multimedia artist, he exhibited in over 30 solo and in about a hundred group exhibitions in both Croatia and abroad. From 1978 to 1980 he was a member of the Podroom Working Community of Artists collective. From 1981 to 1991 he was an active associate of the Extended Media Gallery in Zagreb. From 1992 to 1997 he was the director of the Zvonimir Gallery in Zagreb, and from 2000 to 2012 the director of the Museum of Modern Art in Dubrovnik. From 2012 to 2016 when he retired, he was the head of the Forum Gallery in Zagreb. He is the author of numerous texts on art (reviews, critiques, polemics, essays) published in dailies and periodicals.
Text: Klaudio Štefančić, senior curator of the National Museum of Modern Art © National Museum of Modern Art, Zagreb
Translated by: Ana Janković
Photo: Antun Maračić