ORGAN VIDA is a biannual international photography festival that takes place in Zagreb, Croatia. Titled “no tears left to cry”, the 12th edition of Organ Vida is dedicated to exploring the various manifestations of feeling in contemporary society. Focusing on the social dimension of feeling, Organ Vida presents artwork that channels the prevalent negative feelings such as apathy or anxiety, as well as artwork that presents affective alternatives to it, explores and/or imagines different affective dimensions of dis/u/topias, imagination and fantasy.
The festival gathers international contemporary artists who work with the medium of photography and/or its expanded form and whose work broadens the conventional understanding of photography by exploring the ways in which other mediums and technologies are expanding and enriching the photographic realm.
meet the jury
no tears left to cry
The new edition of the Organ Vida International Festival is dedicated to feelings, a topic that we wish to approach by observing the various manifestations of feeling in contemporary society.
The time we live in is marked by increasing uncertainty and insecurity, and consequently by collective oscillations between affective extremes – despair and ecstasy, deep anxiety and frivolous euphoria, the need for control and meaning, or indulgence in chaos and acceptance of senselessness. Lack of control over one’s own life causes constant anxiety, confusion or absence – a condition that affect theorist Sianne Ngai calls affective disorientation – an ambiguous intensity that we perceive sensually and try in vain to specify, verbalize, situate in a familiar framework or relate to familiar experiences, to provide it with a structure. That is why we invent tools and/or discourses on organizing, such as gamification, self-branding, micromanagement, that enable us to manage the different spheres of everyday life: free time, rage, concentration, etc. For the same reasons we nostalgically idealize seemingly simpler, more authentic times, try out new forms of spirituality such as astrology and tarot, or we simply run into the metaverse. However, temporary pleasure or consolation immobilizes us, it prevents us from perceiving the limitations of our own perception, i.e., the impossibility of acting outside the given patterns of behavior. Frameworks give us the illusion of order and control. These are all, as theorist A.T. Kingsmith points out, only temporary solutions because anxiety is not a subjective issue or responsibility of an individual. If we are anxious, we are anxious collectively.
It is the subjective dimension of feeling that has long suppressed the legitimacy of feelings as an object worthy of analysis, but the affirmation of the affect theory in the academic context resulted at that time with an increased interest in the social aspects of feeling. The disintegration of a number of seemingly stable social structures that we have been witnessing lately has re-actualized this perspective and popularized, that is, caused the emergence of new affective perspectives in the artistic context as well. It is those perspectives that we would like to present at the 12th Organ Vida Festival.
We are interested in artistic projects that explore the ugly, non-cathartic feelings that dominate the present. Anxiety, paranoia, irritation, fatigue, apathy… feelings marked by dullness and duration, that bring neither satisfaction nor relief (cf. Ngai, 2007). Can apathetic dissatisfaction and frustration be transformed into a visual critique of reality?
We are also interested in works that map and reflect new feelings that arise as a result of being immersed in the metaverse. How do virtual patterns of behavior such as seeing, ghosting, stalking, liking, swiping and the like transform (interpersonal) relationships? How do they generate new, elusive spectra of feeling? What are these new feelings?
We also focus on works that contemplate feelings that arise in opposition to the anxious capitalist reality. Even if feelings of exhaustion, indifference, or disappointment are naturalized, it does not mean that they are natural or unalterable. We see the focus on affects and feelings as an incentive to create affective alternatives, explore and/or imagine different affective dimensions of dis/u/topias, imagination and fantasy.
We are interested in innovative photographic and video formats, but also artistic works from various fields of visual arts that start from the image, but at the same time relativize and/or expand it, step into space or cross into motion: spatial installations, performances, etc.
Ahmed, Sara. 2020. Kulturna politika emocija. Fraktura.
Ngai, Sianne. 2007. Ugly Feelings. Harvard University Press.
Kingsman, A.T. 2018. “We the Affectariat: Activism and Boredom In Anxious Capitalism”. In: Rhizomes: Cultural Studies in Emerging. No. 34. Web.
Ivana Meštrov is an art historian and independent curator. She is one of the founders of Zagreb based art workers’ collective Loose Associations and a member of editorial collective Biblioteka O općenito tackling urban, political, ecological & planetary imaginaries. Her curatorial interests encompass exhibition genealogies, context-specific curating, collective/connective anxieties, feminist and emancipatory aesthetics. Recently, she co-authored the book With the Collection: David Maljković et al (Rijeka 2020) and contributed to books such as Nicole Hewitt: this woman is called Jasna ( Zagreb, 2021), Ana Hušman: a person without a house is homeless, what is a house without a person (Zagreb, 2021).
Jen Kratochvil is a curator and art critic, based in the past years in Prague and Vienna, focusing mainly on time-based media and architecture-related, research-based artistic practices. Together with Hynek Alt, Kratochvil leads the Studio of New Aesthetic in the Photography Department at FAMU, Prague. Among other projects, he had co-curated a cycle of exhibitions in the Moving Image Department at the National Gallery Prague; a film programme at Plato, Ostrava; Fotograf Festival 2017, Prague; m3 art in public space festival 2018, Prague; and was also responsible for the film programme at Galerie Rudolfinum in Prague called Rudolfinum_Time-based. Besides these long-term projects, he operated as an independent curator. Since 2017 he has co-led the Viennese art space Significant Other with Laura Amann. Kratochvil also regularly contributes to various art magazines and online platforms. Since February, 2021, Jen Kratochvil has been the appointed director of Kunsthalle Bratislava, where his field of activity has also moved.
Lovro Japundžić graduated in art history and sociology at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Zagreb. He is currently acting as one of the leaders and curators of Gallery Miroslav Kraljević (GMK) and Močvara Gallery. He is one of the members of the curatorial collective responsible for the Organ Vida International Photography Festival. In 2018/2019 he participated as a curator in the project Parallel – European Photo Based Platform, and in 2021/2022 he joined the CuratorLab program at the University of Arts, Crafts and Design Konstfack in Sweden. Between 2013 and 2019 he was active as a promoter and program selector at the Association for the Promotion of Independent Music Culture – Živa Muzika. In addition to curatorial work, he also worked as a producer of the collaborative performance group – BADco.
Agnieszka Roguski is a researcher, curator and writer living in Berlin. She focuses on visual and digital cultures, performativity and queer-feminist perspectives. She is the Artistic Director of M.1 Arthur Boskamp-Stiftung in Hohenlockstedt, North Germany. In her PhD thesis (Freie Universität Berlin) she investigates correlations of postdigital self display and the curatorial. Under the collective A.R. practice, she works with graphic designer Ann Richter on curatorial projects such as the book Echoing Exhibition Views, published in 2020 with ONOMATOPEE press. Agnieszka taught at various German universities. Her writing has been published in Texte zur Kunst, Spike Art Magazine, Camera Austria, Eikon, and Springerin, among others. She was awarded the MMCA international researcher residency 2022 at Changdong, South Korea.
Antonio Cataldo, born in 1981, is an Oslo-based curator and writer. Currently, he is the Artistic Director of Fotogalleriet, a publicly funded institution and the oldest operating kunsthalle for photography in the Nordic region. Through exhibitions and discursive practices, Cataldo has actively challenged institutional models throughout his career and questioned the social role of images in today’s society. He has contributed in different capacities to several international large-scale art events. He studied with philosopher Giorgio Agamben at the IUAV University of Venice, obtaining his MA in 2006. Cataldo is pursuing a Ph.D. at ZHdK in Zurich and the University of Reading in parallel with his full-time work engagement. Over the last two decades, Cataldo held curatorial and other positions at OCA – Office for Contemporary Art Norway, La Biennale di Venezia, and IUAV, University of Venice. Cataldo serves on the board of directors of Kunsthalles in Norway and the Sandefjord Kunstforening Art Award jury.
press and public relations
The program is supported by: Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Croatia, City of Zagreb, Zagreb Tourist Board, Mondriaan Fonds, Netherlands Embassy in Zagreb
acknowledgments: Studio B-nula, Uramljivanje slika Ramasutra, Print studio Anula, Tinktura
media partners: Vizkultura, Kulturpunkt.hr, Grazia, Elle, R+
Viviane Sassen exhibition curator: Marina Paulenka
associate curator: Vesna Meštrić
design: Alma Šavar
public relations: Inesa Antić
photographers: 925 studio, Samir Cerić Kovačević
translation: Petra Lučić
hospitality: Margareta Šarkanji
main festival partner: MSU Zagreb