Lucifer’s Shame

Ivana Mance / 2014

Zlatko Kopljar (born in 1962), artist and performer, author of video films, installations and performances, has been active on the Croatian arts scene since the early 1990s. Lately, he has mostly been exhibiting his works abroad. Despite the fact that in the past two decades of his work his artistic expression has profiled itself as being polyvalent in terms of media, it is still primarily based on performance. In short, this means that Kopljar participates in most of his works as a performer, whether one-off performances, staged photographs or directed movies.

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Wandering between light and incomprehension

Kate Mayne / 2010

Kopljar’s work has always contained codes of communication that do not get across to the viewer, or at least not completely. His work does not readily communicate rationally or intellectually in plain language or through visual representation. What does get across, however, is the overriding content of his work, leaving the viewer with an effect, a feeling of emotion that is conveyed through the works’ physicality and imagery. It is similar, for example, to someone who does not understand Italian, but is nevertheless moved by a passionate recitation in that language. The content of Kopljar’s message is gauged through the sound and rhythm of its delivery. For when processing information, we do not rely solely on our rational faculty; the information also appeals to our perceptual abilities.

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Testing the “naked” life – K12’s strategies and tactiques

Miško Šuvaković / 2009

“K12” (2007), the latest work by Zagreb based artist Zlatko Kopljar, brings us face to face with the fatal relationship between performance and installation with regards to the “metaphysical” drama of perceiving the human life as it is—the sole and not-so-sole human life among things, beings, occurrences, events and affects in the space of attraction, rejection, slippage, as well as experience and reflection, i.e. potentiality.

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K13, Appropriation of Oblivion

Sandra Križić Roban / 2009

 The first frames of Kopljar’s new work intensively occupy the gaze of the viewer, they invite to persistent observation of details, to expectancy of something that might, but must not necessarily happen. The scenes are peaceful, the camera static, they show a forest by night. In the foreground are dark tree-trunks among which some crowns are visible as well. A late, strange light illuminates them from the distance. Rays reach the leaves laterally, like in a baroque scene, illuminating their uneven edges. Nothing moves except insects, and even they hover among the leaves in slow motion, dazzled by the light that seems to have surprised them.

After some time, from nowhere, through the forest comes the performer and the author of the video, Zlatko Kopljar, wearing a white suit that seems to have absorbed this unusual light. He reaches a sphere whose interior is illuminated. We remember it from his previous work, K 12, in which he was filmed in a bent down position while attempting to clasp the envelope that holds the light and the energy retained in its core.

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