Marko Markovic is a Croatian artist currently residing in New York City. He is a performance artist and social activist whose work highlights the political problems of the times. Growing up against the backdrop of a revolutionary political situation in Croatia, his performances are informed by the memory of having lived through a disruptive moment in European history.
His latest performance, Fuck the System, is a performance (in the form of live sculpture) representing the freedom of giving the audience the liberty to respond to the question of what is right and what is not acceptable anymore. With a woman personifying Liberty (a reference to Liberty Leading the People by Eugène Delacroix) with a raised fist, this international and historical symbol of resistance in the performance implicates some of the most famous of American democratic symbols.
In this live sculpture an act of love is displayed in the form of oral sex “as the ultimate weapon against the hatred” – a way to combat Lady Liberty.
His political activist performances stand above the crowd by virtue of his straightforward and powerful approach. He always describes the critical moment and current political or economical situation in his performances. Since the time of Marko’s arrival in America, he has done many performances in his straightforward manner that have drawn attention to current political problems.
One of his most remarkable performances took place when he cleaned the bull by Wall Street, a demonstration of the political and financial hypocrisy that has come to define this era in America. It was a deeply satirical and humble gesture, one that has brought this artist to the forefront of the underground anarchist movement.
If paintings are timeless, that’s exactly why I wanted to take that frame out of the painting format and put it in the real time and space context. To create a live art! Exploring the contemporary art through the medium of video, installation and ambiance I came to performances and happenings where I saw the possibility of “live painting”. As an academic painter in my performances I always use painting as the basis, considering the coloring, composition, perspective, and the relationship between the individual elements (author/audience). In the fields of contemporary art I’m interested in performance, happening, action, intervention, video, installation, ambient , site specific, ready-made. I am interested in the position of the transformation in relations between the individual and the masses, when an individual becomes a mass or when the mass becomes an individual.
Questioning our own identity within the social totality, the expressions and the different roles of the individual leaves in to relation of socio-political configuration, and it represents a shift from reading to the socio-political analysis. An individual or a particular community becomes an expression of social configurations. The individual becomes the ideological mass, and some countries of the world affected by identical economic – political problems are creating alternative communities to provide resistance to ”high” forces that shape people and manipulate them. Learning about what is marked as a life of ”ordinary people” in opposite to the cultural and political ”aesthetes”, questioning the categories of common understandings that need to be demolished or redesigned in order to prove that it is possible to think beyond and embrace something that is note provided with that meaning. An individual becomes a collective and the local becomes global.
This notion I also use in the form of expression in performances. Socially engaged work that is directly involved with people and their needs, social structure and its consciousness, is considered as the best option for the direct impacts on the public. Performance work reflects current events questioning structures of politics, economics, status, position inferiority and superiority, the position of power and spiritual, and material, heritage.
Interaction in my work often involves the people as a medium of the concept. In that way I work with youth groups and a certain social classes. Supporting the creativity and education of young people I treat as primary thing when it comes to organization based projects. I am the organizer and curator of the festival of performing arts, the only event of this scale and character in Dalmatia. The festival has achieved great success with impact on the audience and the cultural scene. Perennial festival editions were inspiration for the emerging programs. The program has attracted a wider audience and educational theme about the importance of contemporary art.
Music in my work also takes a big part. I am the vocalist in a post-punk art band, “Elijah and the Grain core.” Concerts are creating music happenings, and our songs are talking about serious issues but in a comic sense. Taking the symbols of the patriarchal and conservative society, transforming and processing them in our own arrangement, we use them as a lyric weapon against stiffed and residual social hegemony.
Marko Markovic was born on January 12th 1983 in Osijek, Croatia. He graduated painting at Art Academy in Split in 2007 in the class of prof. Gorki Žuvela. He also does researches in different media: video, installation, ambient, performance and happening. In these works he often animates and includes audience and/or other participants as the expression medium.
He is the founder and member of a flexible formation Adistia, a group that operates in performance activities, as an art group, art community, and organization. He participated in numerous exhibitions, workshops and festivals in Croatia and abroad (USA, Russia, Mexico, Finland, Algeria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Italy, Greece, Serbia, Austria). He is organizer of a performance festival named Days of Open Performance in Split, Dani Otvorenog Performansa U Splitu/ DOPUST (Croatian word for holiday). In 2011 he was awarded for best young Visual artist in Croatia.
Marko Marković went to New York in 2011 as the 10th winner of the Radoslav Putar Award, an annual award given to the best Croatian artist under the age of 35. The Radoslav Putar Award was established in 2002 and Marko is the second winner in its history who has come from Split’s UMAS, Arts Academy of the University of Split, following Goran Škofić, the winner of the 2009 Award.
2009 Gallery of Fine Art Split, happening CITIZENS + concert Ilija I Zrno Žita
2009 The Swamp Gallery, performance from cycle SELFEATER- thirst
2008 Premiere 12. OPUS gallery, Split, Needle playing/ NPR#09
2007 Free Art Academy Ghetto, Split
– ” Happy birthday, Mr. Jack ” – performance
– VN Gallery, Zagreb – ” Tetraterraton ” – happening
– Drveniško lito (Drvenik summer) – ” Šarlatan ” (“Quack”) – performance
2001 Teacher Academy in Osijek
2012 – 2012 Culture Shock Festival, Križevci, performance “ Primopredaja”
– Exhibition THT award Museum of Contemporary Art Zagreb, Mixed media” Labor saves”
– Referendum, Old City hall Split,
2011 – Big group exhibition, Greta gallery, Zagreb
– Ve.Sch, Vinna, Austria, performance
Manifest of an artist, worker and statesmen
– Max Art festival Zagreb, Litrature night with poetry of Croatian ex premiere Jadranka Kosor Bienale de Mediterane- Croatian selecion, MKC Split Manifest of an artist, worker and statesmen
– Trešnjevački saloon-Cultural Centre Trešnjevkar, Zagreb-performance Manifest of an artist, worker and statesmen
– 37 Split saloon -performance-Poser
– Open Atelier Žitnjak-art food-Last Croatian Rose-performance
– XV. Biennale de la Mediterranee, thesaloniki-Thessaloniki, Greece-Manifest-happening
– Helios, Hvar, International-performance
– Almissia Open-Air General-Performance Monitoring
– 51 Poreč Annals, Monitoring, Performance
– My country Staglinec, performance “Small boat”
– Final for the annual prize Radoslav Putar for the best young visual artists
to 35 years. “Exemplary suit” mixed media / text / video / performance
– Happening to the workers of the textile industry “Uzor” and workers “Dalmacijavno”
4 DOPUST/ Days of open performace in Split, MKC, Split.
– Volume Collection, MKC, Split “God you’re poor and difficult”
– Policies of performance, Cantar for Culture, Belgrade, Serbia.
– Volume Collection, Museum of modern and contemporary art, Rijeka
‘’ Poor people and to a God are difficult’’
Fondazione Bevilacqua La Masa – Fondazione Tito, Venecija,
“Poor peopel and to a God are difficult”
3. Zagrebi festival, performance ‘’ Its not gold everything that shines’’
– Amissia festival, Omiš, happening, ‘’ In hands of state machine’’
– KVART- 10 authors for 10 years of libery Marko Marulić, book ‘’ Poor peopel and to a God are difficult’’
– The City Galleries, Waldinger Gallery, Osijek, BUK 2010.
– MSU/ Museum of Contemporary Art, Zagreb, T-HT awards, happening OTHER SIDE OF THE FLAG
– Gallery of Fine Art Split, concert Ilija I Zrno Žita
– KVART, Trstenik beech, Split, happening Formally accepting
– Adria Artt Anale, installation, Society crown of falls glow
– Zgrebi Eco Festival, The Swamp, Zagreb, performance from cycle SELFEATER- hunger
– SKUP 09, Sinj. Performance from cycle LASHING of Zagora
– PAF/ Performance Art Festival, Osijek, performance from cycle LASHING of Slavonija
– Vstop Prost Admission Free, Celje, Slovenia, performance, Nedle playing/ SI09
– Art exchange, fair of contemporary art, Rovinj, Croatia
– DOPUST/ Days of open performance in Split/ Organizer project
performance, SELFEATER- thirst
– Milezzi palace, performance Mein Kind, Split
– 5. Fair of culture, SC Gallery, Zagreb, performance, Needle playing/ HR08
– Operation City, Zagreb, performance, joint project, Reed Martek
– Kocka Split, performance from cycles needle playing/ USA08
– 29. Show- room of young, Zagreb/ Saloon of revolution/
SUPEREVOLUTION- action in social engagement
– Kock, Split, 5. Festival of noise/ 1. Grant for audio vocal performance
– Crows, intervention in urban space, Prishtina
– Stacion center for contemporary art Prishtina, performance from cycles needle playing/ Balkan08
– XIII. Adria Art Annale, Split installation ‘’ let stronger beat that hearth of fire’’
– Project 008, Sinj, ” Appreciated ” – performance
– MKC Gallery, Split, ” EXPOSE ” – performance
– XI. Festival of Alternative Theater, Zagreb – ” Adistia family ” – a play
– Multimedia Cultural Centre Split PASO DOBLE
– ” The passion of lovers is possessed ” – live installation
– Festival Buke, Split, Cube Club