Date and venue:

Awarded works:
First prize:
Vuco Miro, Croatia "Karaka", enamelled terracotta, 24 x 16 x 47 cm, 2008.
Second prize:
Hajou Bahram, Sirija "Two men", mix media on canvas , 195 x 140 cm, 2000.
Third prize:
Ivančić Hari, Croatia "Croatian land", oil on canvas, 60 x 120 cm, 2007.

Mediterranean Picture of the World
The Ancient World has sprung from the shores of the Mediterranean Sea, where the margin borders of Europe, Asia and Africa meet. The ancient heritage of the Greeks and the Romans (including the heritage of the Egyptians, the Etruscans and the Phoenicians) has laid the foundations of the civilization we have in- herited, while the three great monotheistic religions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam) have provided us with a spiritual vertical that we have never departed from, in spite of occasional struggling to do it. In the periods of crises, European culture has always returned to its origins: Renaissance sought a foothold in Mediter- ranean classics; Romanticism, both Byron’s and Turner’s, sought a foothold in Greece and Italy; and French Post-Impressionism has left stuffy Paris and headed towards Provence, driven by Van Gogh’s and Gauguin’s yearnings for more intense experience of the light and the sun.
It is quite obvious that the Mediterranean picture of the world is neither unique nor it can be such. Yet, it is true that no other region in the whole world has been characterized by deep-rooted tradition (very often burdened by it, moreover frustrated by difficulties to pay it a worthy tribute, and not being able to surpass it). The highest concentration of cultural monuments has certainly been evident in the Mediterranean area, an unsurpassable number of stimulating and challenging sites of creative pilgrimage. In a rare har- mony of nature and human activity, in tamed scenery limited by built up architecture, some extraordinary conditions for contemplation and meditation about the first and the last things have been created. Mediterranean thought is familiar with rising of geometrical rigidity and exuberance of emotional enthu- siasm. Causes for daring rational constructions, and good reasons for being intoxicated and ecstatic by ap- pearance have been privileged in the warm sea setting. The works of art that were created in this southern climate experienced some ardent and passionate moments as well as some blurred, shadowy nooks; they could be both cathartically purifying, and demonically dazzling.
Many national and international artists have always visited our Adriatic portion of the Mediterranean and have been creating their works of art in the coastal area. They have been acquainted with the obverse and reverse of the attractive (but also dangerously ‘photogenic’) settings. Of course, the painters do not have to be addicted to the artistic expression seen before, and neither the sculptors have to compete with the previously created sculptures, but by coming to the Mediterranean they have to conform to certain crite- ria, they are forced to make some diachronic comparisons, they are encouraged to take part in a fruitful competition. Every epoch has its rights and obligations to have its own artistic expression, every author, even if he wanted to, cannot jump out of his own skin and cannot do more than he is immanently able to do. However, the meeting of the artists in a Mediterranean urban setting, which is so congested and multi-layered, absolutely challenges a special dialogue of time and space, of individuality and collectivity, of invention and convention, of skill and ecstasy.
This manifestation, organized by art gallery ‘’Kula’’ from Split, is one of the series of exhibitions promoting Mediterranean inspiration in artistic achievements. A lot of paintings and sculptures created in different settings, representing different generations of artists, belonging to different nations and poetics will be brought together, willing to compete with the spirit of the climate ‘’genius loci’’.
The visual artists, without any stylistic, motive or disciplinary limitations will take part in this event, want- ing to resume where their predecessors stopped, being a conscious link in the chain of centenary achieve- ments, endeavoring to give an impression and expression of the world they are surrounded by and they yearn for.
Tonko Maroević
Galerija kula
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