Wednesday, September 30, 2009
This exhibition is dedicated to our grandfather K.P.
K.P. was one of those who went through life almost unnoticed, living in a shadow. He was born in 1892, probably in Germany, a fact we can only assume according to his strange accent. There is no exact information concerning his arrival to Zagreb. It is known that until 1900 the young K.P. had lived in Zagreb with his father. After his father passed away in 1905, K.P. was put into the Eduard Baron Jelačić Bužimski Orphanage. After several unsuccessful escape attempts, he finally got out in 1908 and became a church attendant in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, an occupation which would provide him for the next 50 years. His life was a routine that would rarely be interrupted. He attended services on daily basis, up to five times a day. He collected various kind of waste material from the streets and brought it home. His appearance and clothes were modest. He was a bachelor. In 1930 he moved into a basement apartment in Palmotićeva Street. He died in 1973 and was buried anonymously at Mirogoj Cemetery in Zagreb.
Little has been known about the K.P.’s short love affair which resulted in a child. His son has long been ashamed of his poor origin and kept it a secret. His existence could have gone to oblivion if wasn’t for the Croatian Designers Society who had been given premises at the crossing of Boškovićeva and Plamotićeva Street. In the ground plan of the building, except for the gallery, there was a small space - separated by a wall - which was called “the studio”.
During the adaptation process the wall was torn down in order to get a unified gallery space for the Croatian Designers Society, while the storage of the studio objects was given to the Filip Trade Collection. A fascinating novel manuscript on more than 19 000 pages was found, as well as hundreds of pages of collages and drawings, many of which supplement the novel.
In March 2009 Puma34 Collective attend a meeting at the Filip Trade Collection about the preparation for the exhibition at the 11th Motovun Film Festival. Two members of the collective recognize the picture of their grandfather K.P. among the transferred studio objects. Due to family conflicts, they have known nothing about their grandfather’s life.
Today, 36 years after death, his incredible secret life and work are coming into the light of day. His opus has become a creative platform for the work of Puma34 who are appropriating his visual language. The Filip Trade Collection has published the book „Data book on Hydrocarbons“ which had been created as the result of the fascination with their grandfather's unpublished novel.
As part of the promotion of the book the Croatian Designers Society has temporarily reconstructed the original situation of the studio with its immeasurable works of art, family photographs, the ballet shoes collection, and the perfectly preserved atmosphere of a lost time. Within the promotion ceremony the book will be consecrated, and it will be available at a reduced price.
Vanja Žanko, curator of the exhibition
Photos by Damir Žižić