Chris Kennedy

“Ivan Ladislav Galeta: End Art.” December 5, 2019

An explorative multimedia artist whose practice embraced film, performance, digital art and, finally, farming, Croatian-born Ivan Ladislav Galeta (1947-2014) was a product of the amateur film clubs that were generously supported by the Yugoslav regime, which also produced such other important filmmakers as the Serbian Dušan Makavejev and his compatriots in the Black Wave movement. Inspired by the artist’s decade-long experience as a water polo player, Water Pulu 1869 1896 takes a polo match as its subject, using optical printing to keep the ball in the absolute centre of the frame as the players orbit around it in a chaotic dance. This interest in symmetry and organized chaos plays out across all of Galeta’s films. In Sfaira 1985-1895, a spherical sculpture by Ivan Kožari becomes the focal point for an homage to Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. For PiRâMídas 1972-1984, Galeta re-edits a single ten-minute take along a railroad line into a precise palindrome, while in Wal(l)zen he similarly plays with time by manipulating a performance of Chopin’s Waltz in C-sharp Minor (op. 64, no. 2). Humour comes to the fore in Two Times in One Space, wherein Galeta superimposes two identical images of a family going about its daily chores, offsetting them by nine seconds to create a series of amusing, Keatonesque kitchen antics. Our programme concludes with End Art No. 1, a video that uses Finnegans Wake as a structuring device to create a portrait of the farm Galeta retreated to in his final decade, where he focused on making the study of permaculture his ultimate “artistic landscape.”

Water Pulu 1869 1896 dir. Ivan Ladislav Galeta | Yugoslavia 1987 | 9 min. 35mm
Two Times in One Space (Dva vremena u jednom prostoru) dir. Ivan Ladislav Galeta | Yugoslavia 1976/1984 | 12 min. 35mm
PiRâMídas 1972-1984 dir. Ivan Ladislav Galeta | Yugoslavia 1972-1984 | 9 min. 35mm
Wal(l)zen dir. Ivan Ladislav Galeta | Yugoslavia 1977-1989 | 7 min. 35mm
Sfaira 1985-1895 dir. Ivan Ladislav Galeta | Yugoslavia 1971-1984 | 10 min. 35mm
End Art No. 1 dir. Ivan Ladislav Galeta | Croatia 2000 | 30 min. Digital