Art organization: interview with FOCUS group: Iva Kovač and Elvis Krstulović, Rijeka, 2019


Fokus grupa, Rijeka / Iva Kovač and Elvis Krstulović

When founded in 2012, we appropriated a generic name for a research method. Fokus Grupa — a construction, became a fictional author that took credit and responsibility for our artwork, fictional author that sees itself as both the manipulator and the manipulated in a broader artistic and social context. We use text, objects and images, act both within and outside the gallery. The outcomes are mainly spatial installations and interventions, which consist of drawings, texts, photographs, videos or (usable) objects. Content-wise, we point to the power relations within the art system, as well as within the broader economic and social context, and we are especially interested in the role of art within those relations. Our work extends over the neighbouring disciplines and borrows and learns from design, architecture, curating and literature. Therefore, Fokus Grupa also works with occasional collaborators, be it with specialists for a specific discipline or for a specific topic.

In 2008 we co-founded a self-organised collective Kružok (group for discussions and production of discursive events), which operated intermittently until 2015. We participated in the work of the Autonomous Cultural Centre Medika in Zagreb, and co-founded a collective artist-run space Delta 5 in Rijeka in 2013. Fokus Grupa is a member of artist-run space SIZ in which it regularly co-organises exhibitions of regional and international artists since 2012.

Fokus grup / Iva Kovač i Elvis Krstulović

Art organization: interview with FOCUS group: Iva Kovač and Elvis Krstulović, Rijeka, 2019​


Fokus group, Rijeka / Iva Kovač i Elvis Krstulović they have been working since 2012, thus giving a new dimension to the cooperation that began in 2009. Both graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb with shortcomings whose conservative environment they compensated with extra-institutional engagement. Before coming to study in Zagreb, they lived in Rijeka, where they returned in 2013, becoming an important building block of the Rijeka independent scene, extremely well connected with the actors of regional culture. Their work is often marked by long-term interdisciplinary artistic processes that thematize nationalism, precariat, power relations on the art scene, and beyond. They were and still are involved in leading and creating programs of organizations such as Medica, SIZ and Delta 5, which gave them a direct insight into the work processes from an organizational and curatorial perspective, and not exclusively artistic.


Art organization (review of historical practices through the XX century to the present day), research project

Art Organisation analyses the phenomenon of artistic (self)organisation and relations within artistic groups and collectives in the post-Yugoslav region during the last fifty years, and the ways it influenced the profile and quality of their artistic production. Research within the project Art Organisation is aimed at group and collective processes of creation and internal dynamics between artists and other participants in them. The focus is on self-organised initiatives outside the framework of official institutions. Through the phenomena of self-organisation, the project questions the role of civil society organisations as potential progressive places in society through dealing with art.

The introduction to the research of group work, joint authorship, working conditions, was conducted during 2017 through interviewing participants and protagonists of the contemporary art scene from Yugoslavia, and continued during 2018/2019. The research team is composed of members of with associates from Belgrade, theoreticians and art historians Milica Pekić and Stevan Vuković and Ana Peraica from Split. During 2019, the interviewed were collectives and groups in the field of contemporary art, theoreticians and art historians, and protagonist artists who realized their practice through group art work.

Art Organisation is part of a wider project Vectors of Collective Imagination where cooperates with partners: Multimedia Institute mi2 and Kulturtreger-Books, Zagreb (HR); Glänta Gothenburg  (SE); Kontrapunkt, Skopje (MK) and Berliner Gazette, Berlin (DE).