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U Muzeju suvremene umjetnosti u tijeku je izložba "Otkazano/Cancelled" Lea Katunarića Kadelea. Ovaj rad postavljen je u formatu procesije, koja se sastoji od šest hodočašća, od kojih svako ima naziv: Dajte nam vaše podatke/Stroj vas voli; Jesam li ja - oni?; Genetika - erotika; Mojih podataka ubojice; Ljubav, ljubav, ljubav; Art is War.
Hodočašća su, stoji u opisu izložbe, pregovor čovjeka i stroja. Izložba ukazuje na to kako bezumno poklanjamo svoje podatke stroju, koji je postao bog. "Nepravilni bože, izbriši nas", poručuje glas koji se javlja iz dijela instalacije, koja se u MSU može pogledati do 28. veljače. Transhumanizam se na izložbi, među ostalim, propitkuje i korištenjem oltara, a jedan od motiva je i križ, koji je ukrašen logom Coca-Cole.
Portal Narod.hr ovih je dana objavio tekst u kojem umjetnika optužuju za "izvrtanje kršćanskih simbola". "Izložba sama po sebi ne bi privukla pozornost", kažu, no uspjela je, smatraju, upravo zato što se okoristila religijskim elementima, među kojima je i "Presveti oltarski sakrament". Na portalu ističu i kako je "Ministarstvo kulture i medija koje vodi HDZ-ova Nina Obuljen za ovu izložbu dalo sedam tisuća kuna, ali je na nju sveukupno utrošeno 42 tisuća kuna!". Dok je sedam tisuća kuna izložbi dodijeljeno preko Javnog poziva za poticanje stvaralaštva vizualnih umjetnika u 2021. godini, ostatak troška su Ministarstvo i Grad Zagreb podijelili, svatko s polovinom iznosa.

Snježana Pintarić, ravnateljica zagrebačkog MSU i kustosica izložbe, nije htjela komentirati ove medijske napise, no o izložbi smo razgovarali s njezinim autorom Leom Katunarićem. Katunarić je, inače, multidisciplinarni umjetnik koji djeluje na razmeđu teatra i vizualnih umjetnosti te pokretač MaxArtFesta. Bio je i ravnatelj ZKM-a, a nakon mandata je bio je jedan od optuženih za malverzacije sa studentskim ugovorima u kazalištu, no prošle je godine pravomoćno oslobođen optužnice.
Je li ga iznenadila reakcija konzervativnih portala? Smatra li je primjerenom?

- Digitalna kultura danas omogućuje Warholovih 15 minuta slave svima. Ali to je cirkulacija podataka, diet slava. Na stvarnost utječe i izjava Pape i anonimnog komentatora na Facebooku. Ako nepismen, primitivan i zlonamjeran komentator na društvenim mrežama danas ima takav značaj, onda je upravo to dokaz nove ere, nečega o čemu treba javno govoriti, pa i ovakvim projektom. Nikada sociopati u povijesti nisu dobili toliko mogućnosti javnog djelovanja. Upravo oni iz monstrance miču božansko i umjesto njega dovode računalo. Jer računalo možeš samo isključiti kada ne odgovara tvojem malom svijetu, za božansko se moraš truditi. Komentatori mi prijete, pišu da će golim rukama doći porazbijati moju izložbu ili mi pišu da sam četnik, povezuju me s institucijama koje me jako slabo ili nikako prate. Poručujem im: branit ću suvremenu umjetnost svojim tijelom! Fizičkim i digitalnim! - odlučan Katunarić.

Detaljnije nam pojašnjava i zašto se u ovome radu odlučio baš na upotrebu religijskih simbola, zašto su mu oni bili zahvalno sredstvo izražavanja.

- U desetljećima svoje umjetničke prakse redovito upotrebljavam simbole religija i obreda, kršćanske i druge. Kombinirajući ih s tehnologijom i digitalnim publikama. Primjerice, u Japanu sam izveo više projekata baziranih na budističkim hodočašćima, a u Indiji smo izvodili dvotjednu kazališnu predstavu krećući se između četiri sveta grada kao u hinduističkoj procesiji. Simboli i drugo su tu zbog čovjeka, a ne čovjek zbog njih. Što je prirodnije nego da upotrebljavam simbole svoje vlastite kršćanske tradicije da javno postavim pitanje o vremenu u kojem zajednički živimo? U predstavi "Povratak Europe, krave" dječak nosi veliki bijeli križ izrađen od coca-cole. Nije bilo nikoga tko bi bio toliko glup da se uvrijedi što smo tako postavili pitanje - da li je patnja i čovjeka i Boga svedena danas na komercijalno - govori.

Takvi ga motivi okupiraju još od fakulteta i ranih radova. - Primjerice, moju prvu predstavu u životu, diplomsku, radio sam u zagrebačkoj crkvi sv. Katarine. Bila je to radikalna postpunk opera o mučeništvu svetaca kao procesu putovanja između realiteta. Predstava je predviđala i digitalnu eru i masovne medije i rat. Nenadano, na predstavu je došao tadašnji kardinal Kuharić. Promatrao je naše fizičke i multimedijalne radikalnosti usred crkve, i na kraju nas je blagoslovio i rekao: "Mladi ipak vide svjetlo na kraju tunela!" Onda smo mi mladi za godinu dana otišli u rat za to svjetlo, ali do danas nikako da dođemo do kraja tunela - smatra umjetnik.
Tumači nam i koja je svrha same izložbe te na koje je društvene probleme htio ukazati.
- Suvremena umjetnost ne definira se (samo) time da nastaje baš sada. Ona mora imati jasan trag postavljanja najtežih pitanja za nas u ovom trenutku, i mora nas toliko uznemiriti da nas dovede do preispitivanja najdubljih uvjerenja. Inače je samo suvremena dekoracija za zidove - počinje autor.

- Ova izložba/akcija nije još ni počela, a već izaziva reakcije oko identiteta čovjeka u posthumano doba. Mi jesmo trenutno u zbjegu iz fizičkog života, ugroženog od virusa, u digitalni život. Stanje je ratno, a to znači nestabilnost i nadmetanje oko budućnosti. Nema jedinstvenog identiteta, tijelo više nije samo organsko. Tražimo nova tijela, sada u savezu sa strojem. Ali to ljudskom rodu nije zapravo ništa novo. Oduvijek nastoji velike sile i kompleksne situacije svesti na objekt kojim se može pregovarati, dogovoriti oko zajedničke budućnosti. I zato umjetničkom izvedbom parodiramo sve to povijesno ulizivanje i ritualno stvaranje ikona kojima se onda klanjamo. Imamo li još vremena naučiti drugačije, pregovarati sa strojem o zajedništvu? - pita se.

Danas posrednik između realiteta, nastavlja, nije šaman, nego hladni analitičar.

- U ovom projektu obred, hodočašća i digitalne rituale provodim odjeven kao laborant. Ali u meni je otprije, kao u nekoj bazi podataka, ujedinjen divlji umjetnik i mirni znanstvenik. Koji je naš pravi identitet? Onaj koji bismo htjeli ili koji određuju drugi? Što sam ja, dijete, roditelj, ratnik, znanstvenik, direktor, osuđenik, umjetnik, putnik...? Kako mogu biti sve to istovremeno i mogu li digitalnu kulturu pitati za rješenje? - pita se Katunarić.

Izložbu je započeo digitalno, na društvenim mrežama, gdje mu je u mjesec dana pristupilo više od petnaest tisuća ljudi.
- To je nazvano digitalnim hodočašćem, jer je došlo do žrtvovanja podataka stroju. Sudjelovao sam na mnogim hodočašćima drugih religija, u Indiji, Japanu i Kini, i od svih njih najviše kršćanska hodočašća sadrže vidljivu višeslojnost, čak i izvedbeno umjetnički element. Po meni je to važan gradbeni dio naše kulture, a sada i nove digitalne kulture. Kršćanski odnos prema žrtvovanju je novost u povijesti jer je čovjeku ograničenom svojim okolnostima pokazan put k božanskom. Digitalna kultura današnjice konstruirana je od odjeka takvih žrtvovanja i hodočašća. Svakim danom dio sebe stavljate u cirkulaciju slika i podataka online, vaši interesi postaju referentne informacijske točke za reklame ili politički utjecaj, potiče vas se na kreativne digitalne akcije... i sve to formira neka nova tijela - objašnjava zašto je za svoj rad upotrijebio motive koji porijeklo imaju u religiji.

Ova muzejska faza, govori, drugi je dio projekta, koji se naslanja na digitalni. - U njoj se podaci o korisnicima fuzionirani s mojim podacima i memorijama ispisuju kao šest antropomorfnih ikona. Procesijom između njih nastaje algoritam koji stvara novu osobnost. Svi ti podaci vidljivo se slijevaju u računalo, matičnu ploču, a koju danas doživljavamo kao sjedište novog tijela. Preispitujemo kartezijanski stav o razdvojenosti duše i tijela u digitalnoj eri - tumači.

Okupira ga i prisutnost tijela božanskog među ljudima. - To pitanje je razrađeno u mnogim religijama. Današnji digitalni avatari direktno su posuđeni iz hinduizma. Ali nama je najbliže kršćanstvo. Pojam virtualnog je i ušao u opću upotrebu preko polemika između protestanata i katolika oko stvarnog prisustva tijela u euharistiji. Da li se klanjamo ukrasu, zlatnoj monstranci, ili onome što ona prikazuje? U ovom projektu obrubljeno zlatnim zrakama monstrance je računalo koje računa sve moguće ishode. A to računanje pretvara se u nestabilno, ali očito, tijelo - kaže autor.

U završnoj fazi, u galeriji MSU, izložit će, najavljuje, "autoironično sve svoje slike, umjetnine, dokumente, uspomene i sve ono što sam cijeli život izrađivao svojim tijelom kako bih potvrdio uvjerenje u svoj fiksni identitet u nekoj životnoj fazi". - Stroj će paralelno izložiti sve svoje lažne vijesti, deep fake, meme o meni, podatke i kodove kojima je određivao moju, ljudsku osobnost, u prošlosti, dakle svoje mehanizme pretvaranja... Iz takvog ultimativnog žrtvovanja nastaje brisanje, a izvedbom, obredom, procesijom između tih brisanja stvara se energija potrebna za silazak nestabilnog boga među nas ljude. Umjesto da mi uđemo u digitalni oblak kao avatari, sada digitalna osobnost silazi među nas, u fizičko tijelo - kaže.
 

ENGLISH

The exhibition "Canceled" by Leo Katunarić Kadele is underway at the Museum of Contemporary Art. This work is set in the format of a procession, which consists of six pilgrimages, each of which has the title: Give us your information / The machine loves you; Am I - they ?; Genetics - erotica; My killer data; Love, love, love; Art is War.
According to the description of the exhibition, pilgrimages are a negotiation between man and machine. The exhibition shows how we foolishly donate our data to a machine that has become a god. “Incorrect god, delete us,” says a voice coming from part of the installation, which can be viewed at MSU until Feb. 28. Transhumanism is questioned in the exhibition, among other things, by the use of altars, and one of the motifs is the cross, which is decorated with the Coca-Cola logo.
The portal Narod.hr recently published a text in which the artist is accused of "distorting Christian symbols". "The exhibition alone would not attract attention," they say, but they succeeded, they believe, precisely because it benefited from religious elements, including the "Blessed Sacrament of the Altar." The portal also points out that "the Ministry of Culture and Media led by HDZ's Nina Obuljen gave seven thousand kunas for this exhibition, but a total of 42 thousand kunas was spent on it!". While seven thousand kuna of the exhibition was awarded through the Public Call for Encouraging the Creativity of Visual Artists in 2021, the rest of the cost was shared by the Ministry and the City of Zagreb, each with half the amount.

Snježana Pintarić, director of the Zagreb MSU and curator of the exhibition, did not want to comment on these media articles, but we talked about the exhibition with its author Leo Katunarić. Katunarić is, by the way, a multidisciplinary artist who works at the crossroads of theater and visual arts and the initiator of MaxArtFest. He was also the director of ZKM, and after his term he was one of the accused of embezzlement with student contracts in the theater, but last year he was acquitted.
Was he surprised by the reaction of conservative portals? Does he consider it appropriate?

- Digital culture today allows Warhol's 15 minutes of glory to everyone. But it’s data circulation, diet fame. The reality is also affected by the statement of the Pope and an anonymous commentator on Facebook. If an illiterate, rude and malicious commentator on social networks has such significance today, then this is proof of a new era, something that needs to be talked about publicly, even with a project like this. Never before in history have sociopaths been given so many opportunities for public action. It is they who move the divine from the monstrance and bring the computer in its place. Because you can only turn off the computer when it doesn't suit your little world, you have to work for the divine. Commentators threaten me, write that they will come to smash my exhibition with their bare hands or write to me that I am a Chetnik, connect me with institutions that follow me very poorly or not at all. I tell them: I will defend contemporary art with my body! Physical and digital! - determined Katunarić.

He also explains in more detail why in this paper he decided to use religious symbols, why they were a grateful means of expression.

- In the decades of my artistic practice, I regularly use symbols of religions and rituals, Christian and others. Combining them with technology and digital audiences. For example, in Japan I performed several projects based on Buddhist pilgrimages, and in India we performed a two-week theatrical performance moving between four holy cities as in a Hindu procession. Symbols and other things are there for man, not man for them. What is more natural than to use the symbols of my own Christian tradition to publicly question the time in which we live together? In the play "Return of Europe, Cows" the boy wears a large white cross made of Coca-Cola. There was no one who would be so stupid as to be offended that we asked the question in this way - whether the suffering of both man and God has been reduced to commerciality today - he says.

Such motives have occupied him since college and early work. - For example, my first play in my life, graduation, I worked in the Zagreb church of St. Catherine. It was a radical postpunk opera about the martyrdom of saints as a process of traveling between realities. The play foresaw both the digital era and the mass media and war. Suddenly, the then Cardinal Kuharić came to the play. He observed our physical and multimedia radicals in the middle of the church, and at the end he blessed us and said, "Young people still see the light at the end of the tunnel!" Then we young people went to war for that light in a year, but to this day we have not been able to reach the end of the tunnel - the artist believes.
He also explains to us the purpose of the exhibition itself and the social problems he wanted to point out.
- Contemporary art is not defined (only) by the fact that it is created right now. It must have a clear trace of asking the most difficult questions for us at this time, and it must upset us so much that it leads us to reconsider our deepest convictions. Otherwise, it is just a modern decoration for the walls - the author begins.
- This exhibition / action has not even started yet, but it is already provoking reactions about the identity of man in the posthuman age. We are currently on the run from a physical life, threatened by a virus, to a digital life. The situation is at war, which means instability and competition over the future. There is no unique identity, the body is no longer just organic. We are looking for new bodies, now in alliance with the machine. But this is really nothing new to the human race. He has always tried to reduce great forces and complex situations to an object that can be negotiated, agreed on a common future. And that is why with our artistic performance we parody all that historical licking and ritual creation of icons that we then worship. Do we still have time to learn differently, to negotiate with the machine about togetherness? he wonders.

Today, the mediator between reality, he continues, is not a shaman, but a cold analyst.

- In this project, I perform rituals, pilgrimages and digital rituals dressed as a laboratory assistant. But in me before, as in a database, a wild artist and a peaceful scientist are united. What is our true identity? The one we would like or the ones determined by others? What am I, a child, a parent, a warrior, a scientist, a director, a convict, an artist, a traveler ...? How can I be all of this at the same time and can I ask digital culture for a solution? - Katunarić asks.

He started the exhibition digitally, on social networks, where he was approached by more than fifteen thousand people in a month.
- It was called the digital pilgrimage, because there was a sacrifice of data to the machine. I have participated in many pilgrimages of other religions, in India, Japan and China, and of all of them most Christian pilgrimages contain a visible multi-layered, even performing artistic element. In my opinion, it is an important building block of our culture, and now a new digital culture. The Christian attitude towards sacrifice is a novelty in history because man, limited by his circumstances, has been shown the way to the divine. The digital culture of today is constructed from the echoes of such sacrifices and pilgrimages. Every day you put a part of yourself in the circulation of images and data online, your interests become reference points for advertisements or political influence, you are encouraged to take creative digital actions ... and all this forms some new bodies - explains why he used motives for his work which have their origin in religion.

This museum phase, he says, is the second part of the project, which leans on digital. - In it, user data fused with my data and memories are printed as six anthropomorphic icons. The procession between them creates an algorithm that creates a new personality. All this data is visibly flowing into the computer, the motherboard, which we experience today as the seat of a new body. We re-examine the Cartesian view of the separation of soul and body in the digital age - the interpreter.

He is also occupied by the presence of the divine body among men. - This issue is elaborated in many religions. Today's digital avatars are directly borrowed from Hinduism. But Christianity is closest to us. The notion of the virtual also came into general use through controversy between Protestants and Catholics over the actual presence of the body in the Eucharist. Do we worship ornament, the golden monstrance, or what it depicts? In this project, bordered with golden rays, the monstrance is a computer that calculates all possible outcomes. And that calculation turns into an unstable, but obviously, body - says the author.

In the final phase, in the MSU gallery, he will exhibit, he announces, "self-ironically all my paintings, works of art, documents, memories and everything I have done with my body all my life to confirm my belief in my fixed identity at some stage of life." - The machine will simultaneously expose all its fake news, deep fake, memes about me, data and codes with which it determined my, human personality, in the past, so its mechanisms of transformation ... From such ultimate sacrifice comes erasure, and performance, ritual, the procession between these erasures creates the energy needed for the descent of an unstable god among us humans. Instead of us entering the digital cloud as avatars, now the digital personality is descending among us, into the physical body - he says.