Set-up: Toni Meštrović
Text: Jasna Jakšić
"...The audio-visual material recorded in 2002 and 2003 near the island of Veli Drvenik provided a base for the "Abyssos" project, forming the idea of virtual sea. The project incorporates film and few video installations. The author materialises and recreates his own memory by digitally processing a set of images and sounds. As recording tools, the camera ad hydrophone are extended hands of perception, and artistic will and creative manipulation over the matter are enlightened processes. Apart from the artist himselfe, there are other participants as well: the lantern, the boat engine, a shoal of tuna fish, deep sea abyss - real and artifical, bubbles of air in the water, sea sprey, naval chart of Split area and two octopuses. The camera comes across them on its digital path towards the abyss and back stops only to capture the image and the sound and open way to their transformation...
...The film is a kind of small retrospective of author's video works made during the last three years: the lantern from the opening scene is part of an autonomous work, and the narrative serhe state of mind" and "Blue note", as a moment of reminiscence, but also a legitimate digital approach to the film. While using the new media consciously, Meštrović revokes tradition and perhaps an archaic era in its playful approach to transformation. "Abyssos" is hardly a representation of sea scenary - the elements and creatures that make up (present) digitalised universe recall ancient zoomorphic shapes from the mythical times."
Toni Meštrović was born 1973 in Split, Croatia, graduated with a Graphic Arts degree from the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb in 1999, where he produced graphic art, sculpture and installation. Due to his interest in electronic audiovisual media, he studied Video/Digital Imaginig at the International Summer Academy for Contemporary Art in Salzburg in 1997, and completed a two-year postgraduate diploma in Media Art at the Academy of Media Arts, Cologne in 2004. Video, sound and audiovisual installations produced during Meštrović's postgraduate studies explore his personal perception of the sea , and the island where he grew up. Since 1992, he has taken part in group and solo shows, as well as video festivals, in Croatia and abroad.