The Museum of Fine Arts’ collaboration with the Split artist Hrvoje Cokarić begins its participation in the multi-year project GARDENING OF SOUL that is conceived around an artistic interpretation of the garden and the gardening phenomenon understood in a broader social, economic, ecological and cultural context.

The themes related to ecology, with an emphasis on space, community, context, with the usage of new technologies, are some of the more significant determinants we associate with Hrvoje Cokarić’s artistic work. In recent years, he has shown an interest in the field of acoustic ecology and focuses his work on plants, that is, their ability to generate electrical signals depending on various environmental stimuli, which he turns into music using special equipment, computers and synthesizers. The Garden of Past and Future, a project initiated in 2015 by the then Museum director Branko Franceschi, which was coordinated and implemented by the Permaculture Association of Dalmatia, proved to be an ideal place for staging Cokarić’s latest work. Various Mediterranean plants (olive, strawberry tree, rosemary, agave, fig, laurel, oleander,…) were planted in seventeen recycled containers set-up in the form of a cosmogram, based on the idea of Marko and Marika Pogačnik and Simona Čudovan, which combines the form of a mandorla as the feminine principle and two arrows as a symbol of the male principle, representing the energy seed, the embryo of the new space and future contents of the Museum of Fine Arts. In the Museum Garden, Cokarić focuses on the reaction of individual plants to poetry, and selects several texts that he reads to the chosen plants. The result is a new kind of soundscape that brings nature to life with literal organic variations of notes, rhythms and tone. Recording these signals in such a context produces beautiful sounds which can be described as “organic electronic music” that achieves spontaneous communication and a casual ambient, giving a completely new dimension to the Museum Garden.

With this project, which enables people to indirectly hear and experience the subtle, otherwise silent sounds of the plant world, Hrvoje Cokarić tries to deepen people’s connection with the natural world, to activate all layers of society and make an appeal to go back to nature, return to the roots. It is a call to a sustainable life in harmony with the environment and all its constituent parts.

After being staged at the Museum of Fine Arts, Hrvoje Cokarić’s ambiental audio visual installation will be presented in the large international exhibition at the Faculty of Art and Design in Ústí nad Labem, the Czech Republic, as the leader of this international project.

Hrvoje Cokarić (b. 1974), director, multimedia artist and performer who created a number of notable visual, performance art and theatrical projects. As a visual artist / performer, he mostly exhibits multimedia installations: Youth Salon – Zagreb 2001, Split Salon 2003-2009, ArtiST now 2004, Adria Art Annale 2004, solo exhibition as part of the series Sound-Object at the Multimedia Cultural Centre - Split 2010, Contemporary Art Moment in Split (Splitski likovni trenutak) at the Kazamat Gallery 2011, he staged performances at all editions of the Dopust - Days of Open Performance Festival in Split. As an artist and curator, he participates in the curatorial platform Symposiom, produced by HULU Split (2011-2015). He designs conceptual solutions for stage sets of all FFT plays since its foundation until today (http://www.fraktalfalusteatar.com). He is a member of the Croatian Association of Visual Artists (HULU Split).