Interviewed in Zagreb on 16 February 2015
Darko Fritz is a Croatian visual artist, designer, art critic and curator. He became known at the beginning of his professional career in the second half of the 1980s, when he worked together with Željko Serdarević on the art and design project called The Imitation of Life Studio. His interests in genre experiments and knowledge transfer among different domains of culture, art and technology could have been seen even then. He continued with his studies and work in the Netherlands where he focused on media and digital art and completed many projects in the public space. He currently lives in Zagreb and Korčula, where he manages the gallery and research platform grey) (area. On the occasion of the series of exhibitions named Design Archives, held in his Zagreb apartment and studio in 2014 and in curatorial cooperation with Maroje Mrduljaš, we discussed his projects related to visual identities, exhibition set-ups and concepts.
Vedran Mimica — You have spent a great deal of your professional life in Amsterdam, and even received your education there. You lived in a global environment where models are constantly being exchanged. When you participated at Zagreb Salons of Architecture and other exhibitions we are going to talk about today, you participated as an author from Amsterdam who was engaged in different ways of communication between the media and the society.
Darko Fritz — I was born with a suitcase in my hands; I travel a lot because I work all around the world. I start from the position of questioning the two discourses – the southern and the northern, each of which has its own advantages and disadvantages. Matteo Pasquinelli wrote about the difference between the southern and northern theory of media art and socially engaged art. My mother comes from Split and my father is from Zagreb, so I have always noticed these differences. After I returned to Zagreb with my family in 2013 from Amsterdam, the position has changed; the north is Zagreb and the south is Korčula, where I have formed the grey) (area association and gallery. These are still two discourses, although on a smaller scale; the basics are the same. In the Croatian context, as a man who comes from Zagreb, I am a northerner, in the European context I am a southerner and in the global context I am a European and have to deal with all the accompanying and true stereotypes that pervade all the various geographic and cultural identities.