Renata Poljak
in Maria



Renata Poljak, Croatia |

With Partenza, Renata Poljak provides a staging for the fragile narratives of migration. Moved by the separation and the disappearance of migrants, the artist interweaves her family history, that of the migration of Croatian men to South America in the 20th century, with the evocation of current migrations of refugee men and women. She represents what plays out today, as it did yesterday, in migratory movements, and which alters entire communities.

Each of these images opens up to the other side of the encounter, where departure to the unknown reveals all the human fragility that must deal with political and social change or economic pressures. On an island coast, the artist combines a gathering together with solitude, the community and the individual. Facing the sea, the presence of each woman is the increasingly powerful evocation of the absence, the multiple absence, of the men who headed off by sea to another continent. Together, the women intimately bear this narrative of no-return, one that reflects the past and the present of so many populations.



Renata Poljak has participated in numerous group exhibits, international biennales and film festivals, including the Prospectif Cinéma event at Centre Pompidou and Palais de Tokyo in Paris in 2012. Her work has been the subject of several individual exhibitions, held in among other places New York and Montréal – the latter at the Occurrence and Optica artist centers – and more recently at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Belgrade. In 2018 she was a finalist for the MAC (Metropolitan Arts Centre) award in Belfast.

This exhibit is produced in collaboration with Occurrence – Contemporary Art and Essay Center.