Media as the Source of Light

Photo: Tanja Kanazir / Drugo more (Flickr gallery)

The Return of the Same is an atmospheric and abstract video installation, showing the sporadic shifts of space from darkness to visibility.

Using the visuality of media phenomena such as Youtube channels or TV programs, this exhibition deals with the endpoint of public mass media reach – the flow of light into physical space. When the element of information is deprived from the media, they transform into mere lightbulbs that emit light without any relations to the information itself, but conditioned by the logic of montage and substitution of images. Material dimension of an image/information in that point becomes a set of uneven beams of light which in fragmental form reveals space from obscurity.

The Return of the Same begins its path in reference to another exhibition – Glagoljica/Glagolitsa exhibition in Rijeka University Library.

This exhibition was designed by professor Branko Fučić and architect Igor Emili, opening its doors to the public way back in 1990, to this day remaining almost unchanged. Following the development of Glagolitic alphabet and displaying numerous carved and printed artifacts, exhibition witnesses the singularity of local culture. Apart from a few exceptions, all the exhibits are reproductions. In the context of numerous practices of reenactment or re-curation of exhibitions (for example, When Attitudes Become Form, Fodazione Prada, Biennale di Venezia 2013), the whole ambient of that sleeping exhibition after almost fifty years of its existence is getting a historical/cultural/esthetic dimension, which opens a possibility of its perception as a cultural phenomenon.

Exhibition trapped in time, that almost certainly outlived a great number of its primal visitors, in Eškinja’s video installation becomes a background confronted by a brief form of television image. Visitors have a chance to see the exhibition immersed into obscurity solely by the means of short flashes of light coming from the screen and reproducing a media image; as Boris Groys puts it in his essay About the New, “technologically produced image brigs its own light in the darkness of the museum space.”

Video installation The Return of the Same tries to talk about numerous meta-relations summed up in this abstract recording of light. By reproducing a historical material, installation becomes a reproduction of the space, as well as a reproduction of the media material that enables its visibility.



Igor Eškinja (Rijeka, Croatia, 1975) lives and works in Rijeka. In 2002 he graduated painting at Accademia di Belle Arti Venice in the class of prof. Carla Di Raca. Eškinja constructs his architectures of perception as ensembles of modesty and elegance. In his works he “performs” objects and situations, embracing them in their intimate and quiet transition from two-dimensional to three-dimensional formal appearance. By using simple, cheap materials, and deconstructing them with extreme precision and mathematical accuracy within strict spatial parameters, Eškinja defines other quality which goes far beyond physical aspects and enters into registers of imagination and beyond perception. Among others, Eškinja’s works were included in international exhibitions: Manifesta 7, Rovereto, Italy (2008); Complicity, Rena Bransten gallery, San Francisco (2009); 28 Grafični Biennale, Ljubljana, Slovenia (2009); Dirt, Wellcome foundation, London, G. Britain, (2011), Rearview Mirror, Power plant, Toronto, Canada, (2011); Inhabitants of generic places, Kunstforum, Vienna, Museum of Contemporary Art-Zagreb (2011), Ash and Gold – a world tour, Marta Herford, Germany, (2012); 2nd Ural Industrial Biennale, Ekaterinburg, Russia (2012); 8 ways to overcome space and time, Muzej savremene umetnosti, Beograd, Serbia, (2013); as well as independent exhibitions: The Day After, Federico Luger gallery, Milano, Italy (2011); Interieur Captivant, MAC/VAL museum, Vitry, France (2012); Quixote, MUWA, Graz, Austria (2014).

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