Raising public awareness of outdoor sculpture preservation issues through an exhibition and a documentary

Sagita Mirjam Sunara (University of Split) and Romana Tekić (Slavonski Brod Art Gallery) authored the exhibition Door, Variations, which showcased ten works by the renowned Croatian sculptor Branko Ružić (1919 – 1997), all on the theme of the door. The exhibition aimed to commemorate the centenary of Ružić’s birth, and to point out the importance of conservation-restoration works for the purpose of preserving outdoor sculptures. The exhibition was held in Slavonski Brod (The Vladimir Becić Art Salon, September 12 – October 9, 2019) and Sisak (Sisak Municipal Musem, October 15 – November 7, 2019).

Romana Tekić (left) and Sagita Mirjam Sunara (right) at the Door, Variations exhibition in Slavonski Brod

The incentive to organize the exhibition dedicated to the door motif in Ružić’s oeuvre was given by the planned conservation-restoration of the outdoor sculpture Door that Ružić produced in 1984 in Sisak. Due to exposure to the harsh environment and to years of neglect, the monumental relief made of painted steel has suffered significant damage.

Detail of the outdoor sculpture Door that Branko Ružić produced in 1984 in Sisak

The conservation and conservation-restoration issues of the Sisak Door were presented through the documentary Time Has Not Helped, which premiered at the exhibition. The movie, authored by Sagita Mirjam Sunara and Dragan Đokić (Studio Baranda), provides an insight into the research that has to precede conservation-restoration treatment on an outdoor sculpture. It highlights the importance of multidisciplinary research in the understanding of artworks, and the necessity of a cautious and well-thought-out approach to the conservation-restoration of outdoor sculptures. The movie was produced by funds that the University of Split received for the implementation of the CAPuS project, and will be used as teaching material.

Rajka Zlatarić, Branko Ružić’s daughter, in front of the Sisak Door (screenshot from the documentary Time Has Not Helped)

The exhibition, too, received financial support from the CAPuS project. The Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Croatia and Slavonski Brod Municipality provided additional financing for the exhibition.

The exhibition was accompanied by a printed catalogue, and received wide media coverage.

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