Matej Knežević: Case Report with Review


On Saturday,  September 5, 2020 at 8 pm at the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art opens a solo exhibition “Case Report with Review” by Matej Knežević. The exhibition is part of the ART / WAR / TRANSITION project.

Matej Knežević’s professional life is divided between two professions, medicine and art. Knežević is a visual artist employed at the hospital, and his artistic interest are shaped through ob­serving, recording and twisting of everyday life. The flow of traces and derivatives of his own environment into the space of museum or gallery could be followed, among other, in Knežević’s ambiences that relied on the motif of family togetherness of the living room (Come In, You Don’t Have to Take Your Shoes Off, 2017), morning bathroom rituals (Speculative Morn­ings, 2018), hospital waiting room and surgery theater (Some Visceral Things, 2019)…

The “Case Report with Review” is a new site-specific environment in which materials and forms, meeting points of usable and aesthetic, as well as porous places of physical and symbolic space remain in the artist’s focus. The mural streches across the long wall of museum – it is flow chart that the artist built with insulating tape and printed words. By using the flow diagram, a tool for visual representaion of information taken from science, Knežević transfers to the museum forms that are more often found on the pages of  scientific publications or on hospital walls. The visitor becomes a puzzler of an unusual graphical algorithm, caught in a network of paths leading to the empty boxes. The instructions on the joints are in part intentionally humorous, in part taken from scientific jargon, while language amplifiers remain hanging among the enclosed gaps.

The spatial installation consists of various dividers, a labyrinth of ready-made units that at the same time guide and restrain visitors using method of “instructions lost in trans­lation”. The special scenography of the exhibition space reminisces the design solutions and materials that we find in design of practical, necessary and often in the space non-per­manent elements, and yet elements that undoubtedly aesthetically define interiors. Hospital separators and museum pedestals are some examples.

The process of navigation through information, space and new meanings that arise during the transfer of forms, methods and materials into a new context, is accompanied by a soundstage spiced with a specific onomatopoeia.

Matej Knežević’s artistic development, in which medical themes become more directly present in his work, coincides with the moment when due to pandemic crisis, hospital markers increasingly overflow into the sphere of everyday life. By not aiming to be topical or engaged, Knežević creates a space in which the balance between the clear and the unfathomable and the serious and the witty remains subjective for everyone.

sound author: Mladen Lovrić


Matej Knežević (born in Slavonski Brod, 1983) is a visual artist who creates multimedia ambiences around everyday themes. His recent solo exhibitions include those at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Zagreb; RU Gallery, New York and Ateliers Žitnjak; Zagreb.

Knežević is the winner of Radoslav Putar Award 2017. He manages the hybrid gallery-medical space Ligatura in Zagreb. He is also engaged in the work of several non-profit associations in the field of culture. In addition to artistic work, he also works as a doctor, an urology specialist. /