Giorgio Verzotti on Igor Eskinja

Giorgio Verzotti, ARTFORUM, October 5, 2016

"Three large canvases, hung from the ceiling on metal slats, created a virtual space within the real space of the gallery. They were made of polyester—light, almost immaterial, translucent—and enabled viewers to see each other walking about the space: Even the slightest breath of air moved the diaphanous partitions. Onto these large fields Igor Eškinja has printed photographs mostly shot in Rijeka, the city in Croatia where he lives. Depicted are large, anonymous apartment blocks, devoid of any aesthetic value, built in the early 1970s in anticipation of the city’s industrial development, which never came to pass; on the contrary, an economic crisis kept away thousands of potential inhabitants. The buildings resemble the condominium-dormitories of many urban peripheral zones, faceless neighborhoods often in premature decline—Eškinja might have found their like anywhere in the world. For him, the “modernist” structure of these buildings, in this neighborhood of this city, is synonymous with the bankruptcy of the socialist program for social equality and economic development that resulted in depersonalized and alienating lifestyles."