Cat tree: Dejan Marković

Polyphonic Assemblage


Opening: 10.04.2021
Curated by: Katia Huemer
Venue: Katzenbaum für die Kunst, Foyer

The work Polyphonic Assemblage takes as its starting-point The Cat-Tree for the Arts, a sculpture that can be used for displaying art in the foyer of the Kunsthaus. The artist Dejan Marković took the title of the sculpture literally and developed an (im)possible site-specific situation between two invited cats, the sculpture and the architecture of the Kunsthaus. For two days, the cats were given the opportunity to experience and explore the ‘tree’ and the Kunsthaus. They were for a while allowed to interact with visitors and with objects, things and spaces developed for humans – a moment of togetherness in which an ephemeral assemblage was formed.

The sculpture made of plastic and wood – and also the institutional space where it is located, with all its visible and invisible rules and regulations – prevents the interplay of culture and nature that its title metaphorically suggests. It is designed to exhibit art objects. The inquisitive, curious cats, however, shift the cat-tree temporarily into a new network of relationships by placing it in the context of the other elements involved (institution, architecture, furniture, building services, exhibits, works of art, objects for sale, rooms, visitors, artists, photographers, curators, museum staff, etc). In the process, the static sculpture becomes performative and a visible meeting-point between humans and non-humans – and at the same time a place to reflect on forbidden relationships.

Traces of this polyphonic assemblage in the form of the remnants of the interaction as well as moving images that show spatial situations from the cats’ perspective – unfamiliar to the human eye – can be discovered from 10 April at various locations on the ground floor and in the basement of the Kunsthaus.


About the artist Expand Box

Dejan Marković (*1983, Belgrade, Yugoslavia) is visual artist based in Berlin und Graz. His practice is situative and follows an investigative and relational approach. It focuses on the significant micro-histories and socio-political contexts that can reveal how power relations emerge and persist in today’s system. Through trans- and non-disciplinary research and in close exchange with involved actors, he explores the rapidly changing fields of corporality, nature, labor, and education, exposing exploitative dynamics, repressed histories, and the construction of normative frameworks. The resulting artistic interventions and immersive installations employ a range of media encompassing film, photography, everyday objects, drawings, sculpture, and archive materials.

Marković was lecturer at the Institute for Contemporary Art, TU Graz (2015-2020) and researcher on two PEEK-FWF projects (2016-2021). He (co-)initiated, conceived and curated several public events and large-scale artistic projects and exhibited internationally.


Find out more about "The Cat-Tree for the Arts"

The Cat-Tree for the Arts

The Cat-Tree for the Arts is the name of the new central sculpture in the foyer. Unlike a more...

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