“Since the conclusion of the Students center pool sculpture being built, we’ve been introduced to a whole new way of riding a skateboard, and to a new skateboarding style which, until then, we were only able to see on tape. In the same year, being skateboarders, we were facing great depression not being properly understood and listened to. We didn’t have anything. After ten years of riding street, now and then even a skatepark that was being demolished faster than it was built, we didn’t have as nearly as much room for creativity and progression as we needed. A lot of us gave up on skateboarding.
The “Art of Asfalt” project had brought us something new; a new perspective on skateboarding and creativity. We started thinking differently and building our personal and unique style, so after the two-year hiatus, the dream that we had was no longer asleep.
In 2008, European rippers from Vans and Carhartt came to Zagreb and motivated us even more to continue on living the dream. We couldn’t believe our eyes: just being here and admiring the way they were skateboarding on our sculpture, even more, the fact that the guys considered it appealing enough to throw down a session or two. The same guys which we’ve been looking up to since we were kids, watching them exclusively on VHS tapes, were now skating here with us. They would leave with nothing but compliments and they’d spread the word, so things just started getting bigger and our sculpture was reaching worldwide popularity.
Year after year, more and more people were coming from all over the country and also from abroad. We started getting better, so we started publishing our own photos and video clips over the internet. Each year since our sculpture was built, we’ve had a solid program running: from contests, outdoor exhibitions and concerts, to the point of creating the first skateboarding movie festival on these areas. We’ve created a completely new and urban skateboarding culture in our country.
In 2010, the Thrasher team visited Zagreb, with some of the guys in their team being in the pure top 5 of the skateboarding scene. Again, our dreams come true. We’re standing here with our heroes. Thrasher magazine, which was founded in 1981, publishes a nine-page article about their roadtrip throughout Croatia, and our sculpture in the Students center earns a new nickname: “Burnside of the Balkans”.
Accordingly, hordes of tourists that come to Zagreb and visit the sculpture exponentially grow with each year. This year, in April, the guys from Thrasher came once more, shooting for their film in Zagreb and other cities all over Croatia, they shot cover photo in Split for magazine.
So, in the times when we are getting worldwide recognition and are being drawn into the world culture and skateboarding map, a resolution was brought by the Ministry of Construction and Physical Planning to tear down the pool sculpture. Fighting that decision, this is the fourth day that we’re defending it (designed by Sergej Vutuc, built by our own hands) with our bodies. We’ve succeeded so far, and we have yet to see what’ll happen during the next days. Also, we have no intention of stepping away from the sculpture; not until an adequate answer is proposed. Like the skateboarding subculture, our sculpture is something that WE have to save. Because of its significance, which is universal, our country is on the world map!”
Text + Photos by Kristijan Smok
“nothing is forever and every social object has own way which we can question why it is how it is…and again why? maybe cos its social sculpture everyone rolls on way how s/he learn…but question is what we show to next generation and how strong we are to live to be…we put already scares to nature…
2006/7 few artist from street of balkan come together to take roll of meaning to be from street, use street like base of inspiration as medium….we try to have in our hands setting exhibition, and build exchange on our way…we show our works in spaces but we never see it like street art but we want give back something what change our way of walking through concrete jungle…2007 as part of Art of Asfalt exhibition at SC kultura Promjene, Zagreb we split exhibition on intern and extern part…extern part, the social sculpture based on reusing elements of building and giving new meaning and with local helpers and international artist reforming to sculpture of perception and used…without limits sculpture become real social phenomena and spacial place on world skateboard map. effect of sculpture and their breathing motivate users to go over and start to open wood part and put some new concrete elements build by themself …but just before finishing comming the question of use and need for other social groups to share space…but question is what mean in public life share…” – Sergej Vutuc
SAVE THE SC POOL!
More info here:
About Art of Asfalt:
Art of Asfalt is a project by a group of artists from the Balkan, who share the street as their common place of expression.
They all come from the skateboarding and street culture.
Asphalt is the place where street spirit and art galleries come together, it is giving shape to the global process through wich society and culture are undergoing today.
It expresses the essence of what is given and what is taken away, and the latter is always a public question. Asphalt is still free to BE, to exist within a person or a group, still free to share its existance with the world. Asphalt – street on an exhibiton, is a project by a group of artist who share the street as the common place of expression. They all come from the skateboarding and street culture, and use skateboard as a medium of expression.
The goal of Asphalt and its various artists is to create free thought and action.
Under this title 4 exhibitions went down: in Student Centre in Zagreb (Croatia) where beside the classical exhibition format a big concrete sculpture was build, that fused together different perspectives that present a new step in the development of urban communication and its application to the street, but at the end also gave skateboarders a chance to perform tricks on it, and with that they gave it another meaning.