Damir Ocko

The Boy with a Magic Horn

“Great dream was about to be built, but something happened while we were awakening.”

Analogy used in The Boy with a Magic Horn and later in The Age of Happiness was that “somewhere” is a potential inscribed in the origin, a destination beyond the gap or, in the case of The Boy with a Magic Horn, the gap itself.

In a period of political transition, Croatia abandoned one of its biggest projects, Zagreb University Hospital, that would cover almost 250,000 square meters. The hospital was planned in the late 1970s and was under construction through the 1980s, but was never finished. Nowadays the building is stuck in space and time, somewhere between what it was, what it should have been, and what it is.

Cinematic vision brings us inside the ghost architecture. Through the enigmatic play in The Boy With a Magic Horn, the characters reveal very specific content taken from The Ring of Nibelung but simultaneously they are filled with an emptiness they take over from the space. In that sense, their costumes exist as an organic extension of the nonexistent architecture of the never-finished Zagreb University Hospital. The protagonists become part of the architecture, a superstructure above the vacuum of a story of failure.

The Boy with a Magic Horn, 2007

HD video, 15:22 min., color, sound
Courtesy the artist and Gallery Tiziana di Caro, Salerno, Italy

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