Damir Očko. Bird's milk and other spirits

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Damir Očko (*1977, Zagreb) is one of the most prominent Croatian artists of his generation. He is known for his elaborate films and precisely built exhibitions. For the Dominican Church in Krems Očko has developed a sitespecific pavilion architecture to showcase his new body of works.

At the center of the exhibition is his new film, The Dawn Chorus. Starting with a simple motif — an outbreak of birdsong at the beginning of a new day — Očko depicts, in the film, a dream-like gathering of his local queer community. Through voguing, dancing, drag, and costumes, Očko transforms the film into a joyous celebration of queer bodies. It is a transposition that imagines the potential intersection between our own identities and the inclusive spaces open to other species. The film follows a precise soundscape composed of the sounds of bodies in motion, chanting, all accompanied by polyphonic sounds of birdsong onomatopoeias. It is sung by the lesbian-antifascist choir from Zagreb Le Zbor.

Furthermore, the exhibition includes an opulent installation titled Spirits. It features cocktail sculptures made from unusual materials, such as dance floor dirt, drag party leftovers, artificial nails and lashes, old makeup, and rotting fruit covered in powder. The cocktail glasses are carrying meaningful titles and poems. This new body of work is a manifestation of precious personal memories and centers on the celebration of queer identities, love, and care for one another.

Curator: Andreas Hoffer

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