Josip Šurlin

Avernus 055


Rubber, steel, polishing paste

40 x 50 x 6 cm

The artist’s book Avernus 055 is made from black rubber pages connected with steel plates. Each page contains a sequence of words printed on rubber using polishing paste. In addition, on one of the metal plates, the work’s title is engraved. Avernus 055 is an inter- active work that can, because of the elastic rubber, be leafed through. Word prints on the pages are achieved via abrasion of the material and thus they depend on the light; under different angles of lighting, they are more or less apparent. Constructed texts contain signifiers of parking garage warnings, chemical formulas, time stamps, natural occurrences, and animals. In the end, with the respected work, transit spaces and their functions are explored (such as parking garages or highways). More precisely, the artist com- pares said real spaces with mythical notions of the underworld (as both are selective and transitional), emphasizing this concept further by including the noun avernus, which, in old Roman times, denoted hell.

In Vitro I


Six objects; aluminum, coats

Dimensions variable

In Vitro I is a series of six objects placed on the wall and divided into aluminum pipes and coats. The juxtaposition of the work is strictly linear; the pipes are horizontally arranged on the wall at equal distances, and on each of them, a single coat is hung. The work In Vitro I is a subtle commentary on the deficit of living spaces in contemporary cities; with this structure of clothing and metal the author alludes to a group of unusual imaginary “tenants”, that “live inside pipes”.

Artist Statement/Bio

Josip Šurlin (Split, 1993) is a conceptual artist living and working in Split. He graduated from the School of Fine Arts in Split in 2012. That same year, he enrolled in the Department of Painting at the Arts Academy of the University of Split. He studied in the class of Full Professor Gorki Žuvela and, in 2017, graduated from the Department of Painting under the mentorship of Full Professor Viktor Popović and Assistant Professor Neli Ružić. He has taken part in several group exhibitions and presented his works in eleven solo exhibitions, nationally and internationally. He was awarded a written acknowledgment for his work at the First Student Biennial. In 2018, he became a member of the Croatian Association of Visual Artists (HULU, Split). Since 2020 he is working as an assistant at the Arts Academy of the University of Split, the Department of Painting.