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Susak Expo 2006 began as an idea to extend platforms by exchanges of contexts and languages through dialogues between people and locations. It’s an idea on the move, an idea in translation. And this text too, translated, will emerge with differences, to become another text. Translation can slip between languages to structure networks of thought. It enables simultaneous experiences to interact. It is vulnerable and open to incompletion as well as failure and misunderstanding. The project may fail or it may succeed, its outcome and even the idea of its completion is uncertain. And because of this openness it is vulnerable, this is its character. — Jo Melvin, 2006
Susak expo is a contemporary art biennale founded by Herzog Dellafiore and con-artist Daniel Devlin, that has taken place on the remote Croatian island of Susak since 2006. The original reason for organizing the Susak expo was as a reaction to all the art fairs, biennales and museums of contemporary art sprouting up everywhere, and to highlight the absurdity of this proliferation by staging an international art biennale in the most unlikely of places where, apart from a few people seeing it by mistake and, of course, the participating artists, the chances are no-one will see it.
The project may fail or it may succeed, its outcome and even the idea of its completion is uncertain. And because of this openness it is vulnerable, this is its character.Jo Melvin, 2006
Since no-one sees the exhibition, the objects created for it (paintings, installations, photographs etc) lose importance, while what becomes central is the whole experience of artists sharing time and ideas. When the Expo is over, some of the objects and traces will still be there for a while, like strange artist droppings.
Participating artists have to accept the concept and possibility of failure, or even to embrace failure as a desirable outcome. The possibility of failure ensures the unpredictability of the expo. Susak expo is not just about isolation; it sits within a wider context and, whether politically or geographically, artists are encouraged to respond to the place and to reconsider their own practices.