Igor Friedrich Petković

Gavrilo’s Principle (2011)

Igor Friedrich Petković’s video revisits the famous assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand that triggered World War I. Petković slips into the role of Gavrilo Princip, the assassin, pointing out its proximity to that of the subversive artist. Concealing a 1910 Browning pistol, similar to the one Princip used, Petković makes his way from Graz’s Palais Khuenburg (where Franz Ferdinand was born) to Kunsthaus Graz. Here, brandishing the gun at the building’s utopian architecture becomes a futile gesture of the rebellious subject facing the Kafkaesque halls of the art institution.

This gesture also playfully reflects Petković’s activities as a curator and initiator of projects outside customary institutional spaces. In further projects, he explored the poetics of Franz Ferdinand’s life before the assassination. One of these brought the descendants of the assassin and the victim together for a handshake of peace, made as a gesture of reconciliation a century after the fact.

Igor Friedrich Petković (1976, Salzburger Innergebirg, Austria) is an artist, curator and cultural activist. He is engaged in socially and politically committed intercultural art projects and transdisciplinary research fields. In his work, he explores contemporary means of expression between art and science, visionary life realities, Dionysian-Apollonian event spaces, pop-cultural zeitgeist phenomena, and historical and iconographic conditions.
Petković has participated in international solo and group exhibitions and carried out interdisciplinary projects and intercultural events. He was awarded the Outstanding Artist Award 2015 from Bundeskanzleramt Austria and was included in the Environmental Photographer of the Year Selection of the Royal Geographic Society London in 2013. He heads APORON 21, an association for arts, culture, and science based in Graz.

SD video, stereo sound, 7′13″