What, How & for Whom/WHW is a curatorial collective formed in 1999 and based in Zagreb and Berlin. Its members are Ivet Ćurlin, Ana Dević, Nataša Ilić and Sabina Sabolović, and designer and publicist Dejan Kršić.
WHW organizes a range of production, exhibition and publishing projects and it has been intensively developing models based on collective way of working, creative use of public space and collaboration between partners of different backgrounds. Primarily shaped by the format of the exhibition, WHW projects are conceived as platforms for progressive modes of cultural production and reflections of social reality. What, how and for whom, the three basic questions of every economic organization, concern the planning, concept and realization of exhibitions as well as the production and distribution of artworks and the artist’s position in the labor market. These questions formed the title of WHW’s first project dedicated to the 152nd anniversary of the Communist Manifesto, in 2000 in Zagreb, and became the motto of WHW’s work and the title of the collective.
Since 2003 WHW collective has been running the program of Gallery Nova, a city-owned gallery in Zagreb. Gallery Nova program had been conceived in opposition to dominant representative understanding of culture, and streams towards opening space for public discussion on issues that are ignored, made unfashionable by their lack of glamour and non-marketability, swept under the carpet or even openly suppressed. Gallery Nova program consists of international group exhibitions and solo shows by Croatian and international artists; discursive program encompassing lectures, workshops, seminars and public discussions; as well as a series of publications, whose aim is to create the links between the art practice and wider social context.
WHW is the first recipient of Igor Zabel Award for Culture and Theory in 2008, awarded by Erste Stiftung in recognition of cultural activities related to the Central and South Eastern European region.
In March 2019 members of WHW Ivet Ćurlin, Nataša Ilić and Sabina Sabolović were appointed in 2019 as artistic directors of Kunsthalle Wien in Vienna. WHW as a collective will continue working in Zagreb with collective activities coordinated by WHW member Ana Dević.
International exhibition projects curated by WHW (selection):
On the Shoulders of Fallen Giants, 2nd Industrial Art Biennial, Labin (Lamparna, City Library, People’s Museum), Raša (Former cinema), Rijeka (Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art), Pula (Augustus Temple, Amphitheatre Gallery, Sense – Transitional Justice Centre) and Vodnjan (Apoteka – Space for Contemporary Art)
Želimir Žilnik: Shadow Citizens, Edith-Russ-Haus for Media Art, Oldenburg
Everything we see could also be otherwise (My Sweet Little Lamb), The Showroom, London
My Sweet Little Lamb (Everything we see could also be otherwise), Apartment Softić, Booksa, Croatian Association of Visual Arts – Meštrović Pavilion, Gallery Forum, Gallery Greta, Gallery Miroslav Kraljević, Gallery Nova, Gallery Vladimir Nazor, Institute for Contemporary Art, Institute Tomislav Gotovac, Sanja Iveković Archive, Student Centre Gallery, Zagreb.
Again and Again, David Maljković retrospective, Museum of Contemporary Art Metelkova, Ljubljana
Your Country Doesn’t Exist, Art Workshop Lazareti, Dubrovnik; Gallery Nova, Zagreb; Multimedia Cultural Centre, Split
Retrospective by Appointment, David Maljković, Gallery Nova, Gallery of Croatian Designer’s Association and David Maljković’s studio, Zagreb
So, You Want to See, e-flux gallery, New York
Really Useful Knowledge, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid
Meeting Points 7
Ten thousand wiles and a hundred thousand tricks, Gallery Nova, Zagreb; Museum of Modern Art/MuHKA, Antwerp; Contemporary Image Collective/CIC, Cairo; Para Site, Hong Kong; Beirut Arts Center, Beirut; 21er Haus, Vienna; Institute for African Studies, Moscow
Dear Art, Museum of Contemporary Art Metelkova, Ljubljana; Calvert 22, London
How Much Fascism?, BAK, Utrecht & Extra City Kunsthal, Antwerp
One needs to live self-confidentially… watching, Croatian pavilion for 54th Venice Biennial – Tomislav Gotovac and BADco.
Details, Bergen Kunsthall, Bergen
Second World, steirischer herbst, Graz
Hungry Man, Reach for the Book. It Is a Weapon, Printed Matter, New York
Ground Floor America, Kunstraum Lakeside – Klagenfurt; Den Frie, Copenhagen
Art Always Has Its Consequences, former building of MOCA Zagreb, 2010 (co-curated)
Red Thread, TANAS, Berlin
What Keeps Mankind Alive?, 11th Istanbul Biennial, Istanbul
Ground Lost, Forum Stadtpark, Graz; Gallery Nova, Zagreb
All Dressed Up With Nowhere to Go, Gallery TranzitDisplay, Prag
Vojin Bakić, Gallery Nova, Zagreb; Grazer Kunstverein, Graz
Here and Now Real, Not Yet Concrete, Mala Galerija, Museum of Modern Art, Ljubljana
Normalization, dedicated to Nikola Tesla, Gallery Nova, Zagreb
Collective Creativity, Kunsthalle Fridericianum, Kassel
Side-effects, Salon of Museum of Contemporary Art, Belgrade
Normalization, Gallery Nova, Zagreb
Looking Awry, Apexart, New York
Repetition: Pride and Prejudice, Gallery Nova, Zagreb
Broadcasting project, dedicated to Nikola Tesla, Technical Museum, Zagreb
What, How & for Whom, on the occasion of 153rd anniversary of the Communist Manifesto, Kunsthalle Exnergasse, Vienna
What, How & for Whom, on the occasion of 152nd anniversary of the Communist Manifesto, HDLU, Zagreb
WHW is continuously involved in publishing books on visual art and theory, and since 2003 publishes Gallery Nova newspapers. The books published by WHW are: Dataesthetics, edited by Stephen Wright; Against Indifference, selected essays by Renata Salecl; Hieroglyphs of the Future, selected essays by Brian Holmes; Zagreb, 16/6/01, book of interviews by Hans Ulrich Obrist with Sanja Iveković, Mladen Stilinović, Ivan Kožarić and Njirić&Njirić; reader for the What, How & for Whom, on the occasion of the 152nd anniversary of the Communist Manifesto; Escape the Overcode, selected essays by Brian Holmes (co-published with van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven), collection of essays Art Always Has Its Consequences; Art and the F Word: Reflections on the Browning of Europe, co-published with Tensta Konsthall and Sternberg Press, co-edited with Maria Lind; David Maljković, A Retrospective by Appointment, co-published with Mousse Publishing; collection of essays Public Library, co-published with multimedia institute mi2, co-edited with Tomislav Medak and Marcell Mars: Merciless Aesthetics, selected essays by Gregory Sholette.
WHW also edited numerous publications for various exhibition projects, such as for example, reader for 11th Istanbul Biennial, reader for the exhibition Details in Kunsthal Bergen, or Really Useful Knowledge, an exhibition reader co-edited with Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid.