Stephanie Rania & Kosta Kulundzic - photo: Sally Lundburg
Stephanie Rania & Kosta Kulundzic – photo: Sally Lundburg

AGGROculture was just in Oahu to pack up Keith’s work from his recent solo show at SPF Projects, and got a chance to catch the next artist scheduled to show – Paris-based Kosta Kulundzic. Coming off the aftermath of Keith’s show “Militia”, we wondered what kind of ammo SPF gallery owner Drew Broderick would fire off into the Honolulu art scene next .

Kosta’s “Hawaii Apocalypse” is a collection of vivid oil paintings depicting some of Hawaii”s most iconic landscapes and locales amidst Hollywoodblockbuster-style devastation. “Tourists wielding military grade weaponry, prominent Waikīkī hotels ablaze, dubious martyrs, and a beautiful slain beast—leapt from the pages of fairy tale and history books alike—combine to form a massive hallucinatory iteration of so-called paradise in the Pacific…” describes the official press release. “Kulundzic’s Hawai‘i isn’t postcard ready and refuses to comply with typical representations of the islands. You might say that the artist has “visions,” and the clean, tight lines he uses to articulate these phantom sightings, a kind of graphic-novel inspired technique, help to bring his subject matter to life.”

image courtesy:Kosta Kulundzic / SPF Projects

Hawaii Apocalypse was curated by noted Oahu-based mover/shaker, Trisha Lagaso Goldberg, who has been looking to bring Kosta’s work to Hawaii since they first met in 2010, and she finally found a place at Drew Broderick’s SPF Projects. “What interests me most about Kosta”s work is the outsider-to-insider view he takes on this place we call home. He looks at Hawaii with fresh eyes, as someone who is clearly not from here, but has access to very intimate local experiences via his wife Stephanie and her family, giving him insight into kamaaina life as well. I also find it fascinating that he views Hawaii through the lens of his own personal and family history. So something as familiar as the Waikiki shoreline becomes foreign and new again for me and hopefully for others here in Hawaii viewing the work.”

When asked why he chose Hawaii as the backdrop and location for an apocalypse, Kulundzic responded with, “Hawaii fits into this story. Where else can you find a huge military presence, a powerful symbol of pop culture—everyone around the world knows of Hawaii, everyone has an image of “paradise”—mystical things exist here! People in Hawaii believe in spirits, in strange happenings. There are many religious people living in Hawaii. This doesn’t exist anywhere else. Hawaii is a good choice for the backdrop of this story, because this fantasy is here. When and if the apocalypse comes, everyone in Hawaii will already be ready.”

If you missed SPF’s innaugural exhibition, (Keith Tallett’s “Militia”), a recent review in the Star-Advertiser elicited some weird and wrathful anonymous comments. “It’s not mere artistic expression. It’s not cute. It is… the first strike in an insurgency and should be treated as such.” Another wrote, “typical mainland style post modern hip hop junk art…popular in prisons and other locales”. (WTF?) SPF Projects is throwing fuel on the Kakaako fire… too hot for some perhaps. Come check out the new show…wear sunscreen and your best flak jacket.

EXHIBITION: Kosta Kulundzic: Hawaii Apocalypse
RECEPTION: Thursday, July 18, 6-8pm
LOCATION: SPF Projects, 729 Auahi Street Honolulu, Hawai‘i 96813
HOURS:Tuesday-Thursday 7pm-11pm, Sunday 1pm-5pm, and by appointment
DATES: July 18-August 25, 2013

LISTEN: Kosta’s interview on Hawaii Public Radio
DOWNLOAD: Hawaii Apocalypse – Official Press Release
LINK: SPF Facebook page


St Goerge's Victory - image courtesy of the artist /  photo:Sally Lundburg
St Goerge’s Victory – Courtesy of the artist / Kosta photo:Sally Lundburg

About SPF Projects & Drew Broderick

SPF Projects provides a venue for the production and display of contemporary art and theory in Honolulu. With a focus on building the capacity for critically engaged art and dialogue in the islands, SPF is dedicated to developing a cross-disciplinary and intergenerational program through the exhibition of local, national, and international artists and thinkers. In addition to founding SPF Projects, gallery owner Drew Broderick was one of the 11 artists chosen by The Honolulu Museum of Art to create work for the prestigious juried exhibition Artists of Hawai‘i 2013. The artists were selected in October 2012 by museum director Stephan Jost, deputy director Allison Wong, contemporary art curator James Jensen, and former associate contemporary art curator Inger Tully out of 341 artists who submitted work to the juried biennial exhibition.

About N. Trisha Lagaso Goldberg

N. Trisha Lagaso Goldberg is an Aiea-based community arts worker & public art administrator, as well as an independent curator and artist. She lived in the San Francisco Bay Area from 1991 through 2004, where she was engaged at all levels of work in the arts, ranging from the development of youth-based education programs to community-based collaborations with institutions, such as the San Francisco Urban Institute, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.
Trisha has served in the capacities of: Community Arts Program Specialist at the San Francisco Urban Institute (1994-1996); curator and Executive Director of Southern Exposure gallery in San Francisco (1997-2002); curator and gallery manager of Babilonia 1808 in Berkeley (2002-2004); curator and gallery director at thirtyninehotel in Honolulu (2006-2010); curator and projector director of the If Not Now, When? exhibition and related programs at the Bishop Museum (2010); curator and project director of Find Art festival in Honolulu (2012); and as a Commissioned Works of Art Project Manager with the Hawai’i State Foundation on Culture and the Arts in Honolulu since 2006. She was recently recognized for her work in the arts community with an invitation to meet Mrs. Michelle Obama at a special White House reception hosted by the White House Historical Association in recognition of American Art.
Trisha’s artwork has been exhibited in the Honolulu Museum of Art, thirtyninehotel, ii gallery, and the Museum of Craft and Folk Art in San Francisco. She received her BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute and an MA in Art History from San Francisco State University. She lives on the Hawaiian island of her birth, O’ahu, with her husband David A.M. Goldberg and her son Primo S. Lagaso Goldberg.

 Drew Broderick & Trisha Lagaso Goldberg
Drew Broderick & Trisha Lagaso Goldberg – photo: Kosta Kulundzic

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