At the beginning of the 20th century, men from the Croatian islands frequently travelled to South America to escape hunger and to search for a better life, while the women stayed home and waited for them to return.
The project entitled Partenza (in the Croatian dialect spoken on the islands, the same Italian world is used for departure), connects two emigrant stories: the Croatian one, from the beginning of the last century, and the African one, from the beginning of this century.
This project is inspired by the life story of an artist grandmother who lived on the island of Brac and whose husband left for Chile in search of opportunities. Like many others, he never returned.
The idea of this project is to show the fragility of human existence caused by political-economic and social changes, alongside the story of emigrants that keeps repeating throughout history.
Born in 1974, Renata Poljak grew up in Split and graduated from the School of Fine Arts located there. Afterwards, she travelled to France to participate in an international post-graduate study program E.R.B.A.N.
In 2002, she was a visiting artist at the San Francisco Art Institute, and in 2008 she was selected for the Art In General residency program in New York. Renata‘s work has been exhibited widely in solo and group shows, biennials and film festivals. She has received several awards, including the 2012 T-HT award - one of the most important contemporary art awards in Croatia.
In 2010, she presented her work at Prospective Cinema (Prospectif Cinéma), Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris and in October 2012 at Palais de Tokyo, Paris. In 2013, her solo show in NYC was selected as the best show of the year by the Village Voice. In 2014, a retrospective of her work was held in parallel exhibitions at the Occurence and Optica Galleries in Montreal, Canada. Her group shows include her Prophetia exhibition at Fundació Joan Miró, Barcelona, and in 2016 two major museum shows were held in Croatia to mark the 20 years of her work as an artist.