Recycle, ideas from the past

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PDF Catalogue

Exhibition title: Recycle, ideas from the past

Exhibition authors: Andreja Kudelić, PhD, Institute of Archaeology, Zagreb

Ina Miloglav, PhD, Department of Archaeology, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Zagreb

Jacqueline Balen, PhD, Archaeological Museum in Zagreb

Venue: Archaeological Museum in Zagreb, Trg Nikole Šubića Zrinskog 19

Duration: November 14 – December 10, 2017

Production design and graphic preparation of the exhibition: Antun Sevšek, Damir Gamulin


Exhibition summary

The Recycle, ideas from the past exhibition is the result of the cooperation between the Institute of Archaeology, the Department of Archaeology of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences of the University of Zagreb, and the Archaeological Museum in Zagreb.

The exhibition strives to display the modes in which our ancestors recycled materials and reused objects, and how that concept affected past cultures. Seeing as recycling is a highly complex, but also a universal phenomenon, whether seen from today’s point of view or within the scope of past cultures and communities, the exhibition strives to bridge these temporal gaps through thematic and artistic units. The rich archaeological heritage provided a selection of finds made of different materials (stone, bone, pottery, glass and metal), that are portrayed through several thematic units: the transformation of space, the materials and symbolic recycling. The displayed examples of recycling, the reuse and the repairing of objects, are the indicators of cultures that did not discard objects, but leaned towards a culture of reuse, providing the visitors with a valuable lesson from the past.

By finding the (dis)harmony between past and present ideologies and experiences of the material, the landscape and the social and economic situations, the exhibition authors also turn to contemporary ideologies and the modified construction of human consciousness about the material, as well as the landscape. The exhibition highlights the practical nature of recycling recorded in archaeological artifacts, but does not neglect the numerous examples of the symbolic reallocation, i.e. “recycling”, of objects and landscapes in the past.

The aim of the exhibition is to show that recycled materials and objects had a very active role in society, that they are not isolated cases of specific material reuse, and that the ideological background for reusing and recycling had a far more complex meaning for society. The exhibition also strives to show the longevity and the uninterrupted cycle of object reuse, as well as to encourage the visitors to think about the concept of recycling in relation to the modern way of life.

The exhibition is accompanied by a scientific monograph dedicated to the topic of recycling and reuse in the past, as well as by a series of public lectures and workshops for children and youth that will be taking place during the exhibition.


Exhibition Associates:


Selena Vitezović

Institute of Archaeology, Belgrade, Serbia


Tomislav Bilić, Ivan Drnić, Igor Krajcar, Dora Kušan, Miroslav Nađ, Ivan Radman-Livaja, Ana Solter, Srećko Škrinjarić, Igor Uranić

Archaeological Museum in Zagreb, Croatia


Snježana Karavanić, Ivana Ožanić Roguljić

Institute of Archaeology, Zagreb, Croatia


Ana Franjić, Ian Freestone

Institute of Archaeology, University College London, United Kingdom


Karina Grömer

Naturhistorisches Museum Wien, Austria


Ivan Alduk

Conservation Department in Imotski, Republic of Croatia Ministry of Culture, Croatia


Jasna Vuković

Department of Archaeology, Faculty of Philosophy in Belgrade, Serbia


Jure Šućur

Department of Archaeology, the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences of the University of Zadar, Croatia


Dino Demicheli, Ana Pavlović, Tihomila Težak-Gregl, Martina Rončević, Rajna Šošić Klindžić

Department of Archaeology, the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences of the University of Zagreb, Croatia 


Technical execution of the exhibition: Siniša Blažić, Ana Đukić, Igor Krajcar, Stipan Kujundžić, Nenad Milić, Stjepan Marinković, Vedran Mesarić, Ivan Troha, Srećko Škrinjarić

The realization of the exhibition was financed by: the city of Zagreb, the Archaeological Museum in Zagreb, the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences of the University of Zagreb

The exhibits were provided by: Archaeological Museum in Zagreb, The Institute
of Archaeology, Museum of the city of Vinkovci

Recycled posters were granted by: the Archaeological Museum in Zagreb, the Croatian Natural History Museum, the National Museum of Modern Art

Sponsors: Eko-Flor, Panda-commerce d.o.o, Vetropack Straža

Pedagogical program following the exhibition: Zorica Babić

Marketing activities: Branimir Ivić