Ivana Ivković – HEAVEN #14, print on canvas, 330 x 600 cm, photo: Ivan Zupanc
The work seduces with its commodification of pleasure and its instant iconography (palm, desert, sky), so omnipresent in overall consumer culture. This promise of heaven disrobed of the clandestine is linked to all-inclusive destinations, fast solutions, momentary pleasures and false promises of love charged with the desire to be true. Ivana Ivković’s generic presentation of the apotheosis of seduction places constructed spaces of enticement on the same plane: the museum and Africa as Other/Otherness. We may walk through her portal of desire, hopes and expectations unobstructed, if we move the screen.
Saša Tkačenko – I don't fear nothing unless it's broke, hand-engraved glass, 4 x 70 cm, photo: Ivan Zupanc.
Saša Tkačenko’s work stems from the vocabulary of vacuum and positions itself precisely upon memory built on forgetting. Scratched/incised words at the intersection of language and sight are deliberately inconspicuous. The artist inscribes his work on the architecture of the MAA (glass in the hallway) evoking witness marks – witnesses to the passing of time, possible reparations and that we may read a museum also as a lavish inventory of all kinds of cracks. With reductive artistic act, position and inscription, Tkačenko consistently works on his artistic practice and re-opens themes of temporality and atemporality, visibility and abandon of the representative, symbolic and ideological meanings of the museum.
Saša Tkačenko – Extreme Poverty (flag), print on textile (200 x 125 cm) and part of the Zdravko pečar hunting collection for the exhibition Hunting Culture – The Donswo in Bamana tradition curated by Milica Josimov. photo: Ivan Zupanc
Tkačenko deals with the outside-inside and accessible-inaccessible relations also in the second segment of his intervention, which is set in an architecturally equally sensitive place – the interior of the MAA dome. There he displays an invisible and inaccessible flag, formed by the rotation of a chart showing the statistics of the world population living in extreme poverty, thus pointing to the indifference of modern man. On the other hand, by exhibiting in the space created after years of neglecting the fragility and vulnerability of the MAA building, on a semantic level, this intervention joins the ephemeral writing on the glass, testifying to the “nature” of concern and fear for cultural institutions in our country.
Ivana Ivković – HEAVEN #14: Unprotected Collector, exhibition opening performance, performer: Željko Maksimović, photo: Ivan Zupanc
Playing with the museum space as being both domestic and theatrical, the artist further underscores through the performance of HEAVEN #14: Unprotected Collector, which took place at the opening of the exhibition and involved a performer, ignorantly strolling through the MAA as if it was his own home, alluding to the historic walk of Europeans across the African continent.
Milica Josimov – Take a Shot, unbaked clay impala, archival prhotograph of Zdravko Pečar, pictogram, magnifying glass, 130 x 232 cm, photo: Vlada Popović
Take a Shot – Milica Josimov’s installation, by offering a critique of the triumph of hunting, takes into consideration selfie poetics then and now, as well as the ever-growing museum practice of attempting to commercialise, along the lines of Take a shot and conquer. Milica creates a complex crime scene – a thread across the floor completes the gypsum sculpture of a wounded impala which, despite its noble posture is deteriorating, cracking and falling apart. The wound on its neck is suggested by a red stain and thread, which, like Ariadne’s thread, this time, does not pull us out, but draws us into the maze of meaning, leading us to a mount with magnifying glass and black and white photo of Zdravko Pečar.
Milica Rakić – Non-aligned, museum equipment/furniture, crates for transport and archive material, video (camera: Veda Zagorac, editing: Irena Parović, sound: Ludmila Frajt, translation: Šejma Fere, length: 7’17’’), varying dimensions, photo: Vlada Popović
The film by Milica Rakić titled Non-Aligned is presented in a rather dark area of the MAA permanent display where, and due to the artist’s involvement, the museum space loses its institutional light. In the film which is heavily musically layered, more do than than following a narrative, the artist amalgamates the private and public biographies of Zdravko Pečar and Veda Zagorac, cultivating the observation about the MAA vernacular in which by unpacking the Pečar archive one comes across a detailed cross-section of the lives of two people. In using fragments from the lover’s discoursebetween Dragan Nikolić and Milena Dravić about their love, by writing over archival materials, Rakić indicates the phenomena of remembering and forgetting within the binary male-female pair.
Siniša Ilić – On Tools and Weapons, museum equipment/furniture, objects from the MAA collection, Oskar Davičko – Black on White, bound issues of the magazine Proletarian and video (camera, editing, sound: Jelena Maksimović, peroformer: Dušan Barbarić, length: 4’41’’), varying dimensions, photo: Ivan Zupanc
By way of creating a fluid, site-specific installation that includes the video On Tools and Weapons, Siniša Ilić marks the permanent display of the MAA as a time capsule through the interpolation of used museum plinths. As part of the permanent display, Ilić’s installation is an unexpected excursus from museum discourse stasis and its certainty of temples, which de-fetishises its aura and belief in its longevity. Torn away, alienated from their function, the old plinths in Ilić's abstract sculpture, although non-objective, are eloquent and brimming with the passage of time. By displaying within a display, the artist conjoins and emphasises the temporality of MAA’s emblems by adding transient to the transient, i.e. by accentuating the limited life span of the historical museum discourse.
Ana Vujović – Unknown African, cardboard anad emergency blanket, 87x54 cm, cult figure, Bambara and neon, 96 x 25 cm, two Dogon masks, sensor, arduino, speakers, varying dimensions, photo: Ivan Zupanc
In Unknown African, Ana Vujović questions the frequent confirmations of a work’s authenticity by excluding its maker, by positioning three intruders. These are the most direct interventions on museum objects that simultaneously suggest not only the absence of the maker’s identity, but also other unavoidable concepts of absence characteristic to museums of this kind. Intruder No. 1 is a conspicuous sensor that activates different sounds reminiscent of searching for a local African radio station. The sound forbids visitors to approach the sculptures outside the vitrines, to touch them and take their jewellery, shells, stones (which sometimes happens). Intruder No. 2 is covered in a gold protective foil/emergency blanket and additionally tucked between two figures. By accentuating the safe position of the museum object is also easily read from the Third segment – a sculpture coiled in blue neon light. Thus, the triple attack on The Unknown African by means of protection, simulates processes of institutional care for objects, however also its antipode, simultaneously evoking the museum’s signalization of prohibitions (do not come near, do not touch, crowd control stanchions, etc.).
Ana Adamović – FT000, two-channel video, length: 3’43’’, 120 x 136 cm, photo: Ivan Zupanc
Similar to the notions she is developing in her ongoing work Theme Park, Ana Adamović recognises here in the tourist experience of the MAA founders the phantasms of the white traveller and the multilayered conquering of Otherness within an African landscape, placing emphasis, according to the artist, on the deep-rooted nature of such tourist collecting of Africa. In dialogue with the museum archive, the work repeats the documentation register number, its zero becoming a segment that is missing – in the documentation records literally, on the permanent display, metaphorically. By taking note of Zdravko and Veda Pečar’s use of the film camera, Adamović presents the afore described image of Africa within the custom-made emblematic plinths of the MAA permanent display. Placed between the rows, between collected objects, the moving image observed in two planes and through tight 8 mm slits (in the plinths) is simultaneously caught and musealised. By moving the picture from an archival, private framework to a museum one, Adamović onsets a polemic with the MAA permanent display, provoking thought on collecting as hunting for objects.
Irena Kelečević – Passage, floor graphic, 700 x 100 cm, photo: Vlada Popović
The floor graphic, titled Passage melds the form and function of the Senufo people's filafani cloth. On a formal level, Kelečević distorts discipline in the expression present in the visual solution of the aforementioned cloths and masses of animal and human figures onto a “musealized” green-blue background. On a functional level, Kelečević indicates the multifaceted transfer of a museum object’s function, from “authentic” cloth for initiation, burial ceremony and as hunting amulet-/protective-clothing, to tourist object, a hybrid from the town of Korhogo also used to decorate the walls of hotels. By condensing the history of this object’s legacy into a single work-intervention, Kelečević creates a contemporary object of usage, typical nowadays in shopping malls and cinema complexes, thus opening the door to thinking about the “authenticity” of the so-called African object and its museum aura.