Nela Hasanbegović / Daniel Premec Izgubljeni identiteti / Lost Identities Institute for Contemporary Art, Zagreb

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 Trokanalna video instalacija koju vidite na ovoj izložbi je rezultat procesa aktivizma za kojeg su se Nela Hasanbegović i Daniel Premec zauzimali godinama, i individualno i zajedno. U samostalnim izložbama u Bosni i Hercegovini, ali i u inostranstvu, umjetnici su se zauzimali za temeljitu analizu dubokih kriza od koje boluje bosanskohercegovačka kulturna scena, ali i šire društvo.

 Ovo su problemi koji idu mnogo dalje od pukog nedostatka novca, i u konačnici nedostatka prilika. Nezdrava mješavina političke zlonamjernosti, ravnodušnosti i neukosti je ostavila kulturne institucije u našoj zemlji u očajnom položaju. Ali, isključivo žaliti se i utučeno se nadati promjenama negdje na kraju duge, nije dovoljno. Ovaj rad je najnovije stajanje na dugom putu aktivnog istraživanja ovih umjetnika.

 Praksa oboje umjetnika je usmjerena prema javnosti. Nelina dramatična projekcija “Zatvoreno za javnost” je istakla očajan položaj Umjetničke galerije Bosne i Hercegovine krajem 2011. Godine, zatvaranje zbog zastarjele insolventnosti, promijenila izgled poznate zgrade i potakla prolaznike da gledaju nanovo i postavljaju pitanja. Slično tome, Danielov zvučni rad “Vrijeme je za uzbunu” se namjerno igra neugodnim i skorijim sjećanjem na sirene za vazdušnu opasnost, kako bi nam se misli usmjerile na krize u sadašnjosti.

 U 2012. I 2013. Godini, implikacije tih javnih intervencija su se odvijale na različite načine. Niz razgovora sa internacionalnim umjetnicima na koje ovaj film upućuje, odvija se simbolično na pijacama oko Sarajeva. Historijski, pijace funkcioniraju ne samo kao komercijalna mjesta, već i kao ljudski prostori; područja gdje misli, znanja i iskustva također mogu biti razmijenjena. Čak i takve uobičajene reakcije imaju zvučnost u kontekstu Bosne i Hercegovine. Jedna prodavačica govori o problemima s kojima se suočava svakodnevno, o poteškoćama zajedničkog života; druga dijagnosticira probleme i jasno ih upućuje političarima na bosanskom jeziku, osjećajima razblaženim i uglađenim za goste koji govore engleskim jezikom od strane obazrivog prevoditelja, možda svjesnog posljedica prodavačeve iskrene analize. Ovo je suptilno prolaženje kroz instalaciju. Često, u vremenima krize, umjetnici se znaju povući u sebe, daleko od publike. Tada se predlaže da kroz angažiranje javnosti i povlačenje paralela između krize u kulturi i drugim sektorima, ljudi počnu tražiti bilo kakva rješenja koja pogađaju svakog, na različite načine.

Kroz nedavne izložbe – Daniel Premec kroz “Spiked” u Collegiumu Artisticumu 2012. Godine i Nela Hasanbegović kroz “Govor bjeline” u Umjetničkoj galeriji 2013. Godine, umjetnici su nastavili forenzičku istragu stanja bosanskohercegovačkog društva, sa različitih tačaka gledišta. Izložba “Spiked” koristi skulpturu kao alat kojim ispituje teškoće života umjetnika i ekonomske i socijalne poluge kojim se cenzurira individua; u zadivljujuće širokom rasponu prikazivanja skulptura, videa i inastalacija, “Govor bjeline” se bavi pitanjima memorije, polne nejednakosti i zloćudnog iskorištavanja moći. U ovom smislu, “Igubljeni identiteti” kao video instalacija funkcionira kao rezime nedavnih postignuća, kao potpun pregled sadašnjeg stanja vizualne umjetnosti i kulture u Bosni i Hercegovini, i možda kao čežnjiva preporuka za promjenom na kojoj svi aktivni ljudi u Sarajevu mogu raditi. Ovo nije samo naricanje za “izgubljenim” identitetima, već za identitetima koji trebaju biti vraćeni i potvrđeni od onih koji budu željeli sudjelovati, u godinama pred nama.

Jon Blackwood

Prijevod: Elma Hodžić

Nela Hasanbegović / Daniel Premec Lost Identities

The three channel video installation that you see in this exhibition, is the outcome of a process of engaged activism, that Nela Hasanbegović and Daniel Premec have been engaged in for many years, both individually and jointly. In solo exhibitions both in BiH and abroad, both artists have engaged in a profound analysis of the deep crisis afflicting both the BiH cultural scene, and wider society.

These are problems which run much deeper than a lack of money, and consequent lack of opportunity. A noxious mixture of political malevolence, indifference and ignorance has left the cultural institutions of our country in a desperate position. But, simply to complain and hope forlornly for change somewhere at the end of the rainbow, is not enough. This work is the latest halt on a long journey of active investigation by these artists.

The practice of both artists is relentlessly public facing. Nela’s dramatic projection “Closed to Public” highlighted the desperate plight of the National Gallery of BiH in late 2011, shut down owing to chronic insolvency, changed the appearance of a very familiar building and encouraged passers by to look again, and to ask questions. Similarly, Daniel’s sound piece “It’s Time for Alarm” deliberately played on the uncomfortable and recent memories of air raid sirens, in order to focus minds on the crises of the present.

In 2012 / 13, the implications of these very public interventions were worked through in different ways. The series of conversations with international artists referenced in this film took place symbolically in markets around Sarajevo. Historically, markets function not only as commercial spaces, but also as very human spaces; areas where ideas, knowledge and experience can be exchanged. Even such seemingly commonplace interactions have their own particular resonance in the context of BiH, however. One particular vendor talks of the problems she faces on a daily basis, and the difficulties of somehow scraping a living together; another diagnoses the problems and lays them firmly at the door of politicians in the Bosnian language, sentiments that are tellingly diluted and polished for the English speaking guests, by a cautious translator, perhaps mindful of the consequences of the trader’s outspoken analysis.

This is a subtle passage in the installation. Too often, in times of crisis, artists can withdraw into themselves, away from their public. It is suggested here that only by engaging with the public and drawing parallels between the crisis in the cultural sector and other sectors in the economy, can people begin to work towards any kind of solution to the problems affecting everyone, in different ways.

In recent exhibitions- Daniel Premec’s “Spiked” at Collegium Artisticum in 2012, and Nela Hasanbegović’s “Speech of Whiteness” at the National Gallery in 2013, the artists have continued this forensic investigation into the state of BiH society, from differing points of view. “Spiked” used sculpture as a tool to examine the difficulties of living as an artist and the economic and social levers of censorship that can be brought to bear on the individual; in an astonishingly wide ranging show of sculpture, video and installation, “Speech of Whiteness” dealt with themes of memory, gender inequality and the malign operation of power. In this sense, then, “Lost Identities”, as an installation, functions as a summary of recent developments, as a stark examination of the current state of play in visual art and wider culture in BiH, and, perhaps, the suggestion of a longed for change that all active in Sarajevo may work towards. This is not just a lament for identities “lost”, but identities to be reclaimed and re asserted by all who wish to take part, in the years to come.

 Jon Blackwood

The exhibition opens on Wednesday 18 September, and runs until 5 October at the Institute for Contemporary Art, Augusta Šemoe 11, Admission free.

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