Critical Knowledge and the Post-Yugoslavian Condition, 20 January – 21 February 2010
Opening: 19 January 2010, 7 pm
Project curator: Luisa Ziaja
Chto Delat, with Vladan Jeremic and Rena Rädle
Marija Mojca Pungercar
Exhibition design: Toledo i Dertschei
The exhibition project re: ex-post. Critical Knowledge and the Post-Yugoslavian Condition explores artistic strategies of re-reading and re-writing recent history in view of the present post-Yugoslavian condition. Despite its complex and specific nature, the Yugoslavian experience of Socialism and its collapse is frequently incorporated into a dominant pattern of historical interpretation that is said to hold true for “Eastern Europe” in general: the inevitable path from communism (allegedly doomed to failure) via a cathartic process of “transition” into the final form of normality – a leitmotif that could be called “salvation history”, justified by a universal norm of general historical evolution. For (Ex-)Yugoslavia, Boris Buden has shown how this instrumentalization of the year 1989 “factually operates in its hegemonic version as a historical master narrative of sorts: as a well-known story about the ultimate victory of capitalism and liberal democracy”.
But this claim of an all-embracing explanation constantly cracks when juxtaposed to the political realities of these societies. With its independent course of socialism and its bloody dissolution as a multi-ethnic state, Yugoslavia in particular differs from other post-communist countries. Such contradictions are increasingly addressed through critical art practices questioning these politics of history and the politics of amnesia as “side”-effects of the “transition” period and its dynamics of normalization. The exhibition presents three artistic projects that link current political and economical conditions with potentialities of the past in order to look for modes of their actualization. Continue reading