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… Was ist Kunst? … Resuming Fragmented Histories

… Was ist Kunst? … Resuming Fragmented Histories

… Was ist Kunst? …


Resuming Fragmented Histories

21. 09. – 21. 11. 2013

Coproduction steirischer herbst & Künstlerhaus, Halle für Kunst & Medien

When Raša Todosijevic repeatedly asked a silent woman the question “Was ist Kunst?” (what is art) in a series of performances at the end of the seventies, this could not only be interpreted as a particularly forceful reprise of an eternal discourse, but also as criticism of conditions in communist Yugoslavia at that time. Künstlerhaus is now taking this question as the starting-point for a situation analysis, demonstrating exemplary positions in the partly historical Yugoslavian avant-garde, from OHO to Irwin and reviewing how the menawhile radically changed territorial and cultural relations have impacted on the production of art, also in recent times. How do these changed geopolitical co-ordinates affect how gender and political difference is produced locally by art, activism and visual culture? What exactly is the social role of art? “… Was ist Kunst? …” with question marks, then as now.

21.9.2013, 13h
Curated by Sandro Drosch & Christian Egger

Künstlerhaus Halle für Kunst & Medien
Burgring 2, Graz, Austria
Di–So 11–18h, Do 11–20h


Tanja Ostojić:
“The Case of Comrade Jovanka Broz”, 2009
Research project, C-print 70 X 50 cm

This work as well includes a text containing unanswered questions for Jovanka Broz former first lady of Yugoslavia (versions in different languages including Serbian, Romanian, English, German)

About the work:
Jovanka Broz (born 1924 ) is the widow of Yugoslav life-long President Josip Broz Tito. They were married from 1952 until his death in 1980. She now lives in Belgrade, Serbia. She held the rank of Major in the Yugoslav People’s Army. As an immediate witness and insider of the entire turbulent epoch in the history of the Balkans, she is still the subject of immense regional media interest. For her part, Jovanka maintains an extremely low-key existence and very rarely gives interviews. Most think her secluded lifestyle comes as a consequence of the enormous trouble she went through following her husband’s death, when all of her property was nationalized and she was placed under house arrest. She was reported to be living in relative poverty as of 2006, after a government inquiry found that her house in Dedinje, Belgrade, had received no maintenance since her arrest…

During the research for the Case of Comrade Jovanka Broz, together with my assistant Vida Knežević;, we consulted all the available relevant archives in Belgrade that were accessible and could hardly find a single document where her name was listed… I tried to approach the former first lady of Yugoslavia with the request for a visit and conversation, but I have not received any response until now. I have meanwhile asked a number of my colleagues – mainly renowned cultural workers from the territories of former Yugoslavia, as well as some close family friends – if they would have the chance to ask Jovaka Broz one question, what that question would be. A selection of their responses, along with my own questions, follow as “Questions for Jovanka Broz”


Tanja Ostojić, 1972 in Jugolsawien geboren, ist eine interdisziplinäre Performance-Künstlerin und Kulturaktivistin, die seit 2003 in Berlin lebt. Sie studierte an der Universität der Künste Belgrad (M.A. 1998) und an der École Regionale des Beaux-Arts Nantes (1999). Seit 2012 ist sie Stipendiatin der Graduiertenschule für die Künste und die Wissenschaften der UdK Berlin. Seit 1994 zeigt sie ihre Abreiten in zahlreichen Ausstellungen und Festivals weltweit, unter anderem bei der Manifesta 2, Musée d`Histoire de la Ville de Luxembourg (1998), bei der Biennale von Venedig (2001 und 2011), Brooklyn Museum New York (2007). Sie hielt Vorträge und gab Workshops bei Konferenzen und an Kunsthochschulen in Europa und Lateinamerika. Ihre letzte Einzelausstellung hatte sie in der Skuc Gallerie Ljubljana (2012).

Ostojić untersucht soziale Strukturen und Machtverhältnisse und setzt sich selbst als Figur in Performances ein. Sie nutzt vielfältige Medien für ihre künstlerische Forschung. Hauptsächtlich arbeitet sie aus der Migratinnenperspektive. Politische Positionierung, Humor und Einbeziehung der Betrachter bestimmen die Herangehensweise in ihrem künstlerischen Schaffen. Das Werk von Tanja Ostojić ist Gegenstand zahlreicher theoretischer Analysen und internationaler Veröffentlichungen. Sie brachte einige Bücher heraus, u.a: Integration impossible?: The Politics of Migration in the Artwork of Tanja Ostojić, argobooks, Berlin, 2009.