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Exhibits of Tanja Ostojić at an exhibition space

Tanja Ostojić: "Lexicon of Tanjas Ostojić”, installation view, Museum of Contemporary Art Belgrade’s Salon, 2017

 source: Milan Kralj

Our alumna Tanja Ostojić will exhibit the entire exhibition archive of her project "Lexicon of Tanjas Ostojić” (2011-17), which has been developed for the most part in the framework of her fellowship at the Graduate School (2012-14), and "After Courbet” (2004), each of them for the first time in Germany, in the context of DE-HEIMATIZE IT! at Maxim Gorki Theater.

Under the title DE-HEIMATIZE IT!, the 4th Berliner Herbstsalon will bring together a retrospective of visual artists, with an extensive theatre and performance programme, a conference and a Young Curators Academy in order to discuss constructions of identity, nation and belonging from an intersectional feminist perspective. We take the burning debates about the term »Heimat« nourished by current right-wing and conservative forces as an opportunity to reveal the colonial, fascist and patriarchal potential of the term.

Interdisciplinary participatory research project, 2011- 2017

I had the impression that the new national states, new religious identity, wars, transition, and poverty in the region were a huge step back for what were, in large part, emancipated Yugoslav women, and I was very curious to find out more about this through this research project. I wanted to find out, among other things, whether access to education and employment, and working conditions had changed after the workers’ self-governance and Yugoslav Socialism vanished, and especially with migration, if and how this has influenced the position of women in families and in societies that have been transformed.

With these initial questions Tanja Ostojić embarked on a long term multi-disciplinary artistic exploration along with 30 other Tanjas Ostojić worldwide. These name-sisters are of diverse nationalities, diverse ages, different levels of education, profession, social background, and life experience, but all of them are able to communicate in Serbo-Croatian, and they, or their parents, are from the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. In individual discussions, workshops, group performances and jointly organised exhibitions, Ostojić investigates their connection and transforms the tension between individuality and collectivity into an act of solidarity practiced across national borders. And she adds:

My recent project, ‘Lexicon of Tanjas Ostojić’ develops further strategies of a conscious ethical politics in artistic production, the creation of a community with shared authorship and ownership, and the emancipatory potentials of collective autobiographical methodologies as the basis for art-making.

Photography, 2004
Photographer: David Rych

Ostojić's interpretation of Courbet's The Origin of the World, which shows an abdominal part of  naked woman with her legs spread wide, displays the artist's lower abdomen dressed in blue underwear featuring the European flag’s circle of stars. This artwork was shown on rotating billboards in the EuroPart exhibition in public spaces in Vienna in December 2005. The work was removed after two days as a result of an enormous media scandal at the point when Austria was about to take over the Presidency of the EU. Over one hundred articles and over a thousand readers’ comments witnessed it in a very interesting way. The poster / print on LKW plastic, 3.5 x 4 metres in size, was re-mounted on the façade of Forum Stadt Park in Graz from January until March 2006 and discussions around this censorship were hosted there. With this artwork, Ostojić continued to refer to the exclusion of people from non-EU countries caused by (bio)politics.

When? Where?

Opening: 26 October 2019, 8.30pm
Exhibition: 26 October – 17 November 2019
Maxim Gorki Theatre

Am Festungsgraben 2

10117 Berlin

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