REALIZE! RESIST! REACT!

Performance and Politics in the 1990s in the Post-Yugoslav Context

Museum of Contemporary Art Metelkova (+MSUM), 24 June – 3 October 2021

Curator: Bojana Piškur

Guest curators: Linda Gusia | Jasna Jakšić | Vida Knežević | Nita Luci | Asja Mandić | Biljana Tanurovska-Kjulavkovski | Ivana Vaseva | Rok Vevar | Jasmina Založnik | Exhibition design: Siniša Ilić

Participants: Arkzin | Art Publishing group (Bojan Bahić & Sanda Hnatjuk) | Autonomna tvornica kulture – Attack! (Autonomous Cultural Center – Attack!) | Maja Bajević | Damir Bartol Indoš | Aleksandar Battista Ilić, Ivana Keser, Tomislav Gotovac | Faruk Begolli | Matjaž Berger | Goran Bertok | Iva-Matija Bitanga & Bijesne gliste | Zoran Bogdanović | Marko Brecelj | Mateja Bučar | Centar za izveduvački umetnosti Multimedia (Performing Arts Center Multimedia) | Centar za kulturnu dekontaminaciju (Center for Cultural Decontamination) | Suzana Cerić & Anela Šabić | Predrag Čančar | Ivica Čuljak (Satan Panonski) | Dah Teatar | Danica Dakić | Vlasta Delimar | Iskra Dimitrova | Dodona Teatri (Dodona Theater) | Eclipse | Feral Tribune | Tomislav Gotovac | Igor Grubić | Grupa Elementi (Biljana Petrovska Isijanin, Ljupčo Isijanin) | Marina Gržinić & Aina Šmid | Kemal Hadžić | Jusuf Hadžifejzović | Emil Hrvatin (Janez Janša) | Ištvan Išt Huzjan | Irwin | Sanja Iveković | Sanjin Jukić | Robert Jankuloski | Ante Jurić | Božidar Jurjević | Kanal 103 | KOHA | Zlatko Kopljar | Marko Košnik, Inštitut Egon March (Egon March Institute) | Marko A. Kovačič | Ema Kugler | Laibach | Le Cheval | Led art | Maja Licul | Goran Lišnjić (LEBENSFORMER) | Magnet | Mala Stanica | Saša Marković Mikrob | Goranka Matić | MAXUMIM (Ajna Arnautalić, Eldina Begić, Suzana Cerić, Alma Fazlić, Zlatan Filipović, Anur Hadžiomerspahić, Almir Kurt, Damir Nikšić, Hamdija Pašić, Samir Plasto, Rachel Rossner, Anela Šabić, Nebojša Šerić Shoba, Dejan Vekić) | Ana Miljanić | Mirovni inštitut (The Peace Institute) | Mladina | Peter Mlakar | Montažstroj | Mreža za Metelkovo (The Metelkova Network) | Oliver Musovik | Muzej biciklističkog ustanka (Museum of the Bicycle Uprising) | Nepopravljivi optimisti (The Incorrigible Optimists) | Novi kolektivizem (New Collectivism) | NSK | Edin Numankadić | Organizirane ženske skupine Slovenije (Organized Women’s Groups of Slovenia) | Irena Paskali | Nusret Pašić | Marko Peljhan | Alenka Pirman, Vuk Ćosić, Irena Woelle | Tadej Pogačar | Ivana Popović | Arjan Pregl, Miha Štrukelj, Marko Zatler | Franc Purg | Agim Qena | Radio Študent | Vlado G. Repnik | Sarajevski New Primitivs (Sarajevo New Primitivs) | Schmrtz Teatar | Enes Sivac | Mustafa Skopljak | Maja Smrekar | Soros centar za sovremena umetnost Skopje (Soros Center for Contemporary Arts Skopje) | Aleksandar Stankoski et al. | Mladen Stilinović | Sven Stilinović | Saša Stojanović | Alma Suljević | Bojan Šarčević | Nebojša Šerić Shoba | Škart | Igor Štromajer | Ive Tabar | Radoslav Tadić | Slaven Tolj | Igor Toševski | Srđan Veljović | Vreme | Sonja Vukićević | Petar Waldegg | Žene u crnom (Women in Black) | Dunja Zupančič::Dragan Živadinov | Janja Žvegelj

The Realize! Resist! React! exhibition focuses on political performance in the post-Yugoslav context of the 1990s. That decade was an extremely difficult period for the region, marked by war, nationalism, revisionism, corruption, particracy, transition, and a rapidly developing capitalist economy. The period also left a profound mark on all the decades that followed.

Political performance in post-Yugoslavia in the 1990s was a form of resistance against various “war machines” (related to power, institutions, state, identities, language), often emerging under extreme political circumstances and due to the radical political, social, economic, and cultural changes that affected every aspect of society in the previously common state. At the same time, there was a distancing from the “idea” of Yugoslavia, and the discovery of new spaces and alliances. The newly founded states turned either toward Western models, or relied more on their local traditions, emphasizing ethnic elements, or opted for a combination of internationalization and national symbols, politically embracing multiculturalism.

Realize! Resist! React! includes more than 120 artworks, archival materials, and video documents from Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Serbia, Montenegro, and North Macedonia, and is structured around the following topics: war, nationalism, the body, new spaces, demonstrations, states, territories, new borders, the Other, feminism, and media. The exhibition explores different trajectories of political performance, especially what it brought to, meant, or changed in the broader field of art of the 1990s post-Yugoslavia, as well as the connections between performances and political and ideological structures from which these performances emerged. At the same time the exhibition is an attempt to uncover the emancipatory power of political performance of that difficult decade and a search for links with the present, a time no less trying than the 1990s.

The exhibition is organized in the framework of Our Many Europes, a four-year programme organised by the museum confederation L’Internationale and its partners, and co-funded by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union. L’Internationale comprises seven major European art institutions: Moderna galerija (MG+MSUM, Ljubljana, Slovenia); Museo Reina Sofía (Madrid, Spain); MACBA, Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (Spain); Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst Antwerpen (M HKA, Antwerp, Belgium); Muzeum Sztuki Nowoczesnej w Warszawie (Warsaw, Poland), SALT (Istanbul and Ankara, Turkey) and Van Abbemuseum (VAM, Eindhoven, Netherlands), and its partners are HDK-Valand Academy of Art and Design (HDK-Valand, Gothenburg, Sweden) and the National College of Art and Design (NCAD, Dublin, Ireland).