Audio Livestream of the Panel Discussion
After three successful exhibitions by Harun Farocki in 2012, the artists’ collective Slavs and Tartars in 2013 and Nevin Aladag last year, this summer the Art Space Pythagorion presents a solo exhibition of the artist Aleksandra Domanović titled “Hotel Marina Lučica.”
The exhibition will be open from July 20th until October 10th 2015.
The official opening will take place on August 4th 2015 in the presence of the artist.
Personal and public histories often meld in the work of Aleksandra Domanović (b. 1981, Novi Sad). Questioning the idea of an inflexible, concrete historical timeline, the artist herself becomes the impetus and the vehicle for the historical inquiry that guides her practice. Her works in sculpture, video, photography and installation engage with the often unmentioned or unrealized politics which shape contemporary society.
"Hotel Marina Lučica" collects artworks made over the past five years, including a number of new commissions, which examine the lead-up and repercussions of the dissolution of former Yugoslavia – where Domanović was born and grew up. The exhibition takes its title from a former resort located on the Croatian coast. The "Hotel Marina Lučica" is remembered and redeployed by Domanović, who spent a summer there with her family just before the outbreak of civil war. By 1992, less than two years later, the resort had been repurposed as a recruitment center for Croatian soldiers, and later used as refugee housing throughout the Yugoslav Wars. Since the late 1990s the hotel has sat vacant, gathering graffiti.
Just inside gallery's entrance is a digitally rendered portrait of Josip Broz Tito – the former autocratic leader of Yugoslavia. Portraits of Tito were hung in most public buildings – governmental offices, schools and also hotels. In Portrait (Bump Map), 2011, the masculine personification of nation-building, and the watchful guardian of its citizens, has been ‘feminized’. Tito's features have been softened and combined with the artist's memory of her childhood school teacher. A portrait of Tito would have likely hung above the receptionist's desk at the Hotel Marina Lučica.
Here the Hotel Marina Lučica and Art Space Pythagorian – also a former beachside resort – are mapped onto each other, creating an environment that blurs the sites of exhibiting art with sites of hospitality. Hotels and museums share the common promise of affording their visitors new, sometimes profound, experiences. Acting as cultural ambassadors, the two entities increasingly benefit in tandem from globetrotting artists and audiences, who exhibit in and patronize exhibitions the world over. Domanović's exhibition reframes this boon as one marred by economic inequality and sociopolitical strife, using the Hotel as a metaphor for the tentative, selective and often revisionist history of the former Yugoslavia.
"Hotel Marina Lučica" makes reference to the ongoing dilemma of shaping national and personal identities through modes of culture, while investigating how these modes of culture are shared. Along with Domanović's reimagined portrait of Tito, three videos focusing on the diverse dimensions of Yugoslav history are on view; as well as sculptures featuring imagery of the Hotel Marina Lučica; a reconstructed version of the illuminated sign that sat atop the portico of the hotel before it fell into disuse; a sound installation which traverses the former lobby of the institution; an outdoor chess set which makes reference to the monumental public sculpture that once dotted the Yugoslav landscape; moreover, there will be an expanded exhibition guide with a text by the Croatian author Boris Dežulović, as well as detailed information on the hotel and its surroundings.
On August 6th 2015, a panel discussion will be held at Art Space Pythagorion at 8 pm, with the participants Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev (Curator, 14th Istanbul Biennial; Director of Castello di Rivoli Museum of Contemporary Art and GAM Torino), Andrea Lissoni (Senior Curator International Art (Film), Tate Modern, London), Susanne Pfeffer (Director Fridericianum, Kassel), Paul Pieroni (Senior Curator at the Gallery of Modern Art, Glasgow) and Andreas Angelidakis (artist, curator, architect & teacher). Topics such as the restructuring of Europe, immigration issues, migration processes and the meaning and function of the arts will be discussed within this context.
The Munich art historian Dr. Andrea Lukas is responsible for the artistic direction of the Schwarz Foundation as well as the curatorial realization at Art Space Pythagorion on Samos. After her longstanding directorship of the Stiftung der Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich, she now works as a freelance advisor for collections and foundations.
The Art Space Pythagorion is an initiative of the Schwarz Foundation based in Munich.
We thank Tanya Leighton Gallery in Berlin for their support.