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May 11th 2019 - November 24th 2019



Zenica Trilogy by Danica Dakić.

Location: Palazzo Bernardo, San Polo 2186, 30125 Venice. Google maps link.

Opening hours: 10:00 - 18:00, closed Monday.

Curators: Anja Bogojević, Amila Puzić + Claudia Zini.

Danica Dakić presents the exhibition Zenice Trilogy to represent the national pavilion of  Bosnia + Herzegovina at the 58. Venice Biennale, commissioned by Senka Ibrišimbegović, Ars Aevi Museum for Contemporary Art Sarajevo. The exhibition consists of a film installation realised with protagonists from the cities of Zenica and Sarajevo.

Zenica Trilogy presents works from Danica Dakić, the artist chosen to represent the national pavilion of Bosnia and Herzegovina at the 58. Venice Biennale. The project is the result of collaboration with photographer Egbert Trogemann, producer Amra Bakšić Čamo and composer Bojan Vultetić. The exhibition includes three video pieces entitled Čistač / The Cleaner, Zgrada / The Building, and Scena / The Stage, as well as Zenica Mapa / The Portfolio - a print portfolio reflecting on the contemporary post-transition reality in the Bosnian-Herzegovinian city of Zenica. Once one of the largest and most important industrial and modernist projects in the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, the urbanisation and demographic developments of the so-called city of "mud and steel" were driven by the steelworks "Željezara". The period after the Bosnian War (1992-1995) left Zenica facing high rates of unemployment, extreme air pollution, as well as a general feeling of resignation among the population.

The members of the curatorial team state: "In her approach to the Bosnia and Herzegovina project Danica Dakić investigates the heritage of modernity, from Bauhaus to the utopian paradigms of international and Yugoslav socialist modernism. It exemplifies her search to reactivate utopian potentials by establishing a poetic relationship to the Bosnian post-war reality. Taking cue from Walter Gropius' Total Theatre (1926-1927) and extending it to a space for social activation, the dividing lines between stage and audience, the real and the imagined city, are dissolved. In dialogue with the grand architecture of the listed Palazzo Francesco Molon Ca' Bernardo exhibition venue, Zenica Trilogy will generate complex new meanings."

In her artistic practice, the Sarajevo-born artist Danica Dakić reflects on the poetics of human existence while collaborating with protagonists who often come from the invisible sections of societies. Using the media of photography, video and installation, her works is based on performative and collaborative processes that explore concepts of cultural memory, language and identity as well as their ongoing changes and utopian potentials. Taking architecture, a historical place, or images from (art) history as a starting point, together with the participants she creates stages on which individual images and narratives emerge that are far removed from political, social, and economic prerogatives.

Talking about the new work, Dakić states: "Zenica Trilogy addresses social and individual responsibility in the context of contemporary Bosnia and Herzegovina. In my mother tongue the word "Zenica" evokes the image of the pupil of the eye - a metaphor for something precious as well as a focal point. Together with the protagonists, I set out to investigate the possibilities and impossibilities of a transition between utopia and dystopia, between the past and the future."


Special thanks to support from the Ministry of Culture and Sports of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ars Aevi Museum of Contemporary Art Sarajevo, the Ministry of Civil Affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo Center for Contemporary Arts /, Klassik Stiftung Weimar and the Foundation for Cinematography Sarajevo.

Installation images - photographer Egbert Trogemann © VG Bild-Kunst Bonn. Courtesy of the artist.

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