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Museum of Contemporary Art

Ušće 10, blok 15, Belgrade
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14 Pariska St., Belgrade
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Gallery-Legacy of Milica Zorić & Rodoljub Čolaković

2 Rodoljuba Čolakovića St, Belgrade
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Admission is free of charge

Šejla Kamerić: 1395 Days Without Red

Programme | 25.05.2012
Šejla Kamerić: 1395 Days Without Red

Gallery-Legacy of Milica Zorić & Rodoljub Čolaković, 2 Rodoljub Čolaković St.
May 25 - Jun 24, 2012. 

Curator: Branislav Dimitrijević

1395 Days Without Red is the first solo exhibition by one of the most renowned among the Bosnian-Herzegovinian artists, active and appraised on the international scene since the beginning of the last decade. Šejla Kamerić was born in Sarajevo in 1976 and belongs to the generation that had its crucial formative years marked by the wartime tragedy and the 1395-days-long siege of its hometown. Such harsh circumstances in which her generation found itself trapped together with their co-citizens of Sarajevo would come to constitute ever-present and indivisible core of hers artistic output, and would prove to be an inspiring driving force for a reflection on the ways this experience and its memory can be poetically and politically transformed. Moreover, transformed in an age of generalized cynicism oblivious of the concept of individual compassion, the very age when the generation of those born in 1970’s was growing up and forming itself.

The exhibition present two films showed previously in cinema at the Cultural Centre “Dom Omladine“ on Wednesday, May 23, at 19:30. 1395 Days Without Red (2011) is a feature length film (runtime: 60 min) with the Spanish actress Maribel Verdú playing an artist’s “alter ego”: a woman riddled with anxiety and tension moving through a deserted and silent city wherein a drama inaudible and invisible to the spectator takes place. The film’s title is a referance not only to the number of days of the siege but also to one of the “surviving techniques” that have made their imprint on the life in such conditions – the advice issued to the citizens of Sarajevo not to wear conspicuous or bright-coloured clothing so as not to catch the attention of the snipers. Other film is entitled The Happiness (2009) and is based on details drawn from the book Heavenly fiancées by the novelist Mirko Kovač, with the famous Yugoslav actress Milena Dravić playing a part. A kind of a “motto” for this film is a quote from a letter by Leon Tolstoy where he conceives happiness as a “sensation one has when that which was once deemed opressive becomes a meaning of life”. The city depicted in this film is Berlin, though in fact it is every city, and not just as a site but as a form of experience made up of personal and collective memories.

Beside these two films, the exhibition includes spatial/sculptural works refering by their evocative tactility and visuality, their colours and textures, to the ways of inscribing memories, traumas and loneliness into objects, materials, fabrics, souvenirs...

Although always adressing the foundamental human feelings (fear, shame, loss, happiness and so forth), and although based on the experience of personal tragedy, the work of Šejla Kamerić does not make recourse to pathetics which too often dominated the accounts of the Bosnian drama. Rather, her approach could be seen as an attempt at critical overcoming of the ravaged human relationships at a time when, seeking to avoid pathetic claims at any cost, we end up being indifferent, selfish, as well as politically and emotionally cynical.

The exhibition is realised in co-operation with the Festival “Days of Sarajevo“ as a part of the project of the Museum of Contemporary Art (in Belgrade) which marks 20 years since the beginning of the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The film 1395 Days Without Red is produced in collaboration with Anri Sala and Ari Benjamin Meyers.

1395 Days Without Red was commissioned by Artangel jointly with Manchester International Festival, Whitworth Art Gallery (Manchester), Fundació Museu D'Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA) and Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen (Rotterdam), and was made possible by the support of Han Nefkens, H+F patronage, Festival d'Automne (Paris), Arts Council England, European Cultural Foundation, Foundation for Cinematography (Sarajevo), Marian Goodman Gallery (New York), Hauser & Wirth London & Zürich).

This film was co-produced by Artangel London and SCCA/pro.ba.Sarajevo.

Šejla Kamerić: 1395 Days Without Red
Šejla Kamerić: 1395 Days Without Red
Šejla Kamerić: 1395 Days Without Red
Šejla Kamerić: 1395 Days Without Red
Šejla Kamerić: 1395 Days Without Red
Šejla Kamerić: 1395 Days Without Red
Šejla Kamerić: 1395 Days Without Red
Šejla Kamerić: 1395 Days Without Red
Šejla Kamerić: 1395 Days Without Red
Šejla Kamerić: 1395 Days Without Red
Šejla Kamerić: 1395 Days Without Red