tanja ostojic

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4. 6. – 15. 7. 2012

Multi-layered art works and an unrelenting critical social stance are among the premises of the exhibition Tanja Ostojic: Body, Politics, Agency... in Škuc Gallery Ljubljana,whose exhibition programme seeks to present artists who, like her, have influenced the development of art in the region and wider area. Tanja Ostojic (Belgrade / Berlin), who has been active internationally since the second half of the 1990s, has presented her work at numerous group exhibitions in the region (including The Present and Presence, MSUM Ljubljana (2011); Gender Check, MUMOK Vienna (2009)), while the exhibition in Škuc Gallery is her first bigger solo presentation in the region, and is intended to present different levels of her work from 1995 to 2012. Her artworks - in the media of photography, video, video-performance, archive, video-installation and works on paper - were created in specific social and political contexts.

The gaze of so-called engaged art always focuses on the ‘otherness’ of the image of dominant technologies, thereby opening the possibility for the necessary critical reflection of society. The ‘other’ gaze definitely exists in the context of Ostojic’s art. Her complex works and projects constantly confront the spectator with social reality, but also convey the artist’s own position and feelings, which are never indifferent, but always demonstrate a strong personal opinion about a wider social issue. Her political positioning and the direct approach to issues that she wishes to highlight in the context of individual projects are perhaps the most prominent and recognisable characteristics of Ostojics work. Her tireless social engagement with the ‘here and now’ and careful connection between form and content show her artistic works to be always relevant.

This is the theme, albeit in a somewhat different way, of the exhibition Tanja Ostojic: Body, Politics, Agency..., which seeks to highlight key formal and thematic tendencies in Ostojic’s work through different periods by combining pieces, particularly focusing on establishing a thread which through non-physicality seeks to connect the established discourses (post-colonialism, feminism, etc.) generally attached to her work. Perhaps the focus is really on non-physicality, not so much in relation to material as such, but particularly in relation to the need for the artist’s expression to exist only beyond the ‘prosthetic media’ in the body, action, thought, performance, etc. Somewhat less evidently, non-physicality is revealed in the context of the reflection of the area where the artist works – regardless of whether it thematises personal living space, as in earlier work, which explores the subject-object-space relation in an almost sculptural way, or later, more of a ‘performative’ examination of identity spaces, power systems, gender and economic relationships, various ideologies and their mechanisms.

Although the art of Tanja Ostojic always expresses her stance, the exhibition is also an experience of the state of the world and a hidden timeline of stray contemporary social values, which emerge though the relationship between the social and political subject (body) , space (politics), and the possibility of initiating change (agency). What is the role of the subject (body) in relation to the space (personal, political, cultural, economic, etc.) and does the body exist in it as an object or subject? The body of Tanja Ostojic, as a social and political subject, experiences itself in relation to space, while its experience also establishes this space. The body is not a space of discovering physical boundaries and abilities, but a space of social and political action. [...]

Curator: Tevž Logar


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