May 9, 2007 - Serbian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale - Serbia at the 52nd Venice Biennial, featuring Mrdjan Bajic
May 9, 2007

Serbia at the 52nd Venice Biennial, featuring Mrdjan Bajic

Angel (stainless steel, polyester, iron, wood; 390 x 340 x 270 cm)

Serbia at the 52nd Venice Biennial

At the 52nd Venice Biennial, Serbia will be represented by PROJECT RESET proposed by sculptor Mrdjan Bajic (1957) and commissioned by painter Vladimir Velickovic. The PROJECT RESET, Serbias first independent showing at the Biennial, will be housed in Pavilion Yugoslavia in the Giardini. It will consist of three parts YUGOMUSEUM, BACKUP and RESET.

Mrdjan Bajic has now been selected to exhibit at the national pavilion for the second time. And this little house in Venice has in fact gone through a process very similar to the artists, a search for identity, positioning itself in contradictory historical circumstances that changed many times over, changing its name four times, its citizenship the same number of times, and all of it of course (and fortunately) not moving from the Venetian garden. The pavilion that carried the name of communist Yugoslavia, then the smaller, wartime Yugoslavia, and then yet smaller, nervous union of Serbia and Montenegro, now becomes a national pavilion of a small state called Serbia. The name that for years was a symbol of war and devastation in the simplified views of public opinion, now resumes its right to be something other than that.
–Biljana Srbljanovic

Within such a symbolic framework, Mrdjan Bajic formed his discursive and semantic nomadism as an authentic artistic idiom, to combat the cacophony of the world.
–Lidija Merenik

The artist develops his complex, emotionally charged, and evocative constellations boldly and compellingly by using mental, socio-cultural, collective, and communal references. He is the artistic engineer of Deconstructivism, and his attitude is analytical, rationalistic, self-effacing, emotional, objectivistic, collectivistic, humble, and utopia in a resigned way. All of these qualities enable him to display his aesthetic and ethical commitment with a distinctly Central and Eastern European flavor. The poetic authenticity of his work radiates alluring warmth that shines through the complex intellectual constellations of his referential system. Ultimately, this energy is his very own personal contribution to our fragile community.
–Lóránd Hegyi

The sculpture Angel addresses spirituality as yet another taboo subject of visual expression that threatens to become sentimental. Bajic is well aware of all meaning-related contamination of angels in this national context: from the mass bastardization of the Byzantine representation of The White Angel, to the cynical title of the 1999 NATO campaign against Yugoslavia known as Merciful Angel, to all sorts of combinations of self-pitying national black angels and homeward-looking angels. The instability of meanings of spirituality is as important for Bajic as is the language of the forms.
–Jovana Stokic

With his work Bajic proposes to provide an answer to the challenge of creating art while interpretatively dealing with political, structural, cultural, and esthetic criteria. His YUGOMUSEUM links great, problematic historical narratives with idiosyncratic needs of the individual. BACKUP reminds us that the studio is still a frame and a subject matter. RESET indicates a gap between the abstract concept of the nation and a world irrevocably transformed by everyday experiences of real men and women. His sculptures form an imprint of complex mindsets coming to terms with universal contradictions, while attempting to comprehend the complexities, and the turbulence of his native countrys current situation.
–Maja Ciric

Mrdjan Bajic: 1990/1996 resides in Paris. Since 1997 works as Associate Professor, Faculty of Fine Arts, Belgrade. 1998/2002 works on the project Yugomuseum. Selected international exhibitions include: 25. Sao Paolo Biennial, 2002; APERTO, Venice Biennial, 1990; 8th Sydney Biennial, 1990; Metaphysical Visions-Middle Europe, Artists Space, New York, 1989.
The team: Commissioner Vladimir Velickovic Artist Mrdjan Bajic General project manager Dusan Ercegovac Curator Maja Ciric Technical coordinator Maja Gavric Organisation Milijan Dimitrijevic Technical assistant Dragan Dordjevic Technical support Dragisa Popovic Yugomuseum:movie Dorde Markovic, Nenad Radojicic

RESET will be accompanied by an exhibition catalogue featuring newly commissioned essays by Vladimir Velickovic, Biljana Srbljanovic, Lóránd Hegyi, Lidija Merenik, Jovana Stokic, Maja Ciric.

Official opening: 8th of June at 5 P. M.

For further information on the presence of Serbia at the Venice Biennial, please visit:

www.yugomuzej.com

www.mrdjanbajic.com

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