Montenegro Pavilion, 59th International Art Exhibition. La Biennale di Venezia
The Art Of Holding Hands / as we break through the sedimentary cloud curated by Natalija Vujošević
Palazzo Malipiero, Venezia
April 23 – November 27, 2022
At the 59th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, Montenegro will be represented by the exhibition The Art of Holding Hands / as we break through the sedimentary cloud, at the Palazzo Malipiero, San Marco, Ramo Malipiero Venezia. The sponsor of the Montenegrin participation at the 59th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia is the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sports of Montenegro, and it is produced by the Contemporary Art Center of Montenegro, with Jelena Božović as commissioner and Natalija Vujošević as curator of the exhibition. The exhibition presents works by artists Dante Buu, Lidija Delić, Ivan Šuković, Darko Vučković, and Jelena Tomašević, as well as works from the collection of art of the Non-Aligned Movement, by Zuzana Chalupová, René Portocarrero, an unknown author from Iraq, and a documentary on the work of the artist Bernard Matemera.
The exhibition The Art of Holding Hands / as we break through the sedimentary cloud, resembles a sci-fi tale of possible futures, weaving it through the multitemporal and intergenerational views of artists coming from various social and historical contexts, settling in present-day Montenegro. This story originates in the margins of the “world”, which today we call global capitalism, from the space of acute dystopia of the disintegrated “body” (of society, nation, nature) which changes under constant turbulence, influences, and shock; it loses its solid membrane and like a scattered cloud of ideologies, histories, landscapes, fears, and dreams, it floats in time and space.
This sedimentary cloud is detached from the tissues of a collective body that is constantly disintegrating; it can be seen as hopeless chaos and darkness, a constant source of anxiety and pessimism. Let us use this as an opportunity to get rid of algorithms and competition, weave new connections between actors and elements, exercise the possibility of a new language, and imagine a new beginning.
Embodying their visions through various media, from painting and installation to adopting ritual approaches to handicrafts in their practices, all the way to poetry and archives, the artists show us imagination, the healing potential of art that is conceived in, and despite, the post-social desert. These artists absorb experiences, images of the world, and the environment, in which they create and build alternative realities and personal cosmologies, but also acknowledge the possible outcomes of the anxiety produced by the gray present.
The starting point of Dante Buu’s artistic work is the telling of an untold story about the love and resistance of the unwanted and unloved through intimacy and an autobiography intertwined with the lives of others. He presents a series of abstract embroideries that arise in a long process, in isolation, in which the author inscribes various emotional states, creating imaginary worlds that have no form, no beginning nor the end; these are the unmade beds of fictional lives that the author lives while his real-life is forbidden and challenged.
Not all of paradise is lost in an artistic dialogue between Lidija Delić’s paintings, and Ivan Šuković‘s sculptural installation. It takes its name from the poetry of Andre Breton, guided by the surrealist principle of the juxtaposition of plays and the power of artistic imagination. Separate territories (anthropogenic, administrative, natural) are presented as places – both private and collective – of utopia, colonization and exploitation, exoticism, and great exceptions.
Darko Vučković‘s artistic practice represents intensive and unmediated communication with nature and the earth. In the long and experimental process of working with clay, often using ancient techniques of making and performing the process in nature, sculptures of almost organic forms are created, which seem to come from the flora and fauna of an alternative universe.
Jelena Tomašević‘s series of installations, Guilty Knowledge, is a title that comes from legal terminology that describes a situation in which the subject is aware of the existence of an illegal act but consciously ignores it. Emphasizing humankind’s connection to technology, the intention of these installations is to encourage the observer to think about our transience in relation to the environment we produce, as well as the one in which we all live. The works create the atmosphere of the post-human world not as a vision of the end, but as a possible suggestion of a new beginning.