Exhibition curator: Bojana Piškur
Opening of the exhibition and the opening performance:
Wednesday, 26 April 2017 at 8 p.m. at Moderna galerija, Cankarjeva 15
Born in 1956 in Prijepolje, Yugoslavia. 1971–1976 School of Applied Arts, 1976–1980 Academy of Fine Arts in Belgrade, 1980–1982 graduate studies at Kunstakademie Düsseldorf with profesor Klaus Rinke. Lives and works in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Jusuf Hadžifejzović began his career as a painter, but since as far back as the 1970s, his main focus has been on performance (his earliest public performance dates back to 1979 in Pula) and a special type of practice, based on an almost “archeological” investigation of depots: he has been collecting the stored items and depositing them again, rearranged, in the form of installations in the exhibition space. Hadžifejzović’s so-called depotgraphies, as Ugo Vlaisavljević writes, have a strong political sense: they “release deposited things from captivity. To offer an exit from depots is to acknowledge the worth of things previously removed from the public eye. By taking them from the dark shadows of depots and putting them under the bright light of exhibition rooms, he restores their lost dignity, as if they were amnestied prisoners.”
In 1994, Hadžifejzović, who was living in Belgium as a war refugee at the time, was invited to participate at the Cetinje Biennial in Montenegro as an eminent artist. Although his depotgraphy practice primarily targets gallery and museum depots and focuses on the items that they store, at the Cetinje Biennial, he decided to gather and exhibit (re-deposit) his “deposited kith and kin”: instead of focusing on depots of the Montenegro museums and galleries, he invited all the members of his large family to attend the biennial exhibition. The Fear of Drinking Water is a family portrait documenting this first family reunion after a three year separation during the war.
On the basis of this photograph, Hadžifejzović later developed a series of performances with the same title that dealt with the collective trauma of separation and loss and were staged in museums and galleries in Rome, Belgrade, Sarajevo, Pula, Podgorica, Seoul, Antwerp, Dubrovnik, Split, Prijepolje, Zagreb, Maribor, and now Ljubljana.
Among other works presented in Moderna galerija in Ljubljana are photographs from previous performances, such as the Charlama performance for Paul Günther held in 2009 in the Macro Museo d'Arte Contemporanea, Rome; the Čarlama performance from 2006 in the Virtual Museum of Sarajevo Assassination; performance at the Body and the East exhibition in 1998 in Moderna galerija Ljubljana; and the performance From Kitsch to Blood Is Only One Step that took place in Cetinje in 1991. The Belgrade-Ljubljana Depot (After the Party), installation is presented in full.
Acknowledgements: Boris Cvjetanović, Petar Ćuković, Maja Antončič, Valeria Caldara, Nemanja Mičević, Almin Zrno, Sašo Konstantinović, Gregor Slunjski, Gašper Kramar & hairstyling salon HairCity, Academy of Fine Arts AND Design Ljubljana
The exhibition is supported by:
Jusuf Hadžifejzović, »Čarlama« performance (Fear of Drinking Water). Clothes, easels, graphics Fear of Drinking Water (1994). (The performance has been staged in Rome, Belgrade, Sarajevo, Pula, Podgorica, Seul, Antwerp, Dubrovnik, Split, Prijepolje, Zagreb, Maribor).