EXHIBITION | REALIZE! RESIST! REACT! Performance and Politics in the 1990s in the Post-Yugoslav Context
24 June 2021 — 03 October 2021

Siniša Ilić, The Nineties, drawing, color markers, 2020



Performance and Politics in the 1990s in the Post-Yugoslav Context


Curated by Bojana Piškur with Siniša Ilić, Jasna Jakšić, Vida Knežević, Nita Luci & Linda Gusia, Asja Mandić, Biljana Tanurovska – Kjulavkovski & Ivana Vaseva, Rok Vevar & Jasmina Založnik.


24 June – 3 October 2021, Museum of Contemporary Art Metelkova (+MSUM)


In the post-Yugoslav context of the 1990s, political performance was, in most cases, a direct consequence of the wars in Yugoslavia and the radical political, social, economic, and cultural changes that affected every aspect of society in the previously common state.


Nonetheless, political performance never merely “bore witness” to events; it was also direct political action against the regime (e.g. the Milošević regime in Serbia). This type of artistic engagement is also called “art under extreme political circumstances.” In certain countries, on the other hand, political performance stepped back from the daily political reality (particularly in Slovenia and North Macedonia) and focused on other issues, such as the new cultural policies in the 1990s, the new “cultural identities” and similar. In such cases we tend to speak of “performing the political” rather than political performance.


Our examination of political performance is based on the following questions: What can political performance tell us about the events during the wars in Yugoslavia and about the time that followed, and how can it do that? What were the connections between performances and the political and ideological structures in which they originated? Can these very specific performances be correlated to performance works in other parts of the world? Can we connect the events of the 1990s with the current political situation?