Conceived in collaboration between artists Natalija Vujošević and Ivan Marković, the exhibition “ For the First Time, Similar to Ourselves ” is a series of mutually intertwined works that use moving-image (Ivan Marković), sculpture, site-specific interventions (Natalija Vujošević) and text (artists in collaboration with playwright Tanja Šljivar) to reflect on the relationship between ideals, memories, space and time. Starting from concrete examples of Yugoslav modernism (the headquarters of the Energoprojekt company in New Belgrade) or reminiscences of the aesthetic and stylistic values of their respective interiors, the artists carry out a kind of visual exploration of spaces that hold traces of the socio-political context in which they emerged.
Through procedures of observing, collecting, recording and displaying isolated spatial, time and material fragments that were once part of a coherent social entity, the exhibition establishes specific narrative-reflexive relationships between archival materials, poetic video-audio contents and spacial interventions, enabling an encounter with the space based on the reconstruction of experience. Thus, video observations of the environment of this business complex, strongly marked by the intertwining of architectural elements, plants, geometrized shadows and the occasional silent human presence, further spatially and associatively activate the synergy of exhibited artifacts of a still not distant ideology and the voice of an invisible narrator whose story is dictated by the stream of recollections, mental images, impressions, factography. The atmosphere is built gradually in the movement and series of sensory and emotional states, ushering a rehearsal of rhythm or choreography and exploring potential forms of a new common entity and language. The dramaturgy of the exhibition ultimately articulates the space as a meeting of collective memory and the vision of joint endeavor, as a dimension of dreamlike and surreal combinations of the socially experienced, no longer present and the repressed, as a trigger for recognition.
Natalija Vujošević is an artist and curator based in Montenegro. Her research and art focus on the presentation of archives through exhibitions in searching for renewed ways of communication, engagement and understanding achieved by new interpretations and expanded forms. As an artist, she exhibits internationally and her recent shows include “Rome,” Tobačna Gallery Ljubljana 2019, “Bigger than me. Heroic voices of former Yugoslavia,” curator Zdenka Badovinac, MAXXI museum in Rome, 2021, “Invisible,” curator Jill Kearney, ArtYard Art Center, New Jersey, 2022, etc. As a curator, she has conducted a number of research projects and exhibitions, such as: “Drugarice / AFŽ,” Anti-Fascist Women’s Front in Montenegro 1943–1953 (in collaboration with Nataša Nelević), Archive of the Cetinje Biennale (2021/22, Institute for Contemporary Art with Petrović Foundation), “Future Ecologies / Future in Debris” (with the British Council Collection and LUX, London), “Make me coffee, make me a sandwich,” Gallery 17, Prishtina, “The art of holding hands / as we break through the sediment cloud,” the Montenegrin pavilion at the 59th Biennale in Venice. Since 2022, she has been working as a curator at the Contemporary Art Center of Montenegro, where, together with colleagues Marina Čelebić, Anita Ćulafić and Nada Baković, she is designing and developing the international project The Non-Aligned Art Collection Laboratory.
She founded the NGO Institute of Contemporary Art in Montenegro, which is dedicated to young artists, art education, research and archives.
Ivan Marković is a film author and visual artist. His recent films and videos deal with observing space and the relationship between labour, architecture, and society.
He graduated from the Faculty of Dramatic Arts in Belgrade in 2012 and, in 2019, completed his master’s studies in film at the University of the Arts in Berlin. In 2014, he won the Erste Foundation award for the best visual artist. In recent years, he worked as a director of photography on several feature films, including “Landscapes of Resistance” by Marta Popivoda, “You Have the Night” by Ivan Salatić and “I was at home, but” by Angela Shanelec, which won the 2019 Silver Bear award.
His experimental documentary “Centar” premiered at the DocLisboa festival in 2018. It won the best Serbian documentary film award at the Beldocs 2019 festival and the “Best Balkan Newcomer” award at Dokufest. The film was included in many international festivals and was shown in several group exhibitions. Together with Linfeng Wu, he directed the short film “White Bird” (Berlinale 2016), as well as the feature film “From Tomorrow on, I Will,” which premiered at Berlinale 2019 in the Forum section. The film won the “Grand Prix” of the Jeonju International Film Festival in South Korea and the “First Steps” award from the German Film Academy. Since 2020, he has been a member of the European Film Academy (EFA). He lives and works in Berlin and Belgrade.
Exhibition curator: Miroslav Karić
Photo: Bojana Janjić, MSUB
The realization of Ivan Marković’s video work was supported by Energoprojekt and Radio Montenegro.