Although Nenad Malešević often associates his work with drawing, graphics, and photography, he primarily utilizes these media for their potential to unfold processuality and hybrid visual expressions, which are almost always strongly intertwined with theoretical and literary reflections.

The result is works, or more precisely, visually thoughtful accomplishments based on the author’s long-term engagement with various phenomena related, in short, to the zeitgeist when the perception of once unifying and stable narratives is destabilized and fragmented. This is also the core of the research project America, which Malešević undertakes from 2016 to 2023. The project commences with a series of a thousand drawings, featuring the sole motif of the Statue of Liberty – a symbol for millions of immigrants who embarked on a new world and the realization of the American dream. Drawing, as a kind of performative act, becomes a way for the artist to reconsider his own assumptions about the geographical space that stands between myth and reality. As a material trace of an intensive mental process, drawing for Malešević serves as an element through which he intervenes or tests the boundaries in the broad reference and semantic field of concepts he confronts, such as freedom, wealth, possibilities, equality, justice. The motivational and conceptual starting point (the Statue of Liberty) was the direct reason for the author’s journey to America, and that journey represents an integral part of the work, formally shaped with photographic and various other visual contents as segments of the research flow and thinking. This flow has its continuation in the spatial articulation of the exhibition, which is conceived through several sections. The exhibition serves as the ambiance of the artist’s experiences by activating them in the choreographed movement of the observer, through zones of thematic, narrative, and associative lines and connections built between the exhibited works and artifacts, and indirectly also historical, socio-political, cultural, and artistic contexts. Enlarging, segmenting, deconstructing symbols, emblems, commonplaces, and collective representations of the “dreamed continent,” Malešević focuses, actually, on confronting the idea of the Other and the unattainable on a personal and broader level, where America acts as a metaphor, fantasy, desire, state, or an image of hypnotic optical effect.

Nenad Malešević (Sarajevo, 1981) graduated from the Department of Graphics at the Academy of Arts in Banjaluka (2004), obtained a master’s degree from the Group for Theory of Art and Media at the University of Arts in Belgrade (2008), and completed his doctoral studies at the Faculty of Fine Arts in Belgrade (2019). He engages in photography, drawing, graphics, and ready-made. He has published books Lekcije o dizajnu (Lessons on Design; Užice, 2023) and Amerika (America; Banjaluka, 2023). He had solo exhibitions at various galleries, including Donau – Gradac Gallery, Raška (2021); Downstream – Goethe-Institut, Belgrade (2019); Penultimate Exhibition – Reflektor Gallery, Užice (2019); Unexpected – Požega City Gallery (2017); Documents: Introduction to the Study of Cessation – Contemporary Gallery, Subotica (2016), Photon Gallery, Ljubljana and Artget Gallery, Belgrade (2015), and the Museum of Contemporary Art of the Republic of Srpska, Banjaluka (2014); Storyboard – Exhibition and Sales Hall of the Museum of Contemporary Art of the Republic of Srpska, Banjaluka and Duplex Gallery, Sarajevo (2010, with M. Manojlović); The Age of Renewal – Cultural Center “Banski Dvor,” Banjaluka and Gallery of the Cultural Center “Studentski Grad,” Belgrade (2007).

Curator: Miroslav Karić
Maja Stanković, Radoš Antonijević, Miodrag Manojlović