The exhibition Stagecraft was Jasmina Cibic’s solo exhibition spanning across half of the second floor of the macLYON, the first solo presentation of the artist in a French national museum.

As with all of her exhibitions – Cibic conceived Stagecraft as a form of an immersive environment within which she positioned her latest three channel film The Gift (2021). This was set in a continuous dialogue with the scenography, performance and sculpture. The exhibition and its entire arrangement formed a stage destined to decompose and recompose the spectacle of political power.

The visitors entered the space via a long corridor, where the luminous partitioned ceiling was constructed from motifs that immediately plunge them into the atmosphere of a Modernist performance upon which the artist built the centrefold of the installation – merging the games of statecraft and stagecraft.

The corridor lead onto the first room, which reproduced and transposed the environment of the lost Béla Bartók’s pantomime ballet The Miraculous Mandarin—which premiered at the Cologne Opera in 1926—as it was staged at the 1958 World Exposition in Brussels by the representation of former Yugoslavia. The constructed elements and the symbolic stage, along with sculptures and spaces that were activated by performers, made up the display area and provided decor with a sculptural status; thereby symbolising the very principle of Stagecraft.

Cibic simultaneously played with various time frames (created in the 1920s, this ballet has had numerous choreographic versions marked with state censorship), in order to put into perspective a series of paradoxes relating to the relationship between the arts and political power and made use of allegories to stage her analysis of history and political codes.

The exhibition continued in the large room dominated by three big screens, on which the film The Gift was shown. An elongated bench invited viewers to sit and immerse themselves in this 27-minute artistic and rhetorical journey.

Cibic’s film The Gift is the result of extensive documentary research and a shooting schedule that spanned three years, several countries and numerous international collaborations. Cibic conceived this experimental film and the archival research that forms its base, as a global project brought to life in a collaborative and international production of exhibitions, screenings and editions.

For the artist, this is a project realised as a means of resistance in the face of the decay of international inter-European relations and the rise of nationalism.

At macLYON, The Gift was presented in its final form to the public for the first time.

A catalog, illustrated with exhibition’s views and specially commissioned texts accompanies the exhibition.




Stagecraft – une mise en scène du pouvoir

Cibic_The Gift_dancers square

mac Lyon

solo exhibition curated by Matthieu Lelièvre

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