The Gallery of Non-Aligned continues Cibic’s photographic series The Gift Economy and the artist’s interaction with a highly specific set of archives: Cibic namely revisits collections, which speak of attempts of political gifting of culture, made with intent to bind national or transnational sets of relations.  

The Gallery of Non-Aligned presents a series of photographic portraits of a selection of sculptures from the collection of the Art Gallery of the Non-Aligned Countries held at the Centre for Contemporary Arts in Montenegro, the only official collection of artworks donated by heads of states, cultural workers and artists from the countries of the Non-Aligned Movement.

The Non-Aligned Movement can be regarded as one of a number of critical “anti-systemic world-making projects” (Getachew) after the Second World War, a form of transnational solidarity with a vision of a counter-hegemonic modernizing globalization whose dominant actors, with the exception of socialist Yugoslavia, were situated outside the European space. In its own way, NAM offered alternatives not only to East-West conflicts in the context of the Cold War but also expressed the hopes of a world emerging from colonial domination of the South by the North.

Cibic’s series depicts only the sculptures of female form – the metaphors for the emerging mother-nations: female torsos, busts and heads. Photographed on colourful backgrounds, they stand reminiscent of flags and national iconographies, but also contain references to darkness, decay and corrosion, as they are coated by various species of moths, referencing historic vanitas painting – a reminder of all there is to lose in the act of forgetting past potentials of alternative world building. 

The project is made with support of the Art Collection of Non-Aligned Countries Laboratory project at Centre of Contemporary Art Montenegro. The Laboratory is led and developed by a team of curators and conservators: Marina Šaranović, Anita Ćulafić, Nada Baković and Natalija Vujošević.