BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art are pleased to announce the first UK presentation of Jasmina Cibic’s latest NADA film trilogy (9 February – 28 May 2018). For This Machine Builds Nations, Cibic has developed a site-specific installation, showcasing the three NADA moving-image works, as well as a performative installation, Show the Land in Which a Wide Space for National Progress is Ensured.
Jasmina Cibic (b. Ljubljana 1979) works in film, sculpture, performance and installation to explore ‘soft power’ – how political rhetoric is deployed through art and architecture, particularly examining how cultural production is used by the state to communicate certain principles and aspirations. Through unfolding the complex entanglements of art, gender and state power, the artist encourages viewers to consider the strategies employed in the construction of national culture.
NADA, meaning “hope” in Croatian, examines three of European modernism’s star architects and the role their work has played in national representation during decisive moments in European history. The starting point for Act I is Vjenceslav Richter’s unrealised design for the Yugoslav Pavilion at the Brussels World Exhibition in 1958; Act II takes place in Arne Jacobsen’s Aarhus City Hall (1937-1942); and Act III addresses Mies van der Rohe’s Krefeld architecture of the 1920s.
Upon entering the exhibition, viewers are met with Show the Land in Which a Wide Space for National Progress is Ensured, a monochromatic landscape composed of images drawn from the photographic archive of Yugoslavia’s first President, Josip Broz Tito. During the exhibition preview (Thursday 8 February) a special event will take place, where performers will gild banners bearing aphoristic phrases collected from political speeches on nation building, setting the stage for Cibic’s trio of films in the following rooms along with architectural fragments and interior fabrics that form part of the films’ scenography.
Gathering together symbols and iconographies, Cibic’s projects present a synthesis of gesture, stagecraft and re-enactment. Realised in films and installations, her on-going performative practice is an ‘enacted’ exercise in the dissection of statecraft. Her multi-layered approach draws together primary sources and falsified narratives. This wilful overwriting creates shifting meanings and highlights historical uncertainties and untruths, especially in the gendering of the past. Cibic plays a double-game, at once decoding mechanisms of power whilst building her own allegorical structures.
Nada: Act I was supported by the Museum of Contemporary Art, Zagreb.
Nada: Act II was co-commissioned by European Capital of Culture Aarhus 2017, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art Gateshead and supported by Arts Council England, Northern Film School at Leeds Beckett University and Waddington Studios London.
Nada: Act III was commissioned by the Kunstmuseen Krefeld and supported by Arts Council England, Northern Film School at Leeds Beckett University and Waddington Studios London.