The-Spirit-of-Our-Needs_Installation-view-3-WEB doehne

The Spirit of Our Needs, installation view, Museum Haus Esters, photo: V. Döhne

Haus Esters is pleased to present the Slovenian artist Jasmina Cibic’s first institutional solo exhibition in Germany. In The Spirit of Our Needs she has developed a site-specific installation that showcases the three films of her latest NADA trilogy for the first time. Cibic realizes complex multilayered works that critically explore the relationship between cultural production and power structures. In her performances, installations and films, the artist addresses ideologies and their realization in art and architecture


NADA examines three of European modernism’s star architects and the role their work played in national representation. The starting point for Act I is Vjenceslav Richter and the Yugoslavian pavilion he designed for the Brussels World Exhibition in 1958. Act II takes place in Arne Jacobsen’s Aarhus City Hall (1937-1942), whilst the third act has been filmed in situ especially for the exhibition in Haus Lange and Haus Esters. It addresses Mies van der Rohe’s Krefeld architecture of the 1920s in the context of the political discussions concerning the appropriate representation of Germany at world fairs of mid 20th Century. Jasmina Cibic’s expansive installation combines these symbols and iconographies into a synthesis of gesture, stagecraft and re-enactment to form a kind of artistic synthesis that interacts with the Mies villas and their historical, political and aesthetic contexts.


Cibic’s project for Museum Hous Estersis populated by female figures. Sometimes speaking, sometimes mute, they dance, decorate and proclaim, acting as mouthpieces through which intricately researched tracts on the nature of power, aesthetics and statecraft pour forth. These ciphers are always formed by that which they appear to represent. They follow in the dubious tradition of the allegorical female, descendants of stately mother nations. The certainties of those great ages of nation-building gone, the trace and the archive here replace the sound and the fury in a double-game. Cibic’s works reveal the strategies employed for the construction of national culture and identity through the arts as well as their use on behalf of political goals. In the end, her works are large-scale research projects incorporating artists, architects, scholars, artisans, writers and other experts. This synthesis is a central aspect in the further development of her artistic practice that operates in the spirit of the total work of art.


Cibic (*1979 Ljubljana, lives and works in London) represented Slovenia at the 2013 Venice Biennale and has realized numerous solo international exhibitions, including those at the Esker Foundation, Calgary; MSU Zagreb; MOCA Belgrade; Aarhus 2017; MGLC Ljubljana and the Ludwig Museum, Budapest. She participated in group shows and commissions at Bard College’s Hessel Museum, New York; Ambika P3 London; MG+MSUM Ljubljana; the Kunstmuseum Bonn; the Musée national d’histoire et d’art, Luxemburg; the City Gallery Wellington and the Guangdong Museum of Art, China. She was the recipient of the MAC International award in 2016. In 2018, Cibic will have solo exhibitions at BALTIC Gateshead and DHC Montreal. The Spirit of Our Needs is curated by Katia Baudin, and the exhibition will be accompanied by a publication.


Nada: Act 2 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 3 was co-commissioned by the Kunstumuseen Krefeld and supported by by Arts Council England, Northern Film School at Leeds Beckett University and Waddington Studios London.


A bilingual (English/German) exhibition catalogue including exhibition views, essays and an interview with the artist will be published towards the end of the exhibition (editor: K. Baudin).

Exhibition curator: Katia Baudin (Director, Kunstmuseen Krefeld)