Dragi Deda Mraze

Author

Year

Location

Solo Exibition

Kemil Bekteši

2021.

Sarajevo, BiH

About the exhibition

(Bosanski ispod)

Dear Santa Claus is a multi-media work that was created after many years of the author's thinking about the Ars Aevi project. Reacting to the former location of the richest collection of works of contemporary art Ars Aevi, the artist advocates the revitalization of art spaces and emphasizes their necessity. This site-specific installation was open to the public for only one night, which symbolically shows the lack of infrastructure for the development of contemporary art. At the same time, the fact that this exhibition was produced by a gallery, which at that time still did not have its own space, contributed to such symbolism. At the time of the realization of this installation, the Manifesto Gallery operated within temporary and changeable locations, not allowing the lack of material possibilities to prevent artistic and cultural engagement.

This paper interrogates the attitude of the authorities towards culture and art in an engaged way. Such a relationship is symbolically presented in the form of Ars Aevi's empty boxes for storing and transporting works of art. The empty box also serves as a warning to institutions, art institutions, but also to citizens: If we do not nurture the cultural and artistic heritage we have, and if we do not start investing in art, the boxes will be and remain empty. In addition to the empty box, a sound installation echoed in the dark space. Walking through the streets of Sarajevo, the artist began a conversation with casual passers-by, asking them a very simple question: Do you know where the Museum of Contemporary Art is?

"Ignorance is not an irreversible state, but in order for change to occur, it is necessary to raise awareness. That is exactly why I am interviewing the citizens, in order to raise awareness of the collective state of ignorance, which is the most dangerous, "Bekteši points out. The space in the Skenderija Center, which once served as an exhibition depot of the Ars Aevi collection, now has the function of a warehouse. The new exhibition space in the City Hall is unaffirmed, and its selection is curatorically and architecturally problematic. Precisely because of that, those citizens, who from time to time wonder "where is and what does contemporary art do", are still looking for the Ars Aevi collection at the old address. However, what they find are Christmas decorations, lamps and props. Hence the name of the installation is "Dear Santa Claus", because the institution of contemporary art seems just like Santa Claus. We all know he doesn’t exist, but we still hope for it.

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(Bosanski)

O izložbi 

Dragi Deda Mraze je mulemedijalni rad koji je nastao nakon dugogodišnjeg autorovog razmišljanja o projektu Ars Aevi. Reagirajući na nekadašnju lokaciju najbogatije kolekcije radova savremene umjetnosti Ars Aevi, umjetnik zagovara revitalizaciju umjetničkih prostora i akcentira njihovu nužnost. Ova site-specific instalacija bila je otvorena za javnost samo jednu noć, što na simboličan način prikazuje nedostatak infrastrukture za razvoj savremene umjetnosti. Takvoj simbolici istovremeno doprinijela je i činjenica da je ovu izložbu producirala galerija, koja u tom trenutku još uvijek nije posjedovala vlastiti prostor. Galerija Manifesto u trenutku realizacije ove instalacije djelovala je u okviru privremenih i promjenljivih lokacija, nedopuštajući da nedostatak materijalnih mogućnosti spriječi umjetnički i kulturni angažman.

Ovaj rad na angažiran način propituje odnos nadležnih prema kulturi i umjetnosti. Takav odnos na simboličan je način predstavljen u formi Ars Aevijevih praznih sanduka za skladištenje i transport umjetničkih radova. Prazni sanduk služi i kao upozorenje institucijama, umjetničkim institucijama, ali i građanima: Ukoliko ne budemo njegovali kulturno-umjetničko naslijeđe koje imamo, te ukoliko ne počnemo ulagati u umjetnost, sanduci bit će i ostati prazni. Pored praznog sanduka, u mračnom prostoru odjekivala je i zvučna instalacija. Šetajući ulicama Sarajeva umjetnik je započinjao sam razgovor sa slučajnim prolaznicima, postavljajući im vrlo jednostavno pitanje: Da li znate gdje se nalazi muzej savremenih umjetnosti?

“Neznanje nije ireverzibilno stanje, ali da bi došlo do promjene, potrebno ga je osvijestiti. Upravo zato intervjuišem građane, da bismo zajedno osvijestili koleketivno stanje neznanja, koje je ipak najopasnije”, ističe Bekteši. Prostor u Centru Skenderija koji je nekada služio kao izložbeni depo Ars Aevi kolekcije, danas ima funkciju magacina. Novi izložbeni prostor u Gradskoj Vijećnici je neafirmisan, a sam njegov odabir kustoski i arhitektonski problematičan. Upravo zbog toga, oni građani, koji se s vremena na vrijeme zapitaju “gdje je i šta radi savremena umjetnost”, kolekciju Ars Aevi još uvijek traže na staroj adresi. Ipak, ono što pronalaze jesu odloženi novogodišnji ukrasi, lampice i božićne dekoracije. Otuda i naziv instalacije “Dragi Deda Mraze”, jer se institucija savremene umjetnose doima baš kao Deda Mraz. Svi znamo da on ne postoji, ali joj se i dalje nadamo.