Notes on the Politics of Memory & the Imagination of the Not-yet-existent

Ana Dević

(text excerpt form the exhibition catalogue of the group exhibition Personal Cuts, Art Scene in Zagreb from 1950s to Now in Carré d’Art- Musée d’Art Contemporain Nimes, 2014)

… Advocacy of solidarity and a reflection of social themes are also produced at sensory and less explicit levels. Božena Končić Badurina (born 1967) within the framework of museum and gallery framework, continues to initiate a number of uncommon situational performances. Reconfiguring  the power relations among institutions, the public and art, the artist tests out the themes of presence, exposure and the politics of the act of looking. Although intimate in nature, her works can be read as metaphors of overall states of society. For example the performance Faceless (Karas Gallery, Zagreb, 2009), brings together extras of various ages who avoided contact with the visitors.

Like situations in trams or waiting rooms, the performance comments on the alienation of everyday life, and the hegemonic mechanisms with which the notion of otherness is established through the fact of looking. Shop Window (2008, Kvaternik Square, Zagreb) places a grouo of high school graduates in a newly built shop window, indirectly referring to the rising unemployment and hopelessness that is particularly prevalent among the younger population, while Decentralised Performance (Molekula, Rijeka, 2011) leaves the decision as to the theme and structure of the performance to the collective process, placing the horizontal decision-making of the plenum in the space of art….

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