Can an artist represent a nation state?

Bojana Pejic lecture_PATTERNS LECTURES

This year’s PATTERNS Lectures programme features a guest lecture by Bojana Pejić on 18 March at the Art Academy of Latvia:

Bojana Pejić: Can an artist represent a nation state?
Why sometimes all you need is a good song, a hot artist or an attractive leader to change perceptions of your national brand?
Cover of Monocle Magazine, no. 49, 2011/2012: Soft Power Survey

Bojana Pejić’s title refers to the performance work by Croatian artist, Sanja Iveković, “Why an Artist Cannot Represent a Nation State?”, which was staged first in France (2012) and then in her home city town, Zagreb (2013). The work is realized in collaboration with philosopher and long-time collaborator Rada Iveković, and it dealt with the impossibility of national representation. In her talk she intends to comment on the relation of the artists to their states, which became a hot issue in the early 1990s, when Europe experienced the birth of the new, post-communist states; since the establishment of these states till today, the artists take part in many international shows, such as Venice Biennale, for example, whose concept is based on national representations. How do they represent their states there? Can a critique of nationalism, which is today a domineering ideology in every single corner of Europe, be exhibited in the national pavilion, whose purpose is to “properly” represent a respective state? Rada Iveković writes: “Representation is an eternal puzzle of politics as well as of art. It is in both cases at once impossible yet attempted again and again; impracticable but necessary. You better be represented in some way than poorly represented, and the worst is not to be represented at all. Art and politics revolve around these two poles – the impossibility and yet the inevitability of representation.”

PATTERNS Lectures – Guest Lecture by Bojana Pejić
18 March 2015, 16:20 – 18:00
Art Academy of Latvia, Room 19

Art historian, Bojana Pejić was born in Belgrade, since 1991 she lives in Berlin. She was the chief curator of a number of significant international exhibitions: “Good Girls_ Memory, Desire, Power”, Museum of Contemporary Art (MNAC), Bucharest, 2013; “Gender Check”, MUMOK, Vienna, 2009-2010 and Zacheta Gallery in Warsaw, 2011; “After the Wall – Art and Culture in post-Communist Europe”, Moderna Museet, Stockholm, 1999; Museum of Contemporary Art – Foundation Ludwig, Budapest, 2000 and at Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin, 2000-2001. She has authored many publications on contemporary art.

Photo: © Inese Kundziņa