press release

Are we bothered by anything that is left? Pride and prejudice in (post)communist paradise

What is hiding behind this title? In his essay called “In the Shoes of Communism,” Boris Buden has illustrated the hypotheses concerning the consequences of communism through an exhibit from the future Museum of Communism in Warsaw. It is a pair of left shoes, with an explanation that such shoes were given to workers at the Warsaw steel plant in the 1950s as a sort of bonus, presumably as a reward for good work. Taking that “pair of left shoes“ as an example, it is possible to speak of the past times in terms of absurdity of the communist system and its rigid attitude towards the individual and the community. However, it is also possible to see the “pair of left shoes” as a metaphor of economic production in which a considerable part of the products indeed reflected the lack of functionality, coarseness, and senselessness that dominated such societies. And yet, things cannot be seen as merely black or white, which is shown by the fact that such pairs of left shoes could actually be worn – perhaps they were uncomfortable, but one could walk around in them.

This exhibition seeks to present precisely that symptom of double condition – criticism and also affirmation of the “utopian project.” Its theme is the communist past, but it is not about its remnants; instead, it is a reality check in post-communist countries. It speaks of the societies, but also of their individuals – protagonists of the past times, before and after the fall of the Berlin Wall, starting with Tito, Honecker, Tuđman, Milošević, and our own fathers, and ending with pop icons from the music scene and the Pope.... And it also speaks of fictional political pacts, utopian space projects, and the post-communist paradise of illegal constructions...  

Exhibits include artworks made in the techniques of photography, video art, painting, installation, and ambience art. They have been gathered during the past few years and are a direct reflection of the reality, of social and individual conditions, of historical and recent events – raising some powerful questions about basic human rights and liberties.  

Participating artists: Katerina Šeda (1979, Czech Republic), Jaan Toomik (1961, Estonia),  Miroslaw Balka (1958, Poland), Šejla Kamerić (1976, Bosnia and Herzegovina), David Maljković (1973, Croatia), Dunja Zupančič, Dragan Živadinov, and Miha Turšič (Slovenia), Milivoj Bijelić (1951, Croatia/Germany), Andreas Fogarasi (1977, Austria), Sanja Iveković (1949, Croatia), Andreja Kulunčić (1968, Croatia), Via Lewandowsky (1963, Germany),  IRWIN (founded in 1983: Dušan Mandič, 1954; Miran Mohar, 1958; Andrej Savski, 1961; Roman Uranjek, 1961; Borut Vogelnik, 1959), Dalibor Martinis (1947, Croatia), Zlatko Kopljar (1962, Croatia), Nedko Solakov (1957, Bulgaria), Mladen Stilinović (1947, Croatia), Pavel Braila (1971, Moldova). 

Exhibition curator: Tihomir Milovac

The exhibition was organized in collaboration with Goethe Institut.

only in german

A Pair of Left Shoes - Reality Check in Eastern Europe
Kurator: Tihomir Milovac

Künstler: Katerina Seda, Jaan Toomik, Miroslaw Balka, Sejla Kameric, David Maljkovic, Dunja Zupancic, Dragan Zivadinov, / Miha Tursic, Milivoj Bijelic, Andreas Fogarasi , Sanja Ivekovic, Andreja Kuluncic, Via Lewandowsky, Irwin , Dusan Mandic, Miran Mohar, Andrej Savski, Roman Uranjek, Borut Vogelnik, Dalibor Martinis, Zlatko Kopljar, Nedko Solakov, Mladen Stilinovic, Pavel Braila

Museum Bochum
Museum of Contemporary Art, Zagreb