artists & participants

press release

October 12 - October 22, 2010 Banja Luka, BIH - artist-in-residency, production

October 22, 2010, 7 pm Banja Luka, BIH, Galerija Terzić - opening of the exhibition

October 22 - November 10, 2010 Banja Luka, BIH, Galerija Terzić - exhibition

The term „Intrada“ is borrowed from the theory of music: it means an introductory piece of music before a following main part. The term derives from the Latin origin „intrare“, standing for „to enter“, or „to go in“. Taking into account these meanings, the title „Intrada“ summarizes the concept of the exhibition with Wiebke Elzel, Jana Müller (Berlin, Germany), and Borjana Mrdja (Banja Luka, BIH) in two ways:

On the one hand, the show is a parallel event of the exhibition „SpaPort“ and evolves as an introduction to events yet to happen, but is conceptualized independently. On the other hand, the concept of the show draws on the Latin origin that is the idea of someone entering a space. In this sense, two artists from Germany, Wiebke Elzel and Jana Müller, are invited to enter the unfamiliar region of Bosnia and Herzegovina or Banja Luka, respectively, and to present works as well as to create new ones in a “short-term” artist-in-residency. At the same time, this step into the unknown space doesn‘t remain a one-sided process, but is realized in an exchange with a local artist, that is, with Borjana Mrdja.

The artists examine a mode of speaking in a surrounding in which certain topics remain unuttered and in which words often seem to fail and to run dry: Bosnia and Herzegovina, many years after its foundation as an independent state, still clings to the repetition of a specific discourse, the process of political decision-making remains hindered, the division of the country along ethno-national lines is further prolonged, or the economic obstacles are barely dealt with. Is it possible to speak about that?

The work of Wiebke Elzel, Jana Müller unfolds its idea along a thin line: The thoroughly arranged and aesthetically balanced settings document a well ordered reality. Yet at the same time, behind the meticulously depicted surface, there seem to flash up „moment(s) of danger“ (Walter Benjamin) and traces of incidents that happened but that the beholder fails to reconstruct. This tenuous relationship between thoroughly arranged subjects and the disasters and catastrophes very close to them is also a leitmotiv of Borjana Mrdja‘s work.

Pointing to the edges of a society, Wiebke Elzel, Jana Müller, and Borjana Mrdja don‘t judge or offer another truth, rather the narratives seem to fail and remain in silence, but not without trying over and over again to find a way of articulation. It is possible to speak about all that in a tone that is a „subtle“ one. The „Modes of Speech“ remain „observant“ and „unexcited“.

The show departs from the complex political conditions in BIH but it poses the question about modalities of speech in visual arts in general. Only recently, Georges Didi-Huberman in his book „Images in Spite of All“ (2008) advocated the image should bear witness of what one seems not to be able to speak about. Taking into account this demanding plea, the show discusses possible modes of speech via visual arts not only in BIH.

The project is supported by: Robert Bosch Stiftung / Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, Sarajevo / City of Banja Luka, BH

Intrada, Modes of Speech
Kurator: Karin Rolle

Künstler: Wiebke Elzel, Jana Müller, Borjana Mrdja