Siniša Ilić

Siniša Ilić

Authors from the MMSU collection: Nuzzi Chierego Ivancich, Romolo Venucci, Sonja Kovačić Tajcević, Zlatko Prica, Omer Mujadžić, Franjo Mraz, Branka Frangeš Hegedušić, Krsto Hegedušić, Ernest Tomašević, Anna Antoniazzo Bocchina, Božidar Rašica, Jozo Janda, Aleksandar Marks, Fedor Vaić, Hinko Smrekar, Sava Šumanović

Performers in the video: Jelena Lopatić i Dušan Barbarić
Director of photography and editor: Karlo Čargonja
video 7’

This work deals with the representation of life and choreographies of life during the period of the industrial and capitalist development of the city of Rijeka, as well as during the present moment. The selection of historic works from the collection (drawings and paintings from the Museum of Modern & Contemporary Art in Rijeka, produced between 1930 and 1945) is split into two parts. The first contains paintings that portray the landscape of economic development: the industrial plants that form the basis of everyday life, architecture and middle-class life, affirming the dynamic international climate and the transitional character of the city. They are counterposed to drawings on paper, structured in a fragile manner, and in a smaller format, drawn with a pencil, brush, or using the gouache technique. The drawings display the margins of industrialization: poverty, the time before and during work, banalities and stereotypes, scenes of daily life, the family and its rituals. The non-narrative videos and drawings, which were produced as an integral part of this work, stage and reinterpret the problems and atmospheres in the collection’s works, translating them into paintings and situations of loneliness and fatigue, brought forth by the experience of today’s postindustrial, digital present. The mechanism that sparks the dynamic of the workspace takes the museum’s inventory so as to create a hybrid ambient, a scenography of objects bereft of their initial function. The space, figures, paintings and performances that we follow through the dramaturgy of this work question the conventions of life in the industrial and the postindustrial eras, as well as their crises, that of a hundred years ago and the crisis of today.

Siniša Ilić (born 1977, lives and works in Belgrade) works with various media, focusing on social issues, phenomena and mechanisms, exploring forms of representations of labor, tensions and violence. He is one of the founders of the Belgrade artistic-theoretical platform TkH-Teorija koja hoda (2001-2017). In various constellations of co-authorship, he has worked with authors and actors close to the fine arts and the performative arts. This work is part of a cycle which deals with artistic collections, their readings and understandings in the present day. In his previous projects he collaborated with MSU Belgrade, the Belgrade Culture Centre, Apoteka – the Space for Contemporary Art in Vodnjan, and the Tate Modern gallery with the project My sweet little lamb (Everything we see could also be otherwise).