Play / Stop

29 August — 8 November 2009

Danica Dakić

Opening: August 28, 2009, 7 p.m.

The Kunsthalle Düsseldorf is presenting the first comprehensive, solo exhibition of the installation and video artist Danica Dakić (*1962 in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina), who lives in Düsseldorf.
On display will be numerous video installations, photographs, and objects from 1998 to the present, as well as works created especially for the exhibition. The exhibition, curated by Ulrike Groos with the assistance of Jari Ortwig, will then move to the Generali Foundation in Vienna and the Museum for Contemporary Art Zagreb.
Drawing on her experience as a migrant, Danica Dakić addresses the
changes in the meaning of the terms “home,” “nationality,” and “identity” provoked and imposed by wars, religious conflicts, societal changes, and globalisation processes. She finds her themes and actors throughout the whole world. Cultural interfaces become the point of departure for experiments with forceful images and super-imposed sounds.
In her works, voices and song become identity-forming factors. The video installation Surround (2003), for example, shows a staged reading ritual with seven people kneeling in a circle, singing and reading extracts of religious texts. The work creates the image of a community that, despite its different languages and beliefs, regularly comes together on a common platform.
The media installation El Dorado (2006/07), which Danica Dakić presented at the documenta 12, is a cross-cultural and transnational work. The conceptual and pictorial point of departure for the work is the panorama wallpaper El Dorado (1848) from the Wallpaper Museum in Kassel. The conceptual and pictorial point of departure for the media installation is the panorama wallpaper El Dorado (1848) from the Wallpaper Museum in Kassel. It serves as a surface onto which young migrants project their dreams and aspirations. They become actors; they run, fight, dance, sing and tell stories about their life.
Danica Dakić's series Isola Bella, which she worked on throughout 2007 and 2008, also uses a wallpaper motif and will be exhibited for the
first time at the Kunsthalle Düsseldorf. The series consists of the video and photographic work Isola Bella and the video First Shot. The scene is the home for the physically and mentally disabled in Pazarić, Bosnia, where, with the aid of masks and musical instruments, the artist and the residents sound out the tension between reality and utopia in a quasi-theatrical staging. For her media installation,
Casa del Lago (2008/09), Danica Dakić collaborates with a family from the Huichol people in Mexico City. In the "tableau vivant" style, photographic and filmic group portraits of members of the family are presented against a background of neo-classical park architecture. The work touches on issues ranging from time and transience, to colonialism and urbanisation, to the coexistence and cooperation
between different cultures.
An exhibition catalogue has been prepared by the Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König with a foreword by Ulrike Groos, Sabine Folie, and Tihomir Milovac. It is available in German/English and will be appearing in English/Croatian in 2010. It contains an interview by Ulrike Groos and Tihomir Milovac with the artist and essays by Horst Bredekamp, Sabine Folie, Tom Holert, as well as brief explanatory texts on the works. Size of the catalogue: 152 pages with many colour illustrations. Price: 25,- Euro.
The exhibition is a cooperative project of the Kunsthalle Düsseldorf gGmbH with the Generali Foundation, Vienna, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Zagreb.

List of works on exhibition
Zid/Wall (1998), Selfportrait (1999), New York Diary (2001/02), Surround (2003), Deaf Dance (2003), La Grande Galerie (2004), Role-Taking, Role-Making (2004/05), El Dorado (2006/07), First Shot (2008), Warm-up (2008), Isola Bella (2008/09), Casa del Lago (2008/09)

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