Born this way

Milano - 16/05/2013 : 26/07/2013

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Comunicato stampa

We are pleased to announce the exhibition BORN THIS WAY, concocted by the artists Oliver Laric and Aleksandra Domanovic, creators of the famous blog Each of the two artists has chosen to invite an other artist: Domanovic invited Bogdan Bogdanovic, architect and sculptor of former Yugoslavia; Oliver Laric invited Won Sye Bong from Mansudae Art Studio of Pyongyang in North Korea.

Bogdan Bogdanovic (* Belgrade 1922 - Vienna 2010) was a Yugoslavian architect and sculptor politically active first against fascism and then against Serbian nationalism

He was Mayor of Belgrade from 1982 to 1986, but from 1993 until 2010 he lived in exile in Vienna. Bogdanovic has designed and built some of the most important monuments of Yugoslavia, such as the memorial park of Dudik in Vukovar (1980) or the memorial of Jansenovac, built a few years ago in Croatia, for which he was awarded the Scarpa prize.

The title of Aleksandra Domanovic’s (* Novi Sad, 1981) exhibition at Kunsthalle Basel in 2012 "From yu to me" describes an epochal change: in 2010, the internet top-level national domain of Yugoslavia “.yu” was deleted, while the new domain “.me” was created for Montenegro. “.yu” is now only a ghost, as the Republic that has dissolved and the monuments that credited its authority. The work of Domanovic´ analyzes the transformation of the public space of former Yugoslavia as it is represented in the media, but also in real space. In the series "Paper Stacks" she prints images of beaches – that have been turned into refugee camps - on the edges of stacked sheets of paper; the images are visible on the sides of these delicate stele made of thousands of sheets. In the video "19:30", from 2010-11, dozens of 1990s-era Yugoslav nightly news jingles, remixed by DJs into techno beats, set the tempo of a dual-channel video juxtaposing the original newscast intros with scenes of recent raves throughout the former republic. In the video "Turbo Sculpture" of 2012 she shows us the monuments made in recent years in the countries of the former Yugoslavia that portray Hollywood stars, such as Rocky, Bruce Lee, Johnny Depp, represented in the squares of the cities of the Balkans.

The artistic practice of Oliver Laric (* Innsbruck 1981) focuses on the productive potential of the copy, the bootleg, the remix, and examines their role in the formation of both historic and contemporary image cultures. This process is intimately linked to his ability to create videos and animations made of appropriated and revised images, as well as densely layered and conceptually complex objects and sculptures, that often make use of recondite, technologically sophisticated methods of fabrication. At the turn of the past and the present, between the true and the false, between the original and its subsequent reconfiguration, Laric analyzes categories and boundaries in a way that calls into question the very existence.

Won Sye Bong (* Pyongyang, 1979) is an artist of the Mansudae Art Studio in Pyongyang in North Korea. With a labor force of about 4000 people, of which 1000 are artists, and an area of over 120,000 square meters, Mansudae is the largest art production center in the world. Divided into 13 creative groups, seven manufacturing plants and more than 50 supply departments, the artistic works range from oil paintings to sculptures in bronze and stone, from Korean paintings in ink to ceramics, from woodcuts to embroidery, from jewel paintings (made with precious and semiprecious stones reduced to powder) to charcoal drawings and much more. The Mansudae Art Studio is not a sort of chain factory, like some Chinese or in other Oriental centers, nor a school, but a high quality production center. The vast majority of the most important works of art of the country have been created by Mansudae Studio artists. Almost all are graduates from Pyongyang University.