Our “Cold Front from the Balkans” exhibition focuses on different generations of artists and art groups from the Balkan region. Throughout the exhibition, we keep sharing detailed information about the artworks. Take a look at Katarina Zdjelar “Into the Interior (Last Day of the Permanent Exhibition)”.
Into the Interior (Last Day of the Permanent Exhibition) orbits around The Royal Museum of Central Africa (RMCA) in Belgium, a former royal estate of King Leopold II. During 2013 Zdjelar regularly visited and dug into the guts of the museum, allegedly the last expressly colonial museum in the world, which closed for renovation in December 2013, designating a fracture in time and the running narrative preceding Congo’s independence.
Through the lens of Zdjelar’s camera, we observe in the video the traces of a distant era through decomposing forms of preserved animal trophies. As a museum assistant removes wads of fabric from the inside of a tatty leopard’s head fixed into an eternal expression of faux-aggression, the viewer is reminded that decomposition of these animal skins, embody a decaying ideology. The work is a meditation on the museum’s ossified history and the closing of the cultural narratives it entails. Using the cinematic technique of colliding the gaze of a hunter with that of a painter, the basement storage space with the exhibition space, the amalgamation of an animal and painted landscape produces an eerie and juxtaposing interstice that is as withered and dated as it is perennial. In this middle ground, the background cannot be dislocated from the dynamics of the foreground.
“Cold Front From the Balkans” exhibition can be visited until 7 May at Pera Museum!