SYMPTOMS OF THE FUTURE: EXHIBITION IN THE BOX starts from a publication that was collectively developed over past year by Dušica Dražić (Out of Sight), Mirjana Dragosavljević (Stereovizija) and Irena Borić, with contributions by: Anamarija Batista, Irena Borić, Mirjana Dragosavljević, Dušica Dražić, Maja Hodošček, Petra Mrša, Tanja Šljivar, Nataša Šuković.
The content of the publication is not an exhibition, but it can certainly become one. It is an attempt to create an environment that will enable collective thinking and relating. It insists on generating a situation that entails – or offers – the presence of bodies in space, whether through contact with the publication or exhibition space.
We accepted an invitation, took out the printed matter in this box, downloaded video and audio works and transformed it into an exhibition.
Seeking to avoid the linearity of an omniscient narrative addressing the topic of solidarity, the publication comprises contributions that stand on the shoulders of other achievements and explorations as well as artistic works. In attempt to tackle the issue of solidarity it touches upon a wide range of ideas – including care, situated knowledge, and togetherness to crisis – that are intertwined throughout the contributions. Invited artists Dušica Dražić, Petra Mrša and Maja Hodošček unfold different perspectives on potentials of togetherness. While Dušica Dražić outlines fragments of The Hallstatt civilization from the Bronze Age, where labour and wealth were equally distributed and speculates about their language, Maja Hodošček also addresses the issue of language as the factor of the simultaneous division and connection, emphasizing the importance of the collective learning process. Petra Mrša has developed a specific set of instructions inviting the curious to engage in activities that ask for re-thinking of how are we together and what we learn from each other.
The collective endeavor is also articulated within a contribution from Mirjana Dragosavljević, Dušica Dražić and Tanja Šljivar – a play tackling the issue of the collective decade-long reforestation of Yugoslavia. Inspired by this collaboration, Mirjana Dragosavljević echoes old and new references, and visual and textual in creating a new narrative which attempts to unpack the process of production of knowledge and the importance of collective shared knowledge that comes out of society for the society.
The economic dimensions of Yugoslav and post-Yugoslav society are articulated by Anamarija Batista who writes about gift and sharing economies in relation to collective and solidarity in productive and unproductive states. The contribution by Irena Borić functions like a glue between all these facets as it brings words for the visitor/reader to consider in relation to all of them.
SYMPTOMS OF THE FUTURE: EXHIBITION IN THE BOX seeks to actualise certain accomplishments, works, thoughts, and events, hoping to open the broadest possible horizon of knowledge and understanding, in order to leave the position of passivisation and replace it with construction of some new-old narratives. Ever since it began, art has always been an inseparable accomplice in sociality and that was our guiding idea when we immersed ourselves in books, interviews, archives, museums, depots, and went about discovering what our historical and cultural heritage might tell us about ourselves, today, in this historical context. We resisted the universally imposed command of hyperproduction by using pre-existent content and research that we could qualify as timeless. We inscribed that with our own interpretations and meanings and that interaction enabled the construction of new narratives, which here we share with you.
SYMPTOMS OF THE FUTURE: EXHIBITION IN THE BOX at Out of Sight, also hosts two projects — OBJECTBOOK, a temporary library of a migrated collection of artist books that are part of the holdings of the City Library in Zagreb, and CONSTRUCTED LANDSCAPE, a radio drama.
Publication SYMPTOMS OF THE FUTURE: EXHIBITION IN THE BOX is published by Out of Sight (Antwerp), Stereovizija (Belgrade) and Onomatopee (Eindhoven) in May 2021.