Tomislav Gotovac, Breathing the Air, 1962, photo: Ivica Hripko
The exhibition Stranger Than Paradise offers a presentation of artistic practices that emerged in a specific geopolitical frame of the South East Europe in different temporal contexts. In the light of avoiding the frame of “Balkan exhibition” which is in the field of contemporary art more or less present from the late nineties, the proposed exhibition indeed presents artistic practices from the mentioned region but rather trying to point out specifics that relate to conditions of production rather than creating a specific geopolitical narrative.
The exhibition brings together artists of different generations, some of them being already acclaimed or even historical artistic positions, while others are of a younger generation. A common characteristic of all the works featured in the exhibition is artist’s decision in direct exposure of their intimate statements that are very precisely grounded in a particular political, social or economic condition. These are radical, yet completely honest decisions that do not tolerate any compromise – an unmistakably direct address to the viewer, who enters their intimate space. The line that divides the spheres of life and art is thus almost blurred, which renders the art completely straightforward.