Nadežda Kirćanski (1992) exhibited her artwork in 20 group and 4 solo shows. Her artistic practice employs a wide spectrum of media including drawing, objects and site-sensitive spatial installations. One of the key focuses in her work is exploration of the clash of socio-political realities and contemporary language of young people, through which she filters her hidden emotional, physical and intellectual work.
In 2018, she won the “Dimitrije Bašičević Mangelos” Award and the Drawing prize commendations of the Vladimir Veličković’s Fund. She also received the Faculty of Fine Arts’ prize “Sreten Stojanović” for the accomplishments in the medium of sculpture in 2017.
A watercolour by Nadežda Krićanski from her exhibition “Put straha odozgo nagore” (The Path Of Fear From Above Upward) showcased at the Nova Gallery in Krunska Street, was also featured on billboards at three locations in Belgrade and is now housed in the Balkan Cinema as part of the “Saša Marčeta” Foundation’s collection.
What was the main inspiration for your work exhibited in the Balkan Cinema that was initially made for the show at the Nova Gallery? What motivated the exhibition “The Path Of Fear From Above Upward” and how important were the billboard presentations for its perception and understanding, apart from their presupposed promotional function?
When I first started working on this exhibition in 2020 in the NGVU (New Gallery of Visual Arts) studio, I had no idea that the series of watercolours would develop into a solo show. The circumstances were radically changing on a daily basis at the time, and this also prompted the changes within the NGVU program, so in September I produced the whole series, which resulted in the exhibition in December. I started painting watercolours metabolically by taking notes on certain consumerist stereotypes; it seemed to me that, even to those few people who might have not been burdened by the existential mathematics prior to this ongoing crisis, the inability to filter and process such pace and inconsistency of information forced them to embrace these stereotypes as their principal preoccupation and level all other life parameters based on them.
Each painting from the exhibition is one of the carefully selected aspects of consumerism, ranging from staple foods to luxury products and creating a spectrum of consumerist life that may as well end tomorrow. The whole series functions as an array of colour-bleeding banknotes, products and presupposed values that eventually provoke the question of the value and price of a work of art and trigger a debate. The radically changing circumstances also brought the sponsorship by Alma Quatrro, allowing not only for the promotion but also extension of the exhibition to the public sphere – penetrating the advertising space like a glitch, next to the very products that are usually we are accustomed to seeing there. Another peculiar circumstance, among other already mentioned, was obtaining permits for the use of the products featured in the paintings for advertising purposes; this is when the communication with the Foundation Saša Marčeta began and eventually resulted in the work “Maxbet” that was put on a billboard and later bacame part of the foundation’s collection.
As your biography on the Nova Gallery website reads, one of the key focuses of your work is “the clash of socio-political realities and contemporary language of young people through which you filter your hidden emotional, physical and intellectual work”. What in the language of the young do you see as “the spirit of the times” and what about it inspires your authorial work the most?
One of the focuses that has stood out in my rather heterogeneous artistic practice was directed toward the invisible presupposed work (the economically invisible work), which has been becoming more and more complicated as we were moving away from the transition in the 2000s. By “moving away from the transition” I meant our moving away from the idea that it (the transition) could genuinely result in something, at the same time being forced to optimize our own physical, emotional and intellectual capacities, regardless of our actual living conditions. One might say that this time codifies the language so as to reduce all the pressures and thoughts to ostensibly truncated notions, abbreviations, gifs, social media’s stories…
How much do you see the Balkan Cinema as a new working and exhibiting space in the city and how much are you moved and intrigued by its cultural and historical legacy?
It is of utmost importance that public spaces are being obtained and not taken away. There are numerous examples of public spaces – particularly those that used to be social and cultural hubs and whose dynamics became an inextricable part of their history – now being lost to those who turn them into commercial properties that can only simulate places of public social life. One such example is the recent selling of the BIGZ building that was, to a large number of artists, not only a place where they worked and exhibited, but a space of a lively art scene that was developed through the collective dynamics of its contributors .