My family history, linked to migration and the historical and political consequences of the Wars in the Balkans and Europe during the twentieth century, for me, except for a few stories to which my father added a mythic dimension, has largely remained unclear and hazy − an uncharted territory.
In a project called History Repeats Itself, I am attempting to present the emptiness which is part of my family identity and memory. It is representative of the absence of facts and people that have been missing in my life due to tragic events, both personal and historical. At the end of the twentieth century, due to the breakup of my homeland (SFRY) and my departure from Sarajevo, the city of my childhood and my youth, the feeling of emptiness was growing.
It is for this reason that in my work I use cold, industrial, raw elements: metal, plastic, neon lighting, electrical cables, plexiglass boards. They are given an absurd task − to light up shelves that carry nothing. Emptied of every content, they suggest absence. The lights go on and off at a slow pace (the neon tubes are switched on at certain intervals and at one point they are all either on or off) as if they were counting or counting down, but there are no elements inside the installation to suggest what it is about. The work is realized in an interactive relationship between the form and the openness of the work of art (through the eyes of Umberto Eco) and stays open for discussions and different interpretations and perspectives. The main idea could be replaced with a different semantic concept.
History Repeats Itself
steel shelves, LED neon tubes and lighting, electrical cables, plexiglass boards, elements for programming lighting (Arduino, relays, wiring)
200 x 320 x 40 cm (approximately)
Lighting designer: Boris Butorac
Dragan Vojvodić (1965) started his studies at the Academy of Fine Arts in Sarajevo and graduated from the Academy of Arts in Novi Sad. In his artistic practice, he uses various media – performance, installation, in situ works, video, photography, sculpture, painting.
A significant part of his work is produced in Scandinavia, where he has had a number of solo exhibitions.
He has exhibited independently and collectively at numerous exhibitions in Serbia and abroad (Austria, Germany, Norway, Finland, Sweden, France, Iceland, Japan, Hungary, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Slovenia). He has also participated in international performance festivals in Croatia, Italy and Hungary. He has worked in residential and artistic projects in the USA, Japan, Iceland, France, Russia, Norway, Finland, Sweden, Portugal, Spain, the Czech Republic, Croatia.
His works are part of the collection of the Museum of Contemporary Art Vojvodina in Novi Sad; the Pierre Courtin Collection in Sarajevo; the Regional Art Museum of Southern Ostrobothnia Eero Nelimarkka in Finland; the 700 IS Video Art Festival Collection in Iceland; DEPO 2015 in Pilsen, the Czech Republic; Foundation OBRAS in Portugal; the Terra centre in Kikinda, Serbia; the Gallery of Matica srpska in Novi Sad; etc.
Dragan Vojvodić is a member of SULUV (League of Associations of Fine Artists of Vojvodina) and ULUS (Association of Fine Artists of Serbia). He lives and works in Novi Sad.