Survival kit

Stage 1 ‒ pre-apocalyptic shelter
In the wake of prophetic threat of the 58th Venice Biennale 2019 May you live in interesting times, at the moment we are deeply immersed in a crisis, slightly anesthetized in the period of post-truth and omnipresent distrust of science, yet aware of the urgency to overcome this condition. The general (and imposed) insularity and disintegration of the value systems that would anchor our existence perhaps led us to seek no altars or landmarks anymore, just mere mechanisms of survival. We try to examine in what way individuals react in such a situation. What are they turning to?
“Art is quite comfortable with the idea of the end of art. But how can art deal with the end of the world?” (Sheikh) Faced with the disintegration of the world in which it exists, art could get rid of accumulated meanings and use speculative methods to interfere with the present in the pre-apocalyptic moment of suspension. “In other words, could the end of the world be viewed in utopian as well as dystopian ways?“ We develop this utopian potential in the space of the “bunker” ‒ a shelter where we prepare for facing the inevitable apocalyptic scenario: a place of retreat, isolation and personal refuge.
The bunker is supplied with tips and accessories: artists’ solutions or suggestions that are there for the visitor, in a kind of therapeutic or intuitive function. The artworks are to be experienced phenomenologically by the visitor, opening the gaps in the painful accumulations within us from which we are systematically trying to break away. It is a place that requires engagement or exposure from the actors, a room we take shelter in, not a dungeon from which we try to escape. The emphasis is put on multisensory experience.

Based on their respective backgrounds, each artist brings a unique value and experience apparatus into the environment. By entering the shelter, we step out of everyday life (Bojan Mrđenović) in order to turn to introspection (Dominik Vuković) and become aware of alternative modalities of physical or virtual intimacy (Vitar Drinković, Lina Kovačević). Experiencing a perceptual and sensory departure from the anthropocentric viewpoint (Luana Lojić), we indulge in symbolic light at the end of the tunnel (Katarina Juričić). Using this ensemble of skills, feelings, moods and states of consciousness, we ourselves participate in generating the protective shell of the bunker. Embraced by it, we are ready for Stage 2.

Concept: Ana Bedenko, Jozefina Ćurković & Tea Kantoci

— Simon Sheikh, “It’s After the End of the World: A Zombie Heaven?”, e-flux Journal, #113, Nov 2020, https://www.e-flux.com/journal/113/359978/it-s-after-the-end-of-the-world-a-zombie-heaven/ (accessed August, 1 2021)

Katarina Juričić

Luana Lojić

Lina Kovačević

Vitar Drinković

Dominik Vuković

Bojan Mrđenović