Image: Untitled, mixed media, 21.5x13x13 cm, 2012, from the series The Body Constrained I
Introducing Marija Marković (b. Serbia; lives and works in Brooklyn, NY), one of the artists participating in New Poetics of Labor 2018.
“My interdisciplinary art practice is shaped by my position as part of the current generation of Serbian millennial artists. I came of age during an era of war and uncertain socio-economic relations in a country that went through a long and difficult transition from socialism to capitalism. This environment produced a politically indifferent generation for whom waiting became a permanent status. Like many in this situation, I often feel redundant, futile, and excluded by a political environment that has few resources for supporting art and a short and shifting history of democratic institutions. My videos and installations respond to this context through explorations of exclusion, isolation, waiting, confinement, and absurdity that are always in relation to the friction between socialism and capitalism. In my work I specifically explore the violence and complexity of the transition itself. I question what the transition reveals about the present. What can be learned about the current neoliberal condition from these experiences? What possibilities exist within that space? If transition is a permanent state of being what effect does that have on our understanding of the past and our apathy towards the future?”
“Dokolica deals with the relationship between work and “non-work” time in the current restructured Serbian socio-economic system. This multi-channel video installation explores a non-translatable word from Serbian language—a word that could loosely mean “free-leisure time” in English, but once translated it loses its historical context. Marković does not translate the term dokolica because she wants the viewer to examine it through the socio-historical lens of former socialist society that, in the past complied with the Robert Owen – Marxist concept of “eight hours of sleep, eight hours of work and eight hours of recreation (free-leisure time).” The piece is composed of sixteen distinct vignettes, each a recording of one of her friends filming themselves while taking a shower. The audio element of the work combines the sound of shower water and the voices of people in the video defining and discussing the word dokolica. The term is described as both necessary and “productive”, yet it is often experienced with guilt and discomfort. It only took one generation to deconstruct the idea of dokolica as something not integral to this transitional society. In the new neoliberal system, her generation seems to be experiencing confusion about the idea of recreation as laziness, one often infused with a sense of nostalgia, of loss.”
The Cabbage, 2016. See more here.