Under the title of the Lexicon of Tanjas Ostojić, the author combines a six-year interdisciplinary and participative project aimed at the research of modern post-Yugoslav migratory processes through the prism of the personal histories of women. Developing it primarily with artistic tools, she leads a personal and creative exchange within a precise sample – of 33 women all bearing the same first name and family name: Tanja Ostojić, who come from various nationalities and ages, degrees of education, social status and life experiences to which the artist Tanja Ostojić arrived at during a two-year research scholarship at the Graduate School, University of Arts Berlin (2012-2014) continuing the research via social networks and the Internet.
By opening gender, identity, ethical, economic and political issues within the conceptually chosen demographic framework of approximately thirty women who are able to communicate in languages from the territory of the former Yugoslavia from where they originate, the project deals with mapping personal histories which with traditional sociological research would not represent a solid base, whilst in contemporary historiography it gains the status of relevant material.
Part of the research archive will be shown at the exhibition in Rijeka, including works created in the creative workshops, as well as photo and video documentation of meetings between the Tanja Ostojićs.
The three-day creative workshop for participants of the Lexicon of Tanjas Ostojić project which the author herself Tanja Ostojić will lead, will be held from 11th - 13th August 2017 in the Kamov Studio. Amongst the attendees of the workshop this time will be some of the most active participants of the project, as well as some Tanja Ostojićs who will meet the art and creative work for the first time. In the accompanying programme of this workshop there will also be a guiding tour though the exhibitions of MMSU Rijeka and a one-day trip to Artist on Vacation / Valamar 2017 in Poreč.
Within the Lexicon Tanjas Ostojić project, the artists Tanja Ostojić and Vahida Ramujkić created a collaboration, and in the previous three workshops which were realised in the medium of a documentary embroidery, with a group of the name sisters they made a large format tapestry which will be also shown at the exhibition in Rijeka. Such a complex participatory artistic and social project also opened a number of social issues. And so through the mutual work on the tapestry the issue of the identity and position of women in today’s societies was raised and their position in the process of the work was pondered upon. All participants of the workshop share the mutual authorship and ownership of the final tapestry.
Also being prepared in English is a book the Lexicon of the Tanjas Ostojić in which amongst other things interviews with the Tanja Ostojićs and their favourite recipes will be published (by publisher LADA - Live Arts Development Agency, London).
The workshop and exhibition in Rijeka represent one of the last stages in the realisation in 2017, after the presentation at the Goethe-Institute in Belgrade, the Museum of Contemporary Art of Republic of Srpska, Banja Luka, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Zagreb and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Belgrade.
Tanja Ostojić (born in 1972 in Užice, SFRY) is a Berlin-based performance and interdisciplinary artist who studied art in Serbia, France and Germany. She includes herself as a character in performances and uses diverse media in her artistic researches, thereby examining social configurations, power relationships, feminist issues, economy and biopolitics. She works predominantly from the migrant woman’s perspective, while political positioning, humour and integration of the recipient define approaches in her work. Since 1994, she presented her work in a large number of exhibitions, venues and festivals around the world, including: Feminism is Politics! at Pratt Manhattan Gallery New York (2016), Busan Biennale, South Korea (2016), Homosexualität_en, Deutsches Historisches Museum Berlin (2015), Economy, CCA Glasgow (2013), Tanja Ostojić: Body, Politics, Agency, Škuc Gallery, Ljubljana (2012), Call the Witness, Roma Pavilion, Venice Biennale (2011), Global Feminisms, Brooklyn Museum New York (2006), Plato of Humankind, Venice Biennale 2001. She has given talks, lectures and workshops at academic conferences and at art universities worldwide. Ostojić´s work is the subject of referential theoretical writings and a part of important public collections. She published a number of books including Lexicon of Tanja Ostojić, T. Ostojić ed,, UdK Berlin (2014), Integration Impossible? The Politics of Migration in the Artwork of Tanja Ostojić, M. Gržinić and T. Ostojić eds., argobooks, Berlin 2009, etc.
Embroidered Lexicon of Tanjas Ostojić, 2017., detail, wall tapestry, 200 X 160 cm
Authors: Jelena Dinić, Tanja Ostojić (Banja Luka), Tanja Ostojić (Berlin), Tanja Ostojić (Trn), Tanja Ostojić (Udine), Tanja Ostojić-Guteša, Tanja Ostojić-Petrović, Tanja Petar Ostojić, Tatjana Ostojić (Beograd), Tatjana Ostojić (Alabama), Sunčica Šido and Vahida Ramujkić.
Photo by: Nikola Radić-Lucati