After three successful exhibitions by Harun Farocki in 2012, the artists’ collective Slavs and Tartars in 2013 and Nevin Aladag last year, this summer the Art Space Pythagorion presents a solo exhibition of the artist Aleksandra Domanović titled Hotel Marina Lučica.
Personal and public histories of- ten meld in the work of Aleksandra Do- manović (b. 1981, Novi Sad). Question- ing the idea of an inflexible, concrete historical timeline, the artist herself be- comes the impetus and the vehicle for the historical inquiry that guides her practice. Her works in sculpture, video, photography and installation engage with the often unmentioned or unreal- ized politics which shape contemporary society.
Hotel Marina Lučica collects artworks made over the past five years, including a number of new commis- sions, which examine the lead-up to and repercussions of the dissolution of former Yugoslavia – where Domanović was born and grew up. The exhibition takes its title from a former resort locat- ed on the Croatian coast. The „Hotel Marina Lučica” is remembered and re- deployed by Domanović, who spent a summer there with her family just before the outbreak of civil war. By 1992, less than two years later, the resort had been repurposed as a recruitment center for Croatian soldiers, and later used as ref- ugee housing throughout the Yugoslav Wars. Since the late 1990s the hotel has sat vacant, gathering graffiti.
Just inside gallery’s entrance are a number of digitally rendered portraits of Josip Broz Tito – the former autocratic leader of Yugoslavia. Portraits of Tito were hung in most public buildings – governmental offices, schools and also
hotels. In Portrait (Bump Map), Portrait (Kilim), and Portrait (Messing), the masculine person- ification of nation-building, and the watchful guardian of its citizens, has been ‘feminized’. Tito’s features have been softened and combined with the artist’s memory of her childhood school teacher. A portrait of Tito would have likely hung above the receptionist’s desk at the Hotel Marina Lučica.
Here the Hotel Marina Lučica and Art Space Pythagorian – also a former beachside resort – are mapped onto each other, creating an environ- ment that blurs the sites of exhibiting art with sites of hospitality. Hotels and mu- seums share the common promise of affording their visitors new, sometimes profound, experiences. Acting as cultur- al ambassadors, the two entities in- creasingly benefit in tandem from globe- trotting artists and audiences, who exhibit in and patronize exhibitions the world over.