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The International Solo Exhibitor 2017
Jasmina Cibic

By Louise Skafte

“Using theatrical gestures and tactical role play that draw on the language of multiple ideologies Jasmina Cibic succeeds magnificently in staging the aesthetics of power and rhetoric of disruption and destruction as a self-debunking political drama.”

This is how a highly impressed jury described the impact of the works of Jasmina Cibic last year. Jasmina Cibic represents a new generation of Slovenian artists working with the specific national, political and cultural challenges of post-communist Europe. Cibic uses performance, installation and photography – and increasingly film.

In her solo exhibition at the Spring Exhibition 2017, Cibic presents her latest project Nada: Act I – the first part of a film trilogy. The Nada trilogy functions as an allegory of the pantomime ballet The Miraculous Mandarin by the Hungarian composer Béla Bartók, which tells the tale of a prostitute coerced into luring customers to their doom by a gang of pimps. Written at the end of World War II, the ballet was subject to a lengthy period of censorship before being performed to great acclaim at the Yugoslavian pavilion of the EXPO ‘58 World Fair in Brussels. This is the rendition of the ballet that forms the basis for Cibic’s investigation, despite the existence of only a limited amount of documentation of the performance.

Cibic positions the ballet in relationship to different architectural typologies that have framed the nation state at key moments of European history. Nada: Act I revolves around the Yugoslavian pavilion and the Croatian artist Vjenceslav Richter, who designed it and is credited with promoting the architectural ideals of the new Yugoslavia after World War II. Cibic investigates the role of aesthetics as an arbiter of the political system, drawing parallels between Vjenceslav Richter’s architecture and the methods used in the construction of Yugoslavian national identity in which darkness and beauty are intertwined.

Born in 1979 in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Lives and works in Ljubljana, Slovenia and London, England. Studied at Accademia di Belle Arti di Venezia, Venice, Italy from 1998-2003, and graduated from Goldsmiths College London, England with a Master of Fine Arts in 2006.